If you are a college student looking for something to do over the summer, consider applying to the Google Summer of Code.  This year Google will pay stipends to  a thousand or more students to work on open source projects.    Of course, here at Sun we are particularly excited to see OpenSolaris and OpenOffice as part of the SoC.  

There are quite a few music-related projects this year at the SoC.  Here are some to consider:

  • CLAM ( at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra) - CLAM (C++ Library for Audio and Music) is a project that aims at developing a full-featured application framework for Audio and Music Applications. It offers a conceptual metamodel as well as many different tools for that particular domain. One of its most relevant features is the availability of a visual building dataflow application that allows to develop rapid prototypes without writing code.
  • MetaBrainz Foundation - The MetaBrainz Foundation  operates the MusicBrainz Project. MusicBrainz is essentially Wikipedia for music: MusicBrainz is attempting to create a comprehensive user contributed music encyclopedia. They would like to catalog all music from all ages, all corners of the world and all ethnic groups. All of their data is freely downloadable and in the Public Domain and Creative Commons licenses.
  • Xiph.org Foundation - Xiph.org is an open source project  dedicated to providing open and free-to-implement multimedia technology as a foundation for an interoperable, level playing field on the internet and other digital distribution networks. Over the past 8 years Xiph has hosted development for all the major patent-free audio and video codec development, including the Vorbis, Speex, FLAC and Theora, the Ogg streaming format, and the Icecast streaming media server.
  • Taste - Taste is an open-source collaborative filtering engine for Java, hosted on SourceForge.
  • Mixxx - The goal of the Mixxx project is to build a stable, cross-platform, open source DJ mixing application suitable for amateur and live professional use.
  • XMMS2 - XMMS2 is the spiritual successor to the very successful XMMS project.
  • Audacious Media Player - Audacious is a successor to Beep Media Player, a GTK2 port of XMMS.
  • Rockbox - The Rockbox project started in december 2001 and in it they develop a complete portable music player firmware replacement - including operating system, GUI and application suite. Rockbox runs on a wide range of support platforms including players from Archos, Apple (ipod), iriver, iAudio, Toshiba and SanDisk
  • Ardour - Ardour is a 7 year old project to implement a professional quality digital audio workstation for POSIX-like operating systems.
  • FFmpeg - Fmpeg is the premiere open source multimedia processing backend library, highly ubiquitous though rarely directly seen. Dozens if not hundreds of open source and proprietary software programs are either known or suspected to incorporate FFmpeg for heavy multimedia lifting.
  • IEM - Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics, Graz  - concentrates mainly in digital signal processing, audio engineering, and psycho acoustics, eg. projects in analysis and syntheses of sound and loudness perception.

So does the sheer number of projects indicate an official change of direction for Google w/r/t music search? Or are Summer of Code projects essentially just driven by the interests of each internal Google employee/sponsor, with no global co-ordination?

Posted by Jeremy on March 16, 2007 at 02:28 PM EDT #

Jeremy: Of the 130 or so SoC projects only one is really MIR focused (UPF's CLAM) so even if was a global strategy in selecting the SoC projects, I don't think this would be an indicator of where Google wants to go w/r/t music search. However, I don't think the SoC projects reflect a global strategy - its all about which projects were proposed by sponsors, and the quality of the proposals.

Posted by Paul on March 16, 2007 at 02:55 PM EDT #

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