Search Music by humming, not perfect, but feasible

I once asked my colleague the name of a song, I barely remembered its lyric, though managed to hum the melody, and I am pretty sure it come from his favorite singer, Fish Leong. But neither of us could recall the name of the song. I searched the web, and found Medomi: Midomi

Midomi stands out from other music search engines by supporting to search music by humming. The user may use its microphone to upload her humming, then the search engine would return the matched section. A full version purchase link(via iTune) sits besides it for the user’s convenience.

I hummed the song, and the very first return result is exactly what I am looking for. No a big surprise as the song is just released in Leong’s last album, and the artist is quite popular. Then I tried some old songs, more precisely, 1995 by Bob Chen. Nothing relevant returned, it seems the song not even in their database. So I registered, logged in and recorded my own rendition in Midomi studio, the next time I searched it by humming, the search engine returns the expected result.

As we all know, search, index are formalized, the hardest part is how to extract the pattern precisely and concisely. Midomi addresses this problem with an extremely brilliant idea, let the users do it, is there any delicate artificial intelligence algorithm smarter than human being? And the user activities are easily energized by other web 2.0 ingredients, like friends, groups etc, that is a good news for the venture capitals.

The only missing piece is there is no API for the developers, that make it hard to integrate this web service to your personal music management software, like iTune or Amarok. As the pattern extraction is powered by human, if you happen to be in the tip of the long tail, just pray the singer get talented.