Million dollar idea for Apple iTunes

Last weekend, I found myself at this mall, and there was this really catchy tune on the speaker system. I just couldn’t get it out of my head. When I got home, I wanted to buy this song on iTunes. I couldn’t recall the name of the song. I didn’t remember any of the lyrics. I only remembered the melody. There’s got to be a melody-based search engine out there, right? Nope. Nada. If anyone out there with the resources to pull it off, it is Apple. Here’s how I think something like that would work.

  • User has a computer with mic or maybe a mobile phone as an input mechanism.
  • User goes to a screen that prompts the user for the melody that they want to search. They hum the parts of the song to the mic and it is uploaded to the search engine backend for processing.
  • The backend processing engine would need to recognize the melody and automatically transcribe it into musical notes. Then, it applys that pattern as a search term. It would also need to take into account that many people may hum the tune in different tones from the original song.
  • Setting up the datastore on the server would obviously be no easy task. The data entry required to seed the database to make it useful would be enormous.
  • If any matches are found, the results page should allow the user to preview clips of that song starting from the part of the melody that it thinks you hummed in.

Is this concept doable? Yes. Is this a simple task? No. Is there a wow factor for something like this? You bet.

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