Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

No room for wrong notes: Analyzing music recordings for plagiarism

Date:
February 4, 2014
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Each audio file has its own history. Editing processes such as cutting and compressing leave their own marks, and this is what researchers use to detect manipulated recordings or plagiarized passages of music with the help of special software.

A look at how an editorial department might operate in the future – thanks to Fraunhofer software, journalists can verify the authenticity of an audio recording in a matter of seconds.
Credit: Fraunhofer IDMT

Each audio file has its own history. Editing processes such as cutting and compressing leave their own marks, and this is what researchers use to detect manipulated recordings or plagiarized passages of music with the help of special software.

As the examiner rewinds once again, one question remains: has the refrain of the song been plagiarized? Eyes narrowed, the music expert presses the start button once more and focuses on the melody and notes with the utmost attention. Finally, no doubt remains: the alleged composer has copied not only the melody but whole chunks of the original song as well. "Here, this sort of event is greeted by silence," says Christian Dittmar from the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau. The software he has developed automatically detects plagiarized music and expunges the stolen parts of the song: "In the most extreme cases, involving particularly brazen theft, there isn't a single note left in the piece." Fraunhofer IDMT's "PlagiarismAnalyzer" detects identical melodies and samples (whole portions of a song) in a matter of seconds. To do this, mathematical algorithms identify the tonal spectrum of the copy and the original and then compare the two.

Software detects manipulated audio material

Two audio recordings display their characteristic wave shape on the computer screen in front of Patrick Aichroth. An optical signal points to suspect points within the material. Dittmar's colleague is also on the hunt for manipulated recordings. However, he is not just concerned with music but with audio files in general -- including passages of speech recorded on smartphones. He and his team use a variety of techniques to detect manipulation, from electrical network frequency (ENF) analysis to microphone categorization and the inverse decoder.

"Editing processes such as cutting, encoding or decoding leave behind traces in the audio file. These can be detected through an altered ENF, a change in the microphone used or via the inverse decoder," explains Aichroth. Fraunhofer IDMT developed the inverse decoder on the basis of research findings from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen. The decoder shows which format and which parameters were used to encode the original file -- for instance the mp3 format, which compresses the audio track.

It's not just those examining cases of plagiarism that will be able to benefit from the new technologies developed in Ilmenau. Editors, detectives and archivists are sure to find it useful too as the flood of audio content on the internet and within companies continues to rise. "These days, you don't have to be an audio technician to make a recording. Smartphones have become so widespread that audio recordings often exist which might provide substantiating information on important events. As the amount of audio content continues to rise, so too does the danger of manipulation -- and there is hardly ever time to check the recording manually," says Aichroth.

To illustrate his point he cites two situations where automatically checking audio material could prove extremely useful. The first involves an editorial team at a German publication. Just before they are about to go to print, the journalists get hold of some controversial audio material that would put a completely new spin on the title story. The decisive question is whether the recordings are genuine. Or imagine the following scene: the police possess several mobile phone recordings that heavily implicate the main suspect. Here too the officers need a speedy initial assessment of whether the recordings are genuine or whether they have been manipulated.

Fraunhofer's scientists in Ilmenau developed their software as part of the EU-sponsored REWIND project (http://www.rewindproject.eu). In this project Fraunhofer IDMT is working alongside universities in Brazil, Italy, Spain and the UK. "We want to understand the basic theoretical principles and also to develop technologies from which practical tools evolve. We are bringing together the strengths of all the technology developed to date so that we can offer a quick analysis even for larger volumes of data," says Dittmar. It currently takes around 5 seconds to detect a 10-second original sequence within a 30-second piece of music.

REWIND will be ending in April 2014. Shortly prior to this, from 10-14 March, 2014, Fraunhofer IDMT will be showcasing results from the project at CeBIT in Hannover at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft stand (Hall 9, Booth E40). Visitors to the stand will be able to see for themselves how easily an audio file can be manipulated, how hard it is to tell the difference by ear alone and how the tools developed in Ilmenau work in practice.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "No room for wrong notes: Analyzing music recordings for plagiarism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204073932.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2014, February 4). No room for wrong notes: Analyzing music recordings for plagiarism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204073932.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "No room for wrong notes: Analyzing music recordings for plagiarism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204073932.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Apple is making a strategic bet with the launch of Apple Pay, the mobile pay service aimed at turning your iPhone into your wallet. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins