First the criticisms. Julian Urbano pointed out a widening gap in sophistication between the annual MIREX algorithm bake-off and more established equivalents such as TREC for document and image search. For anyone not completely persuaded by his arguments, Fabien Gouyon and his team demonstrated convincingly that current music autotagging algorithms fail to generalise from one dataset to another i.e. at the moment there is no hard evidence that they are really learning anything at all: the main cause is probably that the available reference datasets are simply too small.
And now the data:
- Thierry Bertin-Mailleux introduced some hefty additions to the Million Song Dataset, including social tags and similarity data from Last.fm for hundreds of thousands of tracks.
- Vladimir Viro's Peachnote exposes a lightning fast melody and chord search UI, as well as an API and data downloads of 45,000 classical scores scanned in using OMR, including the whole IMSLP collection.
- the MARL group at NYU have made chord annotations for 300 pop songs, available in their git repository here: git://github.com/tmc323/Chord-Annotations.git.
- the CIRMMT group at McGill are releasing chord annotations for a thousand songs from the charts.
- the METISS research group have made structural annotations for 500 songs including recent finalists from the Eurovision Song Contest.
- the SALAMI project have set their musical sights a little higher by producing structural annotations for 1400 recordings across diverse genres including world and classical music.
- back to the mainstream with the Now That's What I Call Music mood annotations for 2600 songs by 4 expert listeners from TU München.
- the BBC have crowd-sourced 56,000 mood annotations for well-known TV theme tunes from 15,000 listeners, and the audio is also available on request for academic researchers.
- Last.fm are releasing 40,000 tempo labels and bpm estimates crowd-sourced from 2,000 listeners, showing that at least one well-known source of automatic bpm values is wrong around half of the time.
- finally Rob Macrae and Matt McVicar have both come up with methods to make hundreds of thousands of guitar tabs available on the web usable as approximate groundtruth for chord transcription.
Wow that's a lot of new data. Time to get down to some algorithm development!