Though Apple has always played a critical role in music and technology, with the recent debut of Apple Music and now a patent to further Siri‘s audio recognition abilities, it looks like Apple is redirecting some rejuvenated focus into developing their own music technologies.
According to Patently Apple, “[e]arlier this month the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that revealed an invention that generally relates to audio analysis and, more specifically, to analyzing audio input for efficient speech and music recognition. While Apple first introduced integrating music identification technology created by Shazam into iOS during their WWDC 2014 event as noted below, was the deal with Shazam only a stopgap measure until they deliver their own home grown solution? Apple’s latest patent application would strongly suggest just that.”
Though the article explains Apple’s invention as more high-level “systems and processes for analyzing audio input for efficient speech” than a Shazam-replica, they provide the example of “music identification software applications running on electronic devices that can apple music recognition to analyze unknown excerpts of music and provide music identification services,” which, I don’t know about you, sounds exactly like Shazam to me.
Apple is renown for its comprehensive integration of both their hardware and software, so it’s not surprising this “Shazam” feature is merely one piece of the puzzle. In developing a rich platform for speech and music recognition – distinguishing between speech and music – and identification – identifying the source of audio – we could potentially be witnessing the start of a beautiful integration between Siri and Apple Music. We can only speculate on Apple’s grand plan and hope for a music-omniscient Siri, but it’s certainly exciting to see initiatives driving innovation in music technologies.