Department of Software Technology and Interactive Systems
Vienna University of Technology

The SOM-enhanced JukeBox (SOMeJB)
Music Digital Library Project

SOMeJB Logo, link to small demonstration


We are experiencing a tremendous increase in the amount of music being made available in digital form. With the creation of large multimedia collections, however, we need to devise ways to make those collections accessible to the users. While music repositories exist today, they mostly limit access to their content to query-based retrieval of their items based on textual meta-information, with some advanced systems supporting acoustic queries. What we would like to have additionally, is a way to facilitate exploration of musical libraries. We thus need to automatically organize music according to its sound characteristics in such a way that we find similar pieces of music grouped together, allowing us to find a classical section, or a hard-rock section etc. in a music repository. The SOMeJB Music Digital Library Project aims at creating such a browsable music archive by combining a variety of technologies from the fields of audio processing, neural networks, and information visualization, to create maps of music archives. It has its roots in the SOMLib Digital Library for text archives. It is based on the self-organizing map (SOM), a popular unsupervised neural network, and its extension, the Growing Hierarchical Self-Organizing Map (GHSOM), used to organize pieces of music available as, e.g., mp3 files, according to their musical sound characteristics, i.e. creating a kind of genre-based organization. The resulting maps of the music archive can be explored, and new, unknown pieces of music similar to ones personal likings can be discovered, with Islands of Music and Weather Charts providing an intuitive interface to the system.