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Automatically Discovering Talented Musicians with Acoustic Analysis of YouTube Videos

Eric Nichols
Charles DuHadway
Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE 12th International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM), IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 559-565


Online video presents a great opportunity for up-and-coming singers and artists to be visible to a worldwide audience. However, the sheer quantity of video makes it difficult to discover promising musicians. We present a novel algorithm to automatically identify talented musicians using machine learning and acoustic analysis on a large set of "home singing" videos. We describe how candidate musician videos are identified and ranked by singing quality. To this end, we present new audio features specifically designed to directly capture singing quality. We evaluate these vis-a-vis a large set of generic audio features and demonstrate that the proposed features have good predictive performance. We also show that this algorithm performs well when videos are normalized for production quality.