Can’t quite place that tune? Musiclens is a free German, search app. to find and explore music by varying the balance of several criteria –adjust between ear-busting to silent, or from instrumental to vocal; it also includes keyword and time period search.
Also, Last.fm music search recently went live, completing a beta phase begun last fall. Last.fm creates personalized radio stations by combining a user’s favorite songs with an algorithmic recommendation feed taken from a network of users with similar tastes.
Last is similar to Pandora in its offerings (with the addition of a social space and communication tools between users). But Last’s analytics rely on the frequency songs are played (by a user and their social network) and a folksonomy of tagging. In contrast, Pandora radio derives from the more ambitious Genome Music Project, which uses musical attributes and elements to create its search analytics.
If keyword search is hampered by orthography and text spam, imagine the challenges in harnessing ambient audio into a durable search engine–probably harder than Quaero would guess.