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Thursday, 29 November, 2001, 08:34 GMT
Dial up to name that tune
Woman receiving a text message
Your mobile could be able to name that tune
Ever heard a great song on the radio but failed to catch the name of the tune or artist? Then scientists at Philips' research labs have come up with a solution.

Just hold your mobile phone near the radio for a few seconds and within minutes you'll receive a text message telling you the name of the song.

The message will even give you the option of buying a CD of the music.

The system, developed by scientists at the Dutch consumer giant's research centre in Eindhoven, works using a process called hashing.

Unique codes

Hashing is a cryptographic technique used by computers to check they have safely received a message.

It works by comparing chunks of data and then creating codes unique to that message.

The codes from the sent and received messages are checked to make sure they are identical.

Philips researchers have adapted the technique to create a unique code for each song.

Central store

On hearing the song, you would dial a service provider and hold your mobile phone by the speaker for a few seconds.

The computer system at the other end would then "hash" the music and compare the code generated with its database of tracks.

Once it has found a match, a text message would be sent with the song title and artist.

Philips is aiming to set up a central database of hash codes, covering 100,000 commercially available songs.

The research is reported in New Scientist.


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