Project Scope

The ABC_DJ project seeks to provide European creative agencies in the field of audio branding with sophisticated ICT supporting tools. As a result they will be able to offer branding services and products of such high quality that they can successfully compete with the current big players, independently of their respective size – be it a big agency, an SME or a one-man business.
Secondly, European creators of music, (independent) labels as well as respective multipliers will be actively included into the audio branding value chains. They will enjoy support and novel schemes from the monetisation of their works in various areas of licensing, synch and especially instore music. The pool of music effectively exploitable for branding agencies and brand clients will thus grow significantly.

The high number of creative micro-businesses and SMEs is tailor-made for an approach where many audio branding agencies serve the (diverse) needs of many brands, as opposed to the current “one-sound-fits-all” situation.

Planned Project Results

Three unique supporting tool prototypes which are specifically designed to hide the complexity of the underlying mechanisms and present intuitive interfaces (visual and audio) which respect the metaphors and workflows of professional users (creative agencies and brand clients).

  • Audio branding tool – desktop application for the visualisation of and communication of music. Various possibilities to visualise a song’s properties with respect to: other songs, brand context, musical features etc. via underlying filter functions. Representations will include charts, ‘colour fans’ etc., as well as a pre-listening function.
  • Playlist generator tool – desktop application for the production, visualisation and export of sophisticated playlists. An underlying set of rules supports dramaturgies, time schedules, prevention of monotony as well as direct combination of non-matching changes in loudness or rhythm etc.
  • Cockpit unit – instore client tool – two-piece software application (agency and instore) for content deployment, remote real-time monitoring and maintenance of an existing instore music implementation. Full set of functions in the interface on the agency-side, reduced set of functions on the store-side, connected to the instore player (hardware & software).
  • Music library manager – This supporting tool prototype initially was not planned as part of the ABC_DJ project. It is a smart browser based application for algorithmic music annotation and management of metadata.

Four feature modules, all of which can easily be integrated into existing (free) standard annotation software applications. Hence we consider their separate development into full tools as avoidable and counterproductive to the goal to provide the creative industry with cost effective support functionalities. The last module will be integrated into existing hardware for instore playout.

  • Extraction and indexing module – automated indexing of music archive with measurable musical features.
  • Brand filter and prediction module – automated prediction of end consumer’s interpretation of a song, including target group indication based on socio-demographic data and milieu affiliation.
  • DJ cue point module – provides for professional DJ software features like beat match, auto-transmission for a smooth mix and respective cue points, i.e. enter points (after beginning of a song) and exit points (before ending of a song).
  • Pre-listening module – automated generation of audio summary files for quicker archive search.

Instore player module – software audio player for sound design, running on instore hardware, creating DJ like smooth playout from content, playlists and cue points.