MTV Networks’ Michael Bloom quipped, “We’re going to give classical as much love as we give hip-hop or pop” (Jepson, ).Singingfish [ specifically targets audio and video files on the Web.At a minimum, Singingfish only provides a hyperlinked title, duration, source URL, and file type and size. As of May 1, 2006, Google did not support searching for specific audio file formats, even through its advanced search interface.A workaround, however, exists through a Google music search feature introduced late in 2005.To use this music-based query feature, a la Music Information Retrieval (see the sidebar interview with Professor J.
The Web offers a wide variety of classical music resources, from audio files to downloadable music to encyclopedic Web sites, devoted to the European musical canon and its enduring influence, especially in North America. Unique among the audio search engines I tried, Yahoo!15, 2005, According to the Google Help Center, “If you enter the name of an artist popular in the U. into the search box, we will display user reviews, song titles, stores to purchase the music [e.g., online download retail and streaming audio services such as Amazon, AOL Music Now, e Music, i Tunes, MSN Music, Napster, Wal-Mart, etc.] and other useful information related to that artist at the top of your search results.” Compare the Singingfish return to the staggering 30 million-plus matches from a Google Search of mp3 classical.Since Google does not provide any meaningful data clustering or sorting, I had to add further search terms, such as the title of a composition or a composer or performer’s name, to produce relevant results.By comparison, my finely tuned query of allintext: mp3 mozart symphony no 40 limited to English-language pages and filtered for free to use or share content landed me 85 hits. According to the Google Web APIs Reference page [ “Starting a query with the term ‘allintext:’ restricts the results to those with all of the query words in only the body text, ignoring link, URL, and title matches.” Although I don’t generally use Google Groups [ it can provide a way to search for classical music information in newsgroups such as rec.music.classical, rec.music.classical.contemporary, rec.music.classical.recordings, and rec.music.opera. Audio, other Web search engines with an audio file search facility include the venerable Alta Vista Audio Search [ Allthe [ the Music Robot [ also known as the MIDI Explorer and searching only for MIDI files; and the Lyrics Robot [ part of the same site and where I retrieved over 200 entries for Mozart.Be aware that due to search engine company consolidations, some of these search engines are drawing from the same database, only the interface brand and, sometimes, the search options differ.