Tunepresto: Using Algorithms to Create Music for Videos

It has never been easier to make your own videos. A decent camera can be picked up for a fraction of the cost of a fully loaded professional camera. Editing can be done for very little additional cost on your desktop with software such as iMovie for the mac or Microsoft’s Windows Live Movie Maker 2011. As minimally functional as they are, they pack enough features to get started and turn out a something worthwhile in a relatively short time..

But when it comes to adding a music soundtrack to your video it can be become a real challenge to find a suitable piece of music. The options for those that are not so musically inclined or are unwilling or unable to pay royalties for material under copyright options can suddenly become very limited.

Even if the payment of a royalty fee is waived seeking permissions and searching through audio libraries can feel like an extreme process to undergo when all you want is a soundtrack for a video that you are going to share with some friends on YouTube or Facebook.

For those with a talent for music there is always the option of creating your own soundtrack but such ability seems not to be distributed equally or fairly amongst the population at large leaving the not so gifted with little hope in the realms of self-composition. So what to do?

Tunepresto is a web-based music maker. It generates original copyright free music to match your video or your slideshow presentation. How it works is really simple from the user’s perspective.

  • You upload your video or enter your YouTube URL and the Tunepresto software analyses the video.
  • The user then selects a style of music from the range of styles that are available on the system.
  • The software then generates a piece of music that exactly fits your video.

If you like it you can then download it and get the combined video and music file.

The idea for Tunepresto came when Siún Ní Raghallaigh, a television producer and her co-founder Justin McCarthy, a video editor, were chatting about what a pain it is to deal with copyright music and wouldn’t it be great to just press a button and have a music track composed for you.

As Siún says, “We were coming from a professional background and we were targeting a professional market. But whilst everybody thought it was a great idea the take up was a slow. So we decided to do some more market research.

“We learned a hard lesson. Our idea was not for the professional market. Our target should really be the consumer market. We refocused and changed the whole way we were approaching Tunepresto, the way we were marketing it and how we were targeting it.

“Part of what we discovered from the market research we did with our existing customers was that while we packed the desktop product with loads of great features all they wanted to do was press the compose button.

“We had put in a timeline, we had put in markers, you could change instruments and loads of different things but the majority of customers would just press compose. So we said, let’s do some of the decision making in the background as to what it produces but still use the same basic composition engine.

“We now have a one click solution, so to speak and we will be market led as to what we make available after that. If we add more features we want it to be what the user wants not what we think they want.”

Tunepresto have developed an algorithm that when presented with a video containing certain elements that it has detected in the video it can then generate a musical composition appropriate to the information presented to it.

Siún explains, “This is not pre-recorded music. This is not music loops. This system is actually making original music. It is generating the music based on the information that it is extracting from the video and the selection the user makes in terms of style of music. It is making new music to suit that particular video.”

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