Apple Music already does a pretty good job of providing lyrics to the songs in its database. However, a newly granted patent (number 11,106,722) for a “lyric search service” hints that Apple wants to kick this ability up a notch.
About the patent
In the patent data, the tech giant notes that specialized services have been developed that can compare a query based on an audio snippet with a repository of audio files. Such services search for a match of the audio snippet to the audio waveforms within the audio files. However, Apple says that these services can’t match a text-based query string with the content contained within the audio waveform in the audio files. This means a user cannot easily search for a song based on the lyrics of the song.
Apple says the best that a user can typically do is perform a text-based search on the Internet and hope that the query matches a transcription of the lyrics in a song that is published on a website. Once the user has the information about the song, they can then perform another search to locate an audio file of the song within a data repository maintained by a music sharing service. Apple wants this process to be more seamless for Apple Music users.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “This application relates to a client-server architecture that enables search queries to be applied to transcription information for multimedia files. A server device implements a service configured to query a search platform to retrieve results associated with a plurality of multimedia files stored in a content database. The results are ordered according to a plurality of heuristic values calculated based on a text relevance analysis.
“The service is configured to modify the heuristic values to adjust an order of the results, and generate a response to a search request that includes a representation of at least a portion of the transcription information of the multimedia files referenced by the results. The heuristic values are modified based on at least one of a popularity score for a corresponding multimedia file, a weight associated with a particular field, or a relevance score based on feedback signals.”
The accompanying graphic illustrates a search query performed utilizing a client-server architecture to find lyrics.