Featured Startup Pitch: Orpheus Media Research/Clio – Taking automated music search and discovery to a new level

By Editor June 6, 2011

Clio logo


Company: Orpheus Media Research (OMR)/Clio
Website: www.cliomusic.com
Headquarters: New York City
Year Founded: 2010
Investors: Self-funded

Employees: 4-8

Company description (in 140 characters or less): “Orpheus Media Research is an advanced music research and development company that automates the search, analysis, and discovery of music.”

Greg Wilder, ClioBy Greg Wilder, Founder and CSO

Product Overview

Traditionally, large libraries of music have been very difficult to organize and search. Most music search technologies rely on metadata, or written descriptions of the music, rather than looking at the music itself. This has inherent limitations, as words can never fully describe our experience of what we hear.

Clio is the only pure music-to-music search and discovery platform that uses music to find music, producing higher quality matches and analyzing music at least 5,000-10,000x faster than existing keyword search technology. Clio eclipses traditional search methods, allowing metadata to refine, not define, music search and discovery results.

Clio combines deep musical expertise with adaptive technology to deliver highly accurate and relevant matches based on mood, emotion and texture. As musicians ourselves with extensive experience in composition, theory and cognition, we created Clio to be the first platform to look at musical context and grammar to understand and interpret musical mood, resulting in more accurate matches and the ability to quickly analyze extremely large collections of music.

Founders’ Story

In 2004, while working as a professional music composition/pianist, I realized the limitations of current music-listening technology. I asked, “Why can’t computers hear music the way people can?” Determined to overcome that limitation, I combined my 30+ years of musical expertise with the latest music cognition research to build a series of algorithms that would allow computers to hear music the way humans do—picking up on the nuances and relationships that traditional machine listening cannot recognize. By 2007, it became clear that this technology had wide-ranging implications for the industry at large. I then founded Orpheus Media Research (OMR) to hold the intellectual property and filed for the technology’s first international patent.

Two years of academic guest lectures and healthy discussion followed, as I presented my core technology at Vanderbilt, NYU, and Queens University Belfast (ICMC), among others. In 2010, Alison Conard, professor of Music Theory at Temple University, joined me and we decided to take the technology to market. In 2010, OMR launched pilot projects around the world. By the end of 2010, several major players in the music industry were piloting Myna, OMR’s first generation technology, including large music production libraries and online music streamers.

In early 2011, OMR launched Clio, the only pure music-to-music search and discovery platform designed to overcome the ongoing time, cost and quality challenges presented by the need for metadata in music search.  Building on OMR’s original Myna platform, Clio provides additional flexibility to music professionals—including popular online music streamers, production music libraries, music distributors, music publishers, and music tracking/reporting services.

Today, Clio is currently in pilot with 10 major organizations—including one of the top two online music-streaming services, production music libraries, and music publishers. Now we have our eyes on the future, imagining a world where Clio is everywhere music is, helping listeners to build the playlists they’ve always dreamed of building, but could never describe adequately through word-based search technology.

Marketing/Promotion Strategy

Orpheus Media Research teamed up with a boutique technology marketing firm to launch Clio—focusing on educating both the music industry and music consumers everywhere about the differences between metadata-based search technology and content-based (or music-to-music) search technology. Find us at www.cliomusic.com, on Facebook, Twitter, or on YouTube. We also regularly attend industry events including MIDEM, SXSW, SFMusicTech, and others. Use the email form at ClioMusic.com to set up a meeting with us.

How OMR differentiates itself from the competition

Clio is the only software in the world that can analyze and decode the universal patterns that define musical identity and mood.

Far more advanced than cataloging simple metrics like beats-per-minute and key, Clio understands the flow of musical ideas, recognizes subtle differences between drum grooves, and identifies the unique performance styles of individual musicians. It finds and prioritizes the parts of the music that we, as listeners, find most important.

Unlike other machine learning or social recommendation-based solutions, Clio’s technology intuits the difference between Lady Gaga and Ravi Shankar and can find music that sounds (and feels!) like either one.

The search results, playlists, and recommendations Clio generates are so good because they’re likely the ones that you would generate if you had the prodigious memory of a computer.

Business Model

OMR operates on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model.

OMR’s current needs

Orpheus Media Research is looking for hands-on technical leadership with a specialized skillset to assist with the design and implementation of optimized search algorithms over large data sets and supported delivery of proprietary APIs and other cloud-based services to a wide variety of B2B clients. The ideal candidate will have a strong theoretical background in math, algorithmic optimization, refactoring, and machine learning. Musical theory and/or cognition expertise is welcome, but not necessary.

OMR/Clio Music – www.cliomusic.com