I have several days' worth of recordings of a radio show, stored in a number of two-hour MP3 files.

I am looking for one specific song that I'm fairly sure is somewhere in these recordings. It's an old roots reggae song in a toasted on variation. There is at least a 15-20 second snippet that is identical with the original song, which I have.

Is there any Open Source or affordable tool that allows me to search through the audio files for that snippet?

I can use Windows 7 and Linux.

My specific issue has since been solved, but this is a deserving question on its own IMO. Adding a bounty to see whether anything else comes up.

4 Answers 4


The technology you are looking for is called Acoustic fingerprint, defined as :

An acoustic fingerprint is a condensed digital summary, deterministically generated from an audio signal, that can be used to identify an audio sample or quickly locate similar items in an audio database.

There are many applications of it listed in the above Wikipedia link, but most are commercial.

Another list of freeware and commercial products are found in the article AudioFingerprint in MusicBrainz, a user-maintained open community that collects and makes available to the public music metadata in the form of a relational database.

Some free and open-source projects from the list that you might examine :

an acoustic fingerprinting framework.

open source project that aims to create a free database of audio fingerprints with mapping to the MusicBrainz metadata database and provide a web service for audio file identification using this database.

an open source acoustic fingerprinting library.


You could try the algorithm that Avery Wang developed for Shazam. He's doing the same thing. He stores fingerprints for each song in a library so they can be easily checked to see if there is a constellation of points that matches the ones from a snippet.

You can get his whitepaper and links to several other systems/ideas here.

  • Cheers Ron! I went down the non-software route and managed to find the song on an ancient playlist, but this is very interesting.
    – Pekka
    Feb 19, 2011 at 21:48

I probed google and found this program Similarity. I can't say, if it is of any use. But you can download it and try it for free. If you buy it, it costs 20.00$ for one year, or 35$ for a lifetime. But i don't know if it can find music in so different files. I hope this helps.

  • Thanks, this looks very interesting, but it doesn't seem to do searching for snippets, only real duplicates. Still, +1, this may help future askers with a similar question
    – Pekka
    Feb 18, 2011 at 17:31

Sound-Similar Free (https://www.sound-similar.com) can be used to compare two WAV files and shows their perceptual similarity score in percentages. It can also be used to search for a sound snippet (the shorter one) in an audio file (the longer one).

Sound-Similar Free Spectrogram

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