BBC, IBM Create Sound Index


BBC and IBM have developed an online music charting system, the Sound Index, which will allow visitors to see the top 1,000 artists of the moment. The word “moment” is not much of an exaggeration, as the list will be updated every six hours.

BBC and IBM have developed an online music charting system, the Sound Index, which will allow visitors to see the top 1,000 artists of the moment. The word “moment” is not much of an exaggeration, as the list will be updated every six hours.

How is this possible? IBM is using “Semantic Super Computing” to scour the internet four times a day for the most mentioned names in music. To compile data, popular sites like Google, YouTube, and MySpace will be searched for blog mentions, plays profile views, searches, etc. The artists will then be ranked on the buzz they have created, or not created, across the Interwebs.

The Index will also be fully customizable for users interested in more than whether or not Miley Cyrus has trumped Coldplay. Using different filters, the Index can be tailored to various demographics and interests to meet each specific user’s tastes and needs. The BBC ensures that all information entered will be completely anonymous, so that Jonas Brothers obsession you’ve been hiding can stay your little secret.

With other music charts being updated daily or even (gasp) weekly, the Sound Index is sure to please the instant gratification generation. On the BBC’s “What is the Sound Index?” website, the software is currently listed as being in public service beta. To check out the Sound Index as it is being finished, visit


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