MusiKube’s Mobile Music Search


There are many interesting approaches to digital rights management (DRM).  Almost all of them require the use of a technology to identify a piece of intellectual property (IP) and another piece of technology to recognize its identity.  There are several ways to do this if you have the luxury of encoding the original master with some form of identification.  There are far fewer ways to do it after the fact.


In general, the technique of encoding a master and reading that code to identify a file is called “digital watermarking.”  The other common approach requires that the work be analyzed or “digitally fingerprinted,” the results are stored in a database which can be used to identify the work.  Both approaches require a vast database of works and a method to read, listen to or watch the work to be identified.

There are dozens of companies doing this kind of work and you will never hear about most of them.  The one you will hear about next week is Musikube,  Why?  Well, according to the song, “… you gotta have a gimmick,” and they do!  For $1 you can hold your mobile phone up to a music source (speakers, headphones, etc.) and within 15 seconds, Musikube’s iCapture™Mobile Music Identification System will tell you the name of the song and more.

The MMID Service on cell phones allows consumers to quickly and easily identify music that they are listening to, or come across in print, using their cell phone. The system also provides for a mobile portal that allows the customer to reference their music collection from any Internet-accessible mobile device.

For music that is playing on the radio in the car, in a local bar, or at the gym, all the consumer has to do is dial a number and hold the phone near the music for about 15 seconds. The consumer will the receive a message to the phone with the song title, artist, and a sample of the song that can be listened to. MMID also enables the consumer to immediately purchase the song/album via their cellular phone.

For users who have a cell phone with a digital camera attached, they can use their phone to scan a barcode or unique symbol in a store, at home, in a magazine, or on the street. Users can then access music information, reviews and samples and order the CD to be delivered to their home.

In the overall scheme of things, this may not be a very important or lucrative service … it’s kind of niche.  However, I am truly impressed by the public relations value of the new service for Musikube.  Digital fingerprinting is an important tool, we need it for performing rights society payments, union and guild payments and, yes … even for rights-holder payments.  I think it is great that they have been able to put such an interesting public face on what has heretofore been an arcane business to business issue.

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About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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