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Re: [help-GIFT] Extensions to MRML, web page bugs and other comments

From: Henning Müller
Subject: Re: [help-GIFT] Extensions to MRML, web page bugs and other comments
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2003 11:50:13 +0200
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indeed, there is not as much (easy-to-read) information on MRML available as we would like. Still, the best resource is definitely the mrml page This page should give you quite a few links and descriptions of the current mrml version and about what is planned. The page is not a perfect tutorial but should give you some information on what mrml currently does. contains some ideas for a new version of mrml. I think it would be good if we can work together on integrating musical retrieval into mrml for such a version 2.0.

jmrml should be accessible, I do not know why it was down. Pruet, can you help us on that? contains packaged versions of gift whereas the newest version can be obtained from savannah cvs: I think that the phrase at the gnu web side that the latest versions of gift are on the mrml web side should be removed, also to better separate gift and mrml.

The php interface was down lately as we reinstalled the server but it should be up and working again The phrase that you cannot upload images does not prevent you from doing queries with images from the database. Just type random and then select an image as example. We have image uploading disabled in the public version because we had a lot of more or less illegal images being uploaded to us. When you install the interface and server on your computer, you can surely enable uploading images.

There also is a Java interface Charmer with communication in mrml that should be available from the viper server I will see that we correct the link that is on the viper pages. There is also kmrml as a package of kde, a plugin for Konqueror (

I know, there is no real easy to use tutorial on mrml but there are a lot of resources that should help you and for questions you can always go to this list or contact us directly.
The activity on mrml has been a bit scattered as of lately.

Have you tried to install gift on a linux machine plus the php interface.
Gift stores the messages send and received in a log file in mrml format and this might be the easiest way to see what is going on. I can send you some parts of a logfile if you have problems installing gift.

I think that for music retrieval you can use a similar mechanism to connect to a server as gift/mrml does but then how are queries formulated? Do you send an example file? Do you specify whether it is part of a song or a complete sond, whether it is hummed or not? Do you use URLs to identify files in a database? Maybe we can try to put all the information together that you think is necessary for a server to execute a query and then what you would expect the server to send as a reply, including all options. With that we should be able to define a minimum mrml-compatible communication.

I hope this helps a bit. I would really like you to use mrml for a music retrieval benchmark, also to get more activity on mrml and maybe get help to work on a new version mrml 2.0. Surely, we can collaborate on that to make mrml a real multimedia retrieval protocol and not only for image retrieval.

Cheers, Henning

Reiss. Dr J wrote:

I work with music information retrieval (MIR) and there has been a lot of debate recently on how to benchmark MIR systems. See the Evaluation Project on for background info, and specifically [1] for how it relates to MRML. Most of the MIR community would like to see a TREC-like evaluation. It seems that the best way for us to do this (without TREC support) is following the example of Benchathlon. To do this, I would need to thoroughly understand MRML and implement it and extend it to support musical queries (query-by-humming systems, symbolic as well as audio data, monophonic and polyphonic similarity, ...). So I'm mainly seeking advice from those involved with MRML. I've read the documentation but its not obvious what to do. I've also tried working with some of the online demonstrations and related software resources but I've had problems with all of them. For instance,

1. According to the MRML website, the main MRML resource, libMRML, is supposedly on 
the GIFT page, 
<>  . But on that page, under “Downloading the 
GIFT” it states “The latest version can be downloaded at” ! I 
then found the GIFT package on a different page, but the documentation on libMRML, 
and how to use it outside of GIFT, is very sparse.

2. The jMRML, <> , page does not seem to be working.
3. fer-de-lance has a software depository with no files and only a handful of 
two year old messages in the mailing list.

4. The php client has the image loading facility disabled and hence does nothing <>
5. Also, many of the viper links, such as 
<> , are dead.

So I guess my questions are as follows: whats the best way for me to get up to 
speed on MRML quickly? How should I augment it to support musical queries? Is 
there an MRML tutorial (this would be quite different from the specification 
document)? Is this the right approach? Would anyone be interested in 
collaborating on this ;) ?

[1] Reiss, J.D. and M. Sandler. MIR Benchmarking: Lessons Learned from the Multimedia Community. in The 26th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference. 2003. Toronto, Canada.

Joshua D. Reiss


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Dr. Henning Müller
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