It was 10 years ago this month, as the Internet era was exploding and digital music was getting a foothold in the entertainment industry, that a three-person start-up in California with the world's first digital music database was founded. The company, now called Gracenote®, began developing technology that has since become an essential ingredient in products offered by the biggest names in the digital entertainment, Internet, mobile and automotive industries - from online portals and communities such as Yahoo! and AOL, to devices and applications from Apple, Panasonic, Toyota, and Sony Ericsson, to online commerce sites such as iTunes. Today, Gracenote products are global in scale and will be used by more than 250 million consumers worldwide in 2008, in more than 200 countries and regions with content in more than 80 languages.
Ever since the first album, Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," was entered into its growing digital music database, Gracenote's Global Media Database has been used to identify the album, artist and songs associated with nearly every CD ripped on a computer. The database has now grown to more than seven million CDs and 90 million song tracks, providing more digital music data and boasting more searches by more consumers than any other source of digital music Gracenote is celebrating a decade of developing groundbreaking products and services that are featured in millions of car stereos, tens of millions of mobile phones and media players, and hundreds of millions of consumer electronics devices around the world. The Global Media Database and MusicID® music recognition system have crossed over from the PC to the wireless industry, with Mobile MusicID becoming the standard application for music identification on mobile phones. MediaVOCS™ allows voice-controlled music navigation and playlisting, which is taking the automotive industry in an important in-car entertainment direction. Products such as Discover™ for music recommendations, Playlist™ for automated playlist generation, lyrics for access to authorized song lyrics, and cover art, album reviews and artist biographies significantly enrich music services offered by the leaders in digital media.
This year, Gracenote also expanded its digital media product line by crossing over into video. The new Gracenote Video Platform gives consumers, device manufacturers, and content owners the most effective way to search, identify, manage, and enjoy expanding video collections when accessed from their computers, mobile phones, DVD players, and other consumer electronics devices. The Gracenote database is the largest digital catalog of video works ever complied providing detailed, rich data for over 300,000 DVDs and nearly one million total unique video programs.
"Gracenote is one of the few companies with technology that spans the life of the digital entertainment industry, and we continue to be instrumental in developing solutions that make digital media accessible to consumers," said Craig Palmer, Gracenote president. "We are poised for more innovation and growth as the transition from physical media to digital media accelerates and digital media permeates more and more consumer products, while 'always-on' connectivity offers an unprecedented opportunity for commerce, discovery, community, and new dynamic media formats."
In June, Gracenote rounded out its 10 years of innovation and milestones by agreeing to merge with Sony Corporation of America (SCA), providing Gracenote with a closer connection to the content and digital services community that will accelerate adoption of its technology, and giving the company the resources necessary to rapidly expand development of next generation products for the entire industry.
Gracenote, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, is a global leader in embedded technology, enriched content, and data services for digital entertainment solutions within the Internet, consumer electronics, mobile, and automotive markets. Formerly known as CDDB®, Gracenote delivers a substantially improved consumer experience in digital media devices and applications, plus media monitoring and other data services to the recording industry, making it an integral part of the digital media economy. Gracenote powers leading services including Apple iTunes, Yahoo! Music Jukebox, Winamp; home and automotive products from Alpine, Panasonic, Philips and Sony; and mobile music applications from Samsung, Sony Ericsson, KDDI (Japan), KTF (Korea), Musiwave (Europe), and others. Gracenote is headquartered in Emeryville, California.