Audio Phylogeny Analysis

Several key challenges related to multimedia management and processing, (e.g. quality control, de-duplication, metadata tracking, content provenance analysis) require information about the processing history and relationships among content items.

Multimedia phylogeny, which can be considered as “family research” for media, aims at automatically detecting such relationships among related multimedia objects. The analysis results in trees in which nodes represent objects and edges represent their relationships, mostly operations or transformations that lead from one node to another. In the case of audio, this includes e.g. coding, transcoding, volume changes etc.

Fraunhofer IDMT's audio phylogeny analysis software is able to automatically detect the best-quality original “root” version and coding history within a set of transcoded audio duplicates.

Application Scenarios

A/V production and production archives:

During production processes, it is common that transcoded copies (or partial copies) of content are created. Such copies can be detected using e.g. audio and video segment matching. The phylogeny analysis software can then be used to remove everything but the best-quality root version, or to propagate metadata from “older” to “newer” copies within the system.

Forensics and media research

The phylogeny software can be used to understand the processing history among a set of copies or partial copies. This helps to recognize where audio files were created before being modified and disseminated further.

To the best of our knowledge, it is the only approach and software available that supports such functionalities.

Technology and Licensing

The software is currently available as command line tool (mix of python and C++ components) which can be run under Linux. Soon the software will be migrated and then also be available as C++ libraries for Windows, Linux, and MacOSX.

Please contact us for further details on evaluation and licensing.


Maksimovic, M.; Cuccovillo, L.; Aichroth, P.:
Phylogeny Analysis for MP3 and AAC Coding Transformations
IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo ICME, 2017

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Business Unit Media Management and Delivery