The big goal of my research for the past few years has been to build a system that we liken to "Google for Music". Using signal processing and machine learning to analyze music, we can automatically associate any songs with hundreds of descriptive tags. This means that you can find music without knowing the name of the band / song / album you want - just by typing in words that describe what you want to hear. To check out a prototype of our system, go to HerdIt.org and sign up to be a Beta tester. While you're there, play Herd It and make the search engine even smarter!
Now it seems that Google is finally getting on board with this themselves. After years of staying away from music (the legal, licensing and logistical difficulties scared even them), it seems like Google music may be coming soon.
Now, all we need to do is get them to use our algorithms to make their search even better!