Tag Archives: ओ मेरे दिल के चैन

Key learnings from building a “voice search” for hindi film songs

A couple of posts ago, I talked about the idea that “audio search” makes so much sense for a music app. We have been working behind the scenes looking at voice to speech technologies and evaluating them with a view to offer voice search in our app “Filmi Filmy”.

We are happy to report that we were completely wrong when we first thought of this – Since all of the song titles are entered in English but represent Hindi words phonetically eg: “O mere dil ke chain”, “Gata rahe mera dil” we think that we can use a voice to speech engine to take user inputs, turn them into phonetic English and use the English text as the search keys.

It turns out that is it much more elegant and natural to take the voice input “O mere dil ke chain”, render it as the hindi string “ओ मेरे दिल के चैन” and search for the hindi string in the database. One significant advantage to this is that it reduces the complexity of the phonetics completely. It does not matter if the “ke” is spelled as “key” anymore as in Hindi it will always be spelled as “के”.

The challenge of course is getting a database of film song titles entered in Hindi. Nearly all song databases have English transliterated titles – and may we add- not two of them spell the same song the same way. A healthy inheritance from English led and US led software is that from YouTube to the home grown Gaana nearly all the songs are in English.

We are happy to report that fortunately a bit of innovation and tons of persistence can solve this problem (we may not have a huge cash chest at Pariksha but we are certainly not short on tech coolness). One of our engineers figured out a way to use existing open-source tools to build hindi equivalents of the titles.

The results are spectacular, to say the least. Consider for example this song search using voice search with hindi titles v/s text search with English phrases below:

Text Search With English Phrases                                                Voice Search with Hindi Titles

We need to do a bit more work on the hindi song titles and improve the error handling on the search and this should be ready for public use. Now consider the scenario we had described earlier – Imagine slumping in a car after a long day and with no energy to type to search, all you have to do is say the song and voila the app will play it on your phone, ear-phone or connected blue-tooth speaker. Dare we say, it is not long before this will be a reality!

New generation print publishing apps?

InDesign Project Details – Pariksha has worked on InDesign CS4, CS5, CS5.5 on Windows and Mac environments and used their C++, JavaScript and Flex SDK to develop various applications.   Some of them are given below

  • Automating the Publishing workflow for one of the major Publishing company.  This involved development of InDesign Plug-ins to support Interactive Media within InDesign e.g. Audio, Video, Slide Shows etc.  Exporting of InDesign files to a proprietary format which was then used by a publishing application (developed in AIR) to Design Magzines and publish them on Web.
  • An application for a InDesign Product company that helps user to manage various page item positions by measuring their position and distances relative to other page items.
  • An application for end Customer to manage their InDesign Templates and generate InDesign files on demand by picking up a particular Template and filing it with the data specified separately in an XML file.

The project we are planning to work on is to develop the basic Plug-in in C++ and then use Flex UI to allow user to do the functions that are currently not part of InDesign e.g. linking to resources on Web etc.

Resource Profile

General

  • Should have good academic background and should be regular BE / BTech / ME / MTech / MCA from reputed institutes.
  • The minimum experience of the candidate should be 3+ years.

Technical Skills

  • Experience in development of InDesign Plug-ins (Client and Server) using C++(must) and/or JavaScript
  • Understanding of how to make the plug-in scriptable.
  • Should be comfortable with both Windows and Mac development environments
  • Should have good understanding and implementation experience of Object Oriented concepts and Patterns
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills
  • Experience with Test Driven Development and Agile Methodologies in a distributed team environment is a plus.
  • Experience of developing Flex extensions of InDesign is a plus.