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Introduction to audio analysis : a MATLAB approach
Giannakopoulos T., Pikrakis A., Academic Press, Inc., Waltham, MA, 2014. 288 pp.  Type: Book (978-0-080993-88-1)
Date Reviewed: Jan 20 2015

Audio analysis is the science of dealing with the extraction of information from audio signals for the sake of analysis, classification, and synthesis. The applications of audio analysis range from surveillance and forensics to audio emotion detection.

There are several audio analysis software packages available on the market, some of which are even free. They are quite useful for occasional users. However, MATLAB remains the de facto tool as it contains built-in functions to manipulate signals in general, including audio data.

This book synthesizes the main techniques for audio capture, visualization, reading, analysis, and storage using MATLAB. It is divided into eight chapters. The introduction presents the MATLAB audio library and guidelines on how to use this book in the best way possible. The rest of the chapters in Part 1 (chapters 2 through 4) provide a tutorial on audio signals, transforms, and filtering essentials. Part 2 (chapters 5 through 7) delves into more advanced topics such as audio classification and segmentation. Part 3 (chapter 8) focuses on the important topic of music information retrieval, given the relevance of its applications. These applications include automatic music transcription, track separation, and instrument recognition.

The book was written with the aim of providing a self-contained book. Every chapter contains a set of exercises to help the reader test the concepts learned. The provided MATLAB audio library constitutes the core of the book. Indeed, it simplifies many tasks when analyzing audio data and therefore can be used in further projects.

When reading the theoretical part, I must admit that I had to make an effort to get some concepts. I believe that the authors aim at providing a relatively compact book with the necessary information on audio analysis. Therefore, some information has been condensed to fit the format. However, combined with conventional face-to-face lectures, the current book represents the best choice as a textbook.

I also must admit that the book’s typography and paper quality add value to its content. It is clear that a great deal of effort has been put forward to produce a high-quality textbook to be used on a daily basis by students and professionals.

Reviewer:  Ghita Kouadri Mostifaoui Review #: CR143099 (1506-0456)
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