Soundslice Adds Tabs — Karaoke-Style — To Music Videos

Posted November 20

As anyone learning to play an instrument can tell you, the Web can be a wild, tangled place when it comes to trying to pick up tips and tabs. Sure, there are tons of user-generated guitar tab repositories, but those are often muddled and not wholly accurate. And — for the learners among us who need to see/hear in order to do — they can be kind of confusing. That’s the issue that the newly launched guitar tab source Soundslice seeks to remedy.

Soundslice is a startup cooked up by Adrian Holovaty (founder of local Chicago crime/news tracker EveryBlock) that basically enlists users to match YouTube videos with guitar tablature. Anyone can sign up to join the service, search for a video on YouTube, and add the proper tabs. Those tabs will then scroll under the video when it’s played — karaoke video-style — so that people learning guitar can listen/watch while they play. Users can also play videos at slower speeds and/or loop tricky sections.

When it comes to quality control, Holovaty tells Mashable, “I’m considering both a revision-control model (like GitHub) or a Wikipedia model… What would make more sense for annotations: ‘branching’ changes where everybody owns their own data and accepts pull requests, or a more shared wiki-style thing where anybody can edit anything, with revertible history? I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and am still not sure.” Right now, users can annotate videos at will.

Perhaps most exciting, Holovaty is also working on some semblance of automated transcription (combining human effort and technology), using The Echo Nest’s music intelligence technology. Such technology could be included in a future paid model of the service, which would also include the ability to upload tracks and other tweaks and niceties.