Twitch adds audio recognition just days after Google deal

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Video game streaming site Twitch has announced the introduction of “Audio Recognition” to on demand videos on the website – putting an end to the musical free-for-all that users were used to.

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The change means that Twitch’s on-demand videos will work like YouTube: with any unlicensed music that is picked up through the system being silenced. Meaning no more videos of Call of Duty set to Let The Bodies Hit The Floor (unless you’ve paid Drowning Pool’s record company for the privilege).

Apparently the change won’t affect live streaming, only on-demand video (“VODS”) – though we’re guessing this is more to do with Twitch having the technology to effectively do it rather than anything else. Apparently the silencing of video portions will work in half hour chunks – so a violation could have a huge impact on a long video.

The news comes just days after the company were said to have been bought by Google – so is it any wonder that it is taking a similar approach to YouTube? Here’s hoping that the company can eventually adopt a YouTube-style agreement with the record labels, allowing for the use of copyrighted music, but with advert revenue/etc going to the record company instead – as that seems like it would be a more sensible compromise.

The reaction from Twitch’s community has been, umm, not good for Twitch, it seems. The top comment on the Twitch blog post about the changes is “Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd Twitch has just been Google-fied”, followed by a potentially damning “See you at Hitbox or Ustream”.

The company has also announced plans to do a question and answers session on Reddit later today – we’ll bring you the highlights later.

James O’Malley