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Indexes audio files and searches for words/phrases or matches regex patterns within them.

Project description

Simple Audio Indexer: Index audio files and search for a word/phrase or match regex patterns

Build status Apache v2.0 License Documentation Status Python 2,7, 3,3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 supported Wheel ready


This is a Python library and command-line tool that helps you search for a word or a phrase within an audio file (wav format). It also builts upon the initial searching capability and provides some [so-called] advanced searching abilities!

What can it do?

  • Index audio files (using Watson (Online/Higher-quality) or CMU Pocketsphinx (Offline/Lower-quality)) and save/load the results.
  • Searching within audio files in multiple languages (default is English)
  • Define a timing error for your queries to handle discrepencies.
  • Define constraints on your queries, e.g. whether to include (sub/super)sequences, results with missing words etc.
  • Do full blown regex pattern matching!


To read the documentation, visit here.


  • Python (v2.7, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5 or 3.6) with pip installed.
  • Watson API Credentials and/or CMU Pocketsphinx
  • sox
  • ffmpeg (if you choose CMU Pocketsphinx)
  • py.text and tox (if you want to run the tests)


Open up a terminal and enter:

pip install SimpleAudioIndexer

Installation details can be found at the documentations here.

There’s a dockerfile included withing the repo if you’re unable to do a native installation or are on a Windows system.


Open up a terminal and enter:

pip uninstall SimpleAudioIndexer

Uninstalling sox, however, is dependent upon whether you’re on a Linux or Mac system. For more information, visit here.


Say you have this audio file:

Demo audio file

Have it downloaded to an empty directory for simplicity. We’d refer to that directory as SRC_DIR and the name of this audio file as small_audio.wav.

Here’s how you can search through it.

Command-line Usage

Open up a terminal and enter.

$ sai --mode "ibm" --username_ibm USERNAME --password_ibm PASSWORD --src_dir SRC_DIR --search "called"

{'called': {'small_audio.wav': [(1.25, 1.71)]}}

Replace USERNAME and PASSWORD with your IBM Watson’s credentials and SRC_DIR with the absolute path to the directory you just prepared.

The out would be, like above, a dictionary that has the query, the file(s) it appears in and the all of the (starting second, ending second) of that query.

Note that all commands work uniformally for other engines (i.e. Pocketsphinx), for example the command above can be enterred as:

$ sai --mode "cmu" --src_dir SRC_DIR --search "lives"

{'our': {'small_audio': [(2.93, 3.09)]}}

Which would use Pocketsphinx instead of Watson to get the timestamps. Note that the quality/accuracy of Pocketsphinx is much lower than Watson.

Instead of searching for a word, you could also match a regex pattern, for example:

$ sai --mode ibm --src_dir SRC_DIR --username_ibm USERNAME --password_ibm PASSWORD --regexp " [a-z][a-z] "

{u' in ': {'small_audio.wav': [(2.81, 2.93)]},
{u' to ': {'small_audio.wav': [(1.71, 1.81)]}}

That was the result of searching for two letter words. Note that your results would match any aribtrary regular expressions.

You may also save and load the indexed data from the command line script. For more information, visit here.

Library Usage

Say you have this file

>>> from SimpleAudioIndexer import SimpleAudioIndexer as sai

Afterwards, you should create an instance of sai

>>> indexer = sai(mode="ibm", src_dir="SRC_DIR", username_ibm="USERNAME", password_ibm="PASSWORD")

Now you may index all the available audio files by calling index_audio method:

>>> indexer.index_audio()

You could have a searching generator:

>>> searcher = indexer.search_gen(query="called")
# If you're on python 2.7, instead of below, do print
>>> print(next(searcher))
{'Query': 'called', 'File Name': 'small_audio.wav', 'Result': (1.25, 1.71)}

Now there are quite a few more arguments implemented for search_gen. Say you wanted your search to be case sensitive (by default it’s not). Or, say you wanted to look for a phrase but there’s a timing gap and the indexer didn’t pick it up right, you could specify timing_error. Or, say some word is completely missed, then you could specify missing_word_tolerance etc.

For a full list, see the API reference here

Note that you could also call search_all method to have search for a list of queries within all the audio files:

Finally, you could do a regex search!

>>> print(indexer.search_regexp(pattern="[A-Z][^l]* ")
{u'Americans are ca': {'small_audio.wav': [(0.21, 1.71)]}}

There are more functionalities implemented. For detailed explainations, read the documentation here.

Nice to implement in the future

  • Uploading in parallel
  • More control structures for searching (Typos, phoneme based approximation of words using CMU_DICT or NLTK etc.)
  • Searching for an unintelligible audio within the audio files. Possibly by cross correlation or something similar.


Should you want to contribute code or ideas, file a bug request or give feedback, Visit the CONTRIBUTING file.


See also the list of contributors to this project.


This project is licensed under the Apache v2.0 license - see the LICENCE file for more details.

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