When copyrights make finding video soundtracks hard, this A.I. musician can help

To help social media’s content creators find music for their videos that isn’t protected by copyright, photo- and video-editing app PicsArt created an artificially intelligent musician that composes endless, rights-free music. Simply called A.I. Music, it shows up as a new tab in the app’s video editor and automatically generates music based on a mood or activity.

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The A.I. is trained on a library of more than 1 million songs, giving it the ability to come up with its own jingles. Creators simply choose the mood, activity, or genre, and A.I. Music generates a song to match it. PicsArt says the A.I.-generated music will never be replicated, a potentially huge advantage over the free stock jingles normally paired with slideshow and video software. The A.I. is also able to write music without time constraints, erasing the concern of finding a song long enough to fit a video without looping.

In our early test of the feature, it sounded surprisingly good. The music built as the song progressed, illustrating an understanding of music structure, although the end was abrupt. Songs still feel closer to the prepacked music that comes with basic slideshow software than anything composed by humans, but offers a definite improvement over any basic stock music. The feature feels made for Instagram Stories, but offers potential for YouTube and TikTok too.

How music is labeled, however, is not consistently accurate. “Sleep” produced white noise and relaxing lullabies, but “peaceful” sounded more like a dance jam.

The app itself is also missing some features for working with audio. You can’t mix the music with the video’s existing audio, for example, or fade the music out. Fortunately, if what the A.I. spits out on the first go isn’t up to par, you can tap “regenerate” to have it try again.

A.I. music is available now on iOS, with Android support coming later this year. PicsArt is one of the best photo- and video-editing apps, going beyond basic filters with options for layering and remixing media together. The app was one of the top-grossing photo and video apps worldwide in 2019.

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