ACE XML 2.0 Development Page


ACE XML is a set of XML file formats that are designed to meet the special representational needs of music information retrieval (MIR) research in general, and automatic music classification research in particular. The ACE XML formats are designed to represent a wide range of musical information clearly and simply using formally structured frameworks that are flexible and extensible. A special focus is placed on representing information related to musical machine learning, such as features, instance labels and class ontologies. It is hoped that ACE XML will eventually be adopted by the MIR community as a standardized format for use in data representation associated with automatic music classification.

ACE XML 2.0, the subject of this site, is a fundamental redesign of the earlier ACE XML 1.1 standard, which will soon be deprecated. ACE XML 1.1 is currently fully supported by jMIR, a general-purpose music information retrieval software suite. jMIR is in the process of being updated to support ACE XML 2.0.

This page contains updates on ongoing developments relating to the ACE XML 2.0 standard as well as documentation, sample ACE XML 2.0 files and associated softare tools. The information presented on this site is provided for the purpose of interaction and consultation with the NEMA community, and is to be considered preliminary until officially published.

Current Status of ACE XML 2.0 Development

The ACE XML 2.0 standard is now finalized. Suggestions for further modifications are still very welcome, but will be incorporated into a future ACE XML 2.1 update to the standard instead of ACE XML 2.0. Efforts will of course be made to ensure backwards compatibility between the two. The NEMA Wiki is a venue for discussion on ongoing developments.

Current work is focusing on:

  1. Developing Java software to support ACE XML 2.0, including libraries and utilities for parsing, writing, merging and otherwise processing ACE XML 2.0, as well as data structures with a simple API that can be used to facilitate the incorporation of ACE XML 2.0 compatibility into other software.
  2. Upgrading jMIR with this software so that it can be used to read and write ACE XML 2.0. jMIR currently only supports the older ACE XML 1.1 formats.
  3. Writing Python, C++, Matlab, etc. implementations of these libraries and utilities.
  4. Developing code for translating between ACE XML 2.0 and other languages used in machine learning, such as Weka ARFF.

The ACE XML File Types

ACE XML 2.0 Documentation

ACE XML 2.0 Sample Files

Associated Software

An updated version of the ACE and jMIRUtilities software is available that now includes functionality for loading, viewing, editing, processing and saving ACE XML 1.1 files (ACE XML 2.0 functionality is NOT yet implemented in this release), as well as functionality for dealing with ACE XML Project Files and ACE XML Zip Files. These versions of the software are very much still under development, and as such have a number of unresolved bugs and features remaining to be implemented. The earlier stable version of ACE is still available on the ACE SourceForge page, but does not include the GUI that is of particular use with respect to ACE XML files. The version posted below is still in a pre-publication state, and is made available only in order to demonstrate the general approaches being used and the API that is being made available:

There are explanatory web pages available providing an ACE manual and details on the ACE GUI.

Updated software associated with ACE XML 2.0 will be posted here as it is released.

Development Team

ACE XML 2.0 is designed, implemented and maintained by the Distributed Digital Music Archives and Libraries (DDMAL) group at McGill University as part of the NEMA project. The people involved are:

ACE XML Development History

Publications Relating to ACE XML

McKay, C., J. A. Burgoyne, and I. Fujinaga. 2009. jMIR and ACE XML: Tools for performing and sharing research in automatic music classification. Presented at the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries Workshop on Integrating Digital Library Content with Computational Tools and Services, University of Texas, Austin, USA. 19 June 2009.

McKay, C., J. A. Burgoyne, J. Thompson, and I. Fujinaga. 2009. Using ACE XML 2.0 to store and share feature, instance and class data for musical classification. Proceedings of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference. 303–8.

McKay, C., and I. Fujinaga. 2009. jMIR: Tools for automatic music classification. Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference.

Thompson, J., C. McKay, J. A. Burgoyne, and I. Fujinaga. 2009. Additions and improvements to the ACE 2.0 music classifier. Proceedings of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference. 435–40.

McKay, C., and I. Fujinaga. 2008. Combining features extracted from audio, symbolic and cultural sources. Proceedings of the International Conference on Music Information Retrieval. 597–602.

McKay, C., R. Fiebrink, D. McEnnis, B. Li, and I. Fujinaga. 2005. ACE: A framework for optimizing music classification. Proceedings of the International Conference on Music Information Retrieval. 42–9.

Questions and Comments

-top of page-