A knowledge base of questions and answers about the Digimarc® Discover Online Services Portal.
These FAQs were updated May 9, 2013.
What is the Digimarc Discover Online Services Portal?
The Online Services Portal is an easy, affordable service to enable print and audio to deliver enriched content and interactive advertising to today's smartphones and tablets. Digimarc has created this web-based service for publishers, retailers, agencies, advertisers, and others to embed digital watermarks into images or audio, with the ability to manage projects online and track results in real time. Once embedded into printed or audio media, the imperceptible digital watermarks can easily be detected by today's most popular devices — delivering a wide range of new, rich media experiences to consumers.
What browsers does the Online Services Portal support?
- Internet Explorer 9 and 10
- Firefox (latest)
- Google Chrome (latest)
- Safari 5 and 6
While other browser versions may work, not all functionality is supported. For example, Internet Explorer 9 and Safari 5 will work for all features on the Online Services Portal, except for online audio processing.
What operating systems are supported?
- Windows 7 and 8
- Mac 10.7 and 10.8
What is a Service?
A service links a printed image or audio file to a rich payoff of your choosing. For example, linking a specific print ad to a streaming video or website would be considered a service. There are two key components that make a service: The watermarked media (an image that will be printed or an audio file), and the URL or payoff that the media will link to.
What is a Project Folder?
A Project Folder is really just a folder to help you organize your services. It can represent a magazine edition, advertising campaign, playlist or specific client. You should choose a naming convention that best suits your workflow or processes. Each Project Folder will contain one or more services.
What time does my service become active?
The time used for all services on the portal is based on the UTC (Universal Time Coordinated).
What happens when my service expires?
Once your service duration has come to an end, it will move into an expired state. At this time, the link will not be active and users that interact with that service will be directed to an error page. If you want to make that service active again without having to start over, all you have to do is select the option to "Renew" the service directly from the Services List page and complete the Renew process.
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What version of Java is required to run the Digimarc Discover Embedder?
Version 7 update 21 (1.6.0_22) or later is required to run the embedder application.
What factors may affect the performance of the Digimarc Discover Embedder?
CPU speed, available RAM and internet connection will directly affect the embedder's performance.
How do I get the Digimarc Discover Embedder to load?
Depending on which browser you are using, it may have prevented you from downloading and running the embedder application. Please see if your browser is detailed in the following steps to ensure that the embedder will load.
Internet Explorer for Windows:
The embedder may load automatically, but if not, choose "Open" once the download and verification process has finished.
Mozilla Firefox for Windows:
Please select the "Open with" option and from the drop down window, then choose the Java Web Start Launcher if not already selected and click "OK" and wait for the embedder to load. The first time loading the application may take longer than usual, but future loads will be much faster. The speed will depend on your networks and internet settings.
Safari for Mac:
If running Safari 6.0.2 or lower, you should receive a dialog box asking for permission for the Digimarc Discover Embedder to access your computer. Please choose "Allow" to enable the embedder application to load. To skip this message in the future, check the box to "Allow all applications from 'portal.digimarc.net' with this signature."
If running Safari 6.0.3 or higher, you must select and open the Digimarc Discover Embedder file from your Downloads list.
How do I test the print watermark after I set up the service?
Digimarc recommends that you print your image on a proofing device that closely represents the final output printer. Use highest quality settings to get the best results. Once you have your image watermarked, then printed, you can use the free Digimarc Discover mobile application to read the watermark. Simply launch the application on your iOS or Android device and focus on an area in the image from about 5 inches away. Once you hear the sound, that means the watermark has been detected and the device will be linked to the URL that was entered for that image. Digimarc Discover is available for free from both the iTunes App Store and the Android Market.
How much can I scale the image without impacting the watermark?
After embedding, you can scale your final image by +/- 10%. This means that you can scale up to 110% or down to 90% of the original size when the image was watermarked. Any more than this will start impacting the detectability of your image when printed.
- Scaling your image below 90% will reduce the number of devices that can detect your watermark and can make your watermark unreadable.
- Scaling your image beyond 110% increases the minimum reading distance for devices and complicates user instructions.
What does the embedder support for image resolution or DPI?
Digital watermarking for mobile device camera detection is meant for printed items, with minimum image resolution requirements to ensure reasonable image quality. Within the embedder, you may click on "Image Info" to assign a valid print size and image resolution.
- The minimum resolution for commercial printing is 150 DPI.
- The minimum resolution for newsprint is 120 DPI.
How does each color space work with the digital watermark?
- CMYK — The watermark is optimized for printing commercially in color images. Commercial color printing typically involves using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black inks, often referred to as CMYK or 4C (color) process. CMYK images prepared for commercial printing, especially SWOP US Web standards, should watermark well if they meet the image selection guidelines.
- RGB — Red, Green, and Blue light waves are used by displays to project images and by digital cameras to capture images. RGB has a much greater range of colors than CMYK, which may or may not be available when printed. The process of converting an RGB image into a printed image varies by each user's set-up. Due to this variation we cannot calibrate the embedder to provide consistently optimal results with RGB images.
- Grayscale — A single channel image has only black and white data available to be digitally watermarked. Often watermarks in grayscale images may be more noticeable. This is due to less available image data for the watermark to be embedded into.
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What audio formats are currently supported for watermark embedding?
The Digimarc Discover audio embedder supports file formats with .wav, .mp3, and .m4a extensions. The preferred file format is the .wav extension which results in files with the most robust watermarks. The audio watermark embedder also requires source audio files with a 48kHz sampling rate. Mono and stereo formats are both supported.
How do I know if my audio file is 48khz?
Most commercial music files from iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, CDs won't work — they are sampled at 44.1 kHz. Generally speaking, audio files created in a TV and radio production environment will be produced at 48kHz.
You can quickly determine the sampling rate of your file by opening it in the Quicktime player (free). Load the audio file into Quicktime and then select "Show Movie Inspector" from the Window menu. The Format listing will display the sampling rate, along with other attributes. The good news is that we will offer support for a broader range of file types and sampling rates in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
My audio file has a sampling rate of 44.1khz. Is there a way to change it to 48 khz so I can embed a watermark in it?
Yes, it is possible to change the sampling rate ("re-sample") using tools such as Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro, Pro Tools, and open source software such as Audacity, FFMPEG, and SoX.
The good news is that will offer support in the coming weeks for a broader range of file types to include 44.1 kHZ. Stay tuned!
Are there any audio file size limitations?
To ensure fast detection in a broad range of listening environments, the audio files need to be a minimum of 10 seconds in duration. For the Beta version of this service, we have limited the maximum duration of the audio clip to 10 minutes with a maximum file size of 150 MB.
How long does it take to embed an audio file?
The embedder takes about the same amount of time as the duration of the audio clip. For example, a 5-minute song will take approximately 5 minutes to embed. Embedding speed is influenced by factors such as internet speed and server load.
What are the best practices when embedding watermarks into compressed audio files such as mp3 or m4a?
The Digimarc Discover audio embedder works best on audio files that are uncompressed. If at all possible, we suggest converting .mp3 and .m4a files to .wav before embedding and leaving the files in .wav format after embedding.
If compression must be used, we recommend using as high a bit-rate as possible (e.g., 128kbps or higher). Highly compressed audio (average bit-rate less than 64 kbps) should be avoided since it may lead to slower detection.
Why is my processed file larger than the file I uploaded?
If your input file is in .wav format, the embedded file will be exactly the same size as the original. If your input file is in .mp3 format, the embedder will decompress the file, embed the watermark and recompress at a slightly higher quality of compression. This results in a larger file size. The results for .m4a files is similar to .mp3 files, with the exception that after embedding the file is re-compressed at the highest quality setting. In this case the embedded file may be quite a bit larger than the original, depending upon the original compressed bit-rate.
What types of audio have the best detection performance?
Audio files that are frequency intense (e.g., TV and radio ads with speech and/or music, infomercials, pop and rock music) provide fast detection in a variety of listening environments. Detection speed can degrade for audio files that have sparse frequency usage (e.g., commentary during a golf broadcast, instrumental music or any audio with long silent pauses).
What environments are best for audio watermark detection?
The audio watermark is designed for quick detection using smartphones and tablets. Generally, detection reliability increases the closer one is to the sound source. Reliability can degrade in extremely noisy environments. We have reliably detected audio watermarks from broadcast audio in living rooms and cars, as well as audio played in retail settings.
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Mobile Application FAQs
Will the Digimarc Discover mobile application read my Digimarc for Images watermarks?
Digimarc for Images (DFI) watermarks are not compatible with the Digimarc Discover reader. DFI watermarks are intended for web usage and are not intended to survive when printed.
How do I use the Digimarc Discover app to detect digital watermarks in printed media?
- 1. First, you must have printed material containing embedded digital signalswatermarks. You can create these using the Digimarc Discover Online Services Portal or for examples you can check out immediately, go to the demo materials page on your desktop computer and print the samples on your color printer, using the highest quality settings.
- 2. Install and launch the Digimarc Discover app on your device. To find and detect embedded digital watermarks in printed material, the app must be in "Look" mode. In Look mode, the camera's video preview will be active.
- In a well-lit area, hold your device steady and parallel to the printed page, starting about 6 inches (15 cm) away, pointing the crosshairs at the center of the watermarked area. If it doesn't detect the watermark right away, slowly move the camera toward the printed piece until you hear the sound or feel the vibration indicating the digital watermark was read. It is important to wait for the device's camera to attain focus. The reading distance is usually between 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm), depending on the device you are using.
- The Digimarc Discover app will connect you to the network service or web site associated with the printed piece.
I cannot read digital watermarks in the sample image. What's wrong?
- It is important to hold the device at the correct distance from the printed page. This distance varies from device to device. If you start 8 inches 20 cm) away and slowly move closer, you should read the watermark between 4 and 8 inches (10 and 15 cm). Also, allow time for the camera to focus on the printed piece and for the auto-exposure to adjust to the lighting.
- Good lighting is also important. A general rule is if your eyes can read the printed page without straining, the device should be able to detect the digital signals. A well-lit page with no shadows reads best. Many devices allow use of the flash LED to improve lighting, if necessary.
- The device should be held parallel to the print. The app works best when the device is not tilted at an angle.
- If the print is on glossy stock, try to position the print away from the direct light source to reduce any glare.
- Point the crosshairs at the center of the watermarked print and not around the edges or corners. The digital watermarks are usually placed throughout the image or article you are reading, but not in the margins, borders or other white space areas.
- It should only take a few attempts before you learn how to position your device for the best results.
How do I use the Digimarc Discover app to detect digital watermarks in audio?
Please update your app to the Discover 4.0 release, which has been optimized for audio watermark detection. First, you need audio content containing embedded digital watermarks. For examples you can check out immediately, go to the demo materials page on your desktop computer.
Navigate to "Listen" mode and you will see a graph of the audio that the device is hearing. While watermarked audio is playing, point your device's microphone toward the source of the audio and try not to obstruct the microphone with your hand.
When an audio watermark is detected, you will see a banner appear at the bottom of the screen with details about the item detected. Tap the banner to connect to the network service or web site associated with the audio watermark.
How do I use Digimarc Discover to identify songs?
Digimarc Discover uses Gracenote MusicID® to identify songs that it can hear with your device's microphone. It is capable of identifying popular songs that are contained in the Gracenote Global Media Database®, but cannot identify songs from live performances.
Please update your app to the Discover 4.0 release, which has been re-designed for hands-free music recognition. Navigate to Listen mode and you will see a graph of the audio that the device is hearing. While music is playing, point your device's microphone toward the source of the audio and try not to obstruct the microphone with your hand.
If the song is successfully identified, you will see a banner appear at the bottom of the screen, identifying the music playing. Tap the banner to see the full details, purchase the track from iTunes, search for artist information, lyrics and videos and share with friends via email, Facebook or Twitter.
I cannot detect digital watermarks or identify music in Listen mode. What's wrong?
Several factors influence watermark detection and music recognition. Generally, detection reliability increases the closer you are to the sound source. Avoid areas with loud conversation and make sure that you are not inadvertently covering the device's microphone. On an iPhone, the microphone is located on the bottom edge on the left side and on an iPad, the microphone is on the top edge when held in portrait mode.
How do I know that listen mode is working? Sometime I have to wait a while before it identifies a song.
Digimarc Discover 4.0 always listens for audio watermarks while in Listen mode — if audio contains a watermark, it will be detected if the audio is clear and the environment is not too noisy. Every time you enter Listen mode — via the Listen tab, resuming the app or unlocking the display — Discover tries to identify if music is playing. If unsuccessful, Discover will pause music recognition until you tap to resume. If successful, keep Listen mode open and wait for Discover to try and identify the next song that plays.
Do I need to be connected to the internet to use the Digimarc Discover app?
Yes, the Digimarc Discover app requires a connection to the Internet to link to enhanced content and to share links with friends. Either your carrier's wireless network or a WiFi connection will work well.
What mobile devices does the Digimarc Discover app support?
The Digimarc Discover app works on the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5, the iPod Touch (4th generation+) and the iPad 2, 3 and Mini. The app requires iOS 6.x and higher.
The Discover app will work on Android phone models running Android OS 2.3 and higher, excluding devices with small screen sizes.
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