Gracenote provides music, video and sports metadata and automatic content recognition (ACR) technologies to entertainment services and companies, worldwide. Gracenote began in 1993 as an open-source project involving a CD player program named xmcd and an associated database named CDDB. xmcd and CDDB were created by Ti Kan and Steve Scherf.
Gracenote’s music recognition technologies compare digital music files to a worldwide database of music information, enabling digital audio devices to identify songs. The company licenses its technologies to developers of consumer electronics devices and online media players, who integrate the technologies into media players, home and car stereos, and digital music devices. The company operates five businesses: Music, Video, Sports, Automotive and Video Personalization.
Headquartered in Emeryville, California, the company employs approximately 1,700 people in 20 offices around the world. In 2014 Tribune Media Company bought Gracenote from Sony Corporation of America. In December 2016, Tribune announced that it had reached an agreement to sell Gracenote to Nielsen Holdings, PLC. for $560 million.