The music industry has been waging a war against ‘stream-ripping’ sites that help people to turn YouTube videos, SoundCloud streams and other streaming sources into MP3 downloads. Should the industry also be thinking about the implications of stream-stripping though?

A site called AudioStrip pinged our radar this morning (via its listing on the Product Hunt website) promising the ability to “extract vocals and instrumentals from any uploaded audio or YouTube song for free”.

The service is using the code from Spleeter, an audio separation tool developed and released by Deezer in 2019, to do its work. And that work seems good: it took a couple of minutes to strip a clear vocal from The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber’s current global hit ‘Stay’ when we tested it out.

Audio separation technology is a fascinating area, and a useful one for the industry in a number of ways – for example creating stems from recordings when they can’t be made in other ways.

However, we wonder what rightsholders (and, indeed, YouTube) will think about a tool that makes it so easy to strip audio out of any commercial track.

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