A method for characterizing and identifying audio material using reduced-information audio characterizations based on auditory scene analysis is presented. In the method described, a single or multi-channel audio signal is analyzed and the location and duration of the individual audio auditory events are identified. The auditory events are used to create a reduced-information, audio signature that can be used to determine whether one audio signal is derived from another audio signal. The audio signal comparison removes or minimizes the effect of temporal shift or delay on the audio signals, calculates a measure of similarity, and compares the measure of similarity against a threshold providing a fast, highly accurate and automatic method of signal identification.
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