Audio watermarking scheme based on embedding strategy in low frequency components with a binary image

Ergun Erçelebi, Gaziantep Üniversitesi
Leyla Batakçi, Elizabethtown College


With the recent development of information technology and computer network, digital format of data has become more and more popular. However, a major problem faced by digital data providers and owners is protecting data from unauthorized copying and distribution. As a solution to the problem, digital watermark technology is now attracting attention as new method of protection against said unauthorized copying and distribution. The aim of the digital audio watermarking is to take prespecified data that carries certain information and hide it within the audio stream such that it is not audible to the human ear (i.e., transparent) but at the same time renders the file more resistant to removal (i.e., robust). In this paper, we propose a new method for embedding digital watermarks into audio signals in low frequency components, which method mitigates these and other related shortcomings. The proposed method uses the wavelet transform constructed by lifting-based wavelet transform (LBWT) in order to provide a fast implementation between watermark embedding and extraction parts. In the first stage of the proposed method, the original audio host signal is converted to a wavelet domain using LBWT. The signal is thus decomposed into low and high frequency components. Approximation coefficients correspond to low frequency components of the signal. Next, the watermark generated by pseudorandom numbers is embedded into wavelet approximation coefficients of the segmented host audio signal depending on the binary value of the binary image. The reason for embedding the watermark in the low frequency components is that these components' energy is greater than that of high frequency components in such a way that the watermark is inaudible; therefore, it should not alter the audible content and should not be easy to remove. The proposed method uses a binary image to decide whether or not the watermark generated by pseudorandom numbers is embedded in the audio host signal. To evaluate the performance of the proposed audio watermarking method, subjective and objective quality tests including bit error rate (BER) and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) are conducted. The tests' results show that the proposed method yields a high recovery rate after attacks by commonly used audio data manipulations such as low-pass filtering, requantization, resampling and MP3 compression. © 2008 Elsevier Inc.