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 Writing Desk » I'M ALL EARS

 4 Comments- Add comment | Back to Home Written on 16-Jan-2009 by patencia

MattDuffin

Back in my tender pre-adolescence, as soon as my older brothers moved to college taking with them what up to then I thought was our music, I realized I needed some musical independence. I then began buying my own CDs and, as a consequence of this, I went through some very pathetic experiences.

In the quest of trying to recover those songs I loved but-never-knew-whose-songs-they-were (many of them were in my brothers' MIX cassettes), I used to go to the record store and eagerly hummed the melody to the guy in charge. Very frequently, the pretentious twenty-something-super-old guy ended up thinking I was a ridiculous mocosa and I (an even more pretentious preperson) thought he was an ignorant of European new musical trends*. But more importantly, the experience was almost always unsuccessful: in many cases, I had to wait for chance to give me an opportunity to hear the song again and if I was too lucky, someone around could tell me what song it was, so I could go and buy it. Those were clearly not lastfm/spotify years.

Fortunately, new generations will not have to go through this (or this) anymore. Now we have programs like Shazam and Midomi that recognize music tracks just by having someone (or something--a music player) humming or singing them. Moreover, once they identify the track, they display the pertinent info (author, album, etc.) and other links to videos and iTunes.

I've heard about these programs and their virtues before. But I've never tried them until yesterday thanks to Pepe and his iPhone, and I must say it's the closest thing to magic I've seen lately.

"The concept behind Shazam is simple: whenever you hear a song playing and can't identify it--on the car radio, at a friend's house, at a bar--you activate the Shazam application on your mobile phone [or iPhone]. It "listens" to the song for about 30 seconds, then sends a text message to your phone [or shows the info directly if it's an iPhone] identifying the artist and title. Shazam's database contains audio fingerprints for nearly 5 million songs, so there's a pretty good chance of a positive ID.

Midomi, in turn,

"[i]s a classic Web 2.0 service with user generated and social networking for singers and music fans. Their searchable database of music (which their music recognition search engine uses for matching voice search queries) is 100% user-generated - it's been built up entirely by their registered members recording and submitting the music of their choice."

And one important thing: both Shazam and Midomi are FREE.

*I was living in Caracas back then.

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