Greg Gannicott’s Blog


Shazam & Hollyoaks (& Last.fm)

Posted in Technology by Greg Gannicott on June 10, 2009
Tags: , , ,

Yesterday I finally got my iPhone – its fantastic! But that’s a post for another time.

One of the apps I’ve downloaded for it is Shazam.

I remember hearing about Shazam (or at least a service like it) a few years back. The idea was, you hear a song but you don’t know what its called. You ring a number, put the phone’s voice piece to the speaker and Shazam would tell you what it was. Neat, but at the time I considered it a novelty. To inconvenient to be useful.

Jump forward a few years and Apple have changed the smart phone market with their iPhone. Suddenly Shazam is more convenient to use, and thanks to the open web has more information to back the service up (beyond the name of the song).

I’ve been trying to think of when I’d use Shazam. First thought was when listening to the radio. The thing is, if the DAB Digital radio display doesn’t tell you what the song is, the DJ likely will.

Hollyoaks

Earlier today though I remembered that every time I watch Hollyoaks, there tends to be a song in the soundtrack (it sounds wrong calling it a soundtrack as its just a tv show!) that I really like. It happened the other day with a song that sounded like Coldplay doing a decent impression of Radiohead (and sounding better than usual as a result). I tried to find out the artist/song but the unusually the www was unable to help. So it occured to me, why not put Shazam to use on Hollyoaks.

So at the start of tonight’s episode I got Shazam going and touched ‘Tag Now’ (strange terminology). I had the phone with me on the sofa (ie. I didn’t put it up to the speaker) and shockingly it got it right! (Turin Brakes). Amazing!

So hopefully now I’ve thought of a use that works for me, I’ll actually use it and it will go beyond novelty status.

last.fm

I think a better use could be found for Shazam though. I try to scrobble as much music on last.fm as possible. I like stats. This works fine when I’m either listening to my iPod, or iTunes on my PC. However, if I’m listening to a CD or record (as I often do), my listens go unscrobbled. Wouldn’t it be neat if last.fm used Shazam to scrobble the music I listen to beyond my PC?

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4 Responses to 'Shazam & Hollyoaks (& Last.fm)'

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  1. Chris Scott said,

    Hi Greg, found your blog by accident!, anyway i also heard about Shazam some time ago but have yet to use it no windows mobile version :-(. Have you used Spotify?

    • Greg said,

      Hi Chris.

      I’m going to guess you found my blog via my Twitter profile?

      With regards to Windows Mobile, all I can say is for the love of God get an iPhone. I think you’ll love it. I certainly do. By a massive distance the best phone I’ve owned.

      I’ve tried Spotify but I haven’t used it much. I’m still quite happy to shell £8 out on an album unheard. I might not like it first few listens but with further listens it might be fantastic. That’s how the best albums usually work. Spotify would likely stop me from doing that.

      • Chris Scott said,

        Actually i was googling around and stumbled on a blog you had posted on, and followed the link ! small world

        I ended up going the other way and getting the new android powered phone (HTC Hero), and my god how much nicer to use than my old one WM, plus shazam is available for it :-). I could be tempted into getting a 2nd hand iPhone at some point just to play with the app store

        As for spotify, i can see you argument indeed one of my favorite ever albums i didn’t like at all at first, but i like that fact of quick legal access to exactly the song you might want to listen to, plus albums if say i don’t have my own copy to hand. Last.fm and pandora are brilliant services, but being able to choose exactly what you want rather than similar things is rather enticing. Plus shared playlists can be nice, check @fridaytunes on twitter (admittedly they seems to be losing steam with new ideas)

      • Greg said,

        An Android phone would have been my next choice.

        That’s as much for ‘religious’ reasons for anything else though. I don’t like the fact is a closed platform in that Apple determine which apps can be used and are quite restrictive in terms of what the developer can do with the phone.

        Google on the other hand let anything in, and it seems gives the developers complete control (eg. the Google Voice software apparantly replaces the existing calling software and integrates nicely (if only we could get it here in the UK!). With Apple on the other hand, not only would voice not be able to integrate but its been refused by Apple anyway!!

        I believe there are other perks to Android too.

        When my iPhone is up for renewal I would be tempted by an android but I’m far from sure. I think the selection of apps on Android would have to improve. The good thing about the iPhone is you know if there’s an app out there – and Apple allow it – it’ll be developed for the iPhone first, others after.


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