Greg Gannicott’s Blog


Shazam & Hollyoaks (& Last.fm)

Posted in Technology by Greg Gannicott on June 10, 2009
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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?

A Wiki for Set Lists

Posted in Music,Technology by Greg Gannicott on April 16, 2008
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At the end of my Elbow Set List post, I mentioned the idea of having a wiki for people to submit set lists for gigs. I assume such a site doesn’t exist as whenever I search for set lists I’ve never come across a site that is dedicated to the task. If I do find the set list I’m after, they usually show up on forums (if I’m lucky).

I mentioned in the post that it would be a tough task for anyone to create a wiki based set list site, as it would require a large number users to get anything useful going which would attract others to use and grow it.

After I wrote that post I gave it a little more thought. I took the theoretical site a step further. If you were to have a site dedicated to set lists submitted by fans you had just as well allow users to submit reviews for the gig as well – the two types of data are natural partners. I pretty much instantly dismissed that idea though on the grounds that last.fm already takes care of providing a means for fans to post reviews regarding gigs. What’s more, it’s got a pretty comprehensive list of gigs for that to run off of ……

Have you filled in the dots yet? Last.fm would be a great place to hold set lists! All the required supporting data is in place, its got a large user base and it already encourages users to update data on the site, whether that’s via a wiki, posting a journal or through other means. All it would take would be for the developers at last.fm to add a section for set lists to their page designed to document gigs and hopefully from their users will take control and populate the lists after the gigs.

The data itself has niche appeal, so all the more reason for piggy backing it on to something with large appeal: last.fm