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How does Shazam work? It's pretty darn cool...


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How does Shazam work? It's pretty darn cool...
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2008-12-23, 20:34

Okay, so I've seen the iPhone 3G commercial, I've heard folks here talk about it, etc.

Tonight I'm sitting at my pub (yeah, I drink around the holidays ) and this vixen is playing some really neat songs on the jukebox (old classic country and R&B, oddly enough...a really neat mix of pedal steel-dripping stuff, followed by a funky-as-can-be Wilson Pickett tune; I was pretty much in heaven).

Anyway, many of the songs playing weren't known to me (very few "hits", even though I recognized the voices singing: George Jones, Otis Redding, Conway Twitty, Wilson Pickett, Tammy Wynette, etc.).

Remembering that I'd downloaded/installed Shazam a week or so ago, I thought "okay, here's a perfect time to test...".

I'll be damned if it didn't nail everything (about six songs total, spanning the more obscure end of two genres not exactly "done to death" these days: 60's-era country and R&B/soul). She wasn't playing Kenny Chesney, Snoop Dogg, etc., after all. And I'm a fan of this stuff, and even I hadn't heard 3-4 of the songs (which was the reason I fired up Shazam to begin with).

I was impressed!

But, what impressed me more is that one of the songs was someone doing a cover of a famous George Jones song. I expected Shazam to get the song, as it's well known, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it didn't come back with the George Jones version, but, rather, the actual version of the person doing the cover.

So that got me thinking...how in the hell, based on the quick 20-second(?) "scan" it performs, does this app do what it does?

It can't be solely based on lyrics because it was bringing back the cover version, sung by a lesser-known artist, and not the original hit by the original artist.

How in the world does it know this, the difference between the original artist who made the song famous and a version sung by someone else? What all is this app analyzing or listening to/for?





Once again, I'm easily amused at times. But this was pretty neat, even by my low, lax standards...



I can see this little app being all kinds of useful/handy in situations like this! Saves me from having to walk across the entire joint to read the jukebox, every time I heard something I liked...
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remlemasi
Formerly “theelmerguy”
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Irvine, California
 
2008-12-23, 20:55

In my understanding, it doesn't work by analyzing the words or even the melody. Rather, it is very impersonal in that it merely records the frequencies outputted (everything, instruments and all) and matches it against a ginormous database of songs. Britney herself probably wouldn't be able to bring up her own songs because it works only with recorded and published works.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2008-12-23, 21:00

Ah...

So it's all technical and scientific.

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apple007
BANNED
I am worthless beyond hope.
 
Join Date: May 2006
 
2008-12-23, 21:26

And it is, indeed, "ginormous": They just added 2 million more tracks to their database, bringing it to over 8 million.
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jdcfsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida
 
2008-12-23, 21:36

I like to believe it's magic and just go by that.
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remlemasi
Formerly “theelmerguy”
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Irvine, California
 
2008-12-23, 21:54

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcfsu View Post
I like to believe it's magic and just go by that.
SHAZAM!!!
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adamb
Formerly “adambrennan”
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Northern Ireland
 
2008-12-23, 22:37

It is brilliant. I used it just the afternoon to identify Basshunter - Jingle Bells

I take no responsibility for any ear bleeding that may occur when listening to this attrocity.
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2008-12-23, 22:52

I really needed Shazam the other day but didn't have it installed. What a bummer... I remember Verizon had one these programs in their commercials before, too.

I found the song finally, Run D.M.C. - Christmas in Hollis, it reminds me of Die Hard.

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2008-12-23, 23:02

Ha...exactly! That's what Argyle was playing in the limo, wasn't it? Or that was on the audio track/soundtrack, anyway.

Such a good, fun movie to watch this time of year.

"Ho Ho Ho...now I have a machine gun!"



The ultimate good-time popcorn flick.
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Miko
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
 
2008-12-23, 23:03

Do the words Music Genome Project ring a bell? Pandora uses it as well to gather music that you might like based of the artist you choose when creating artist stations.
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2008-12-23, 23:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
Ha...exactly! That's what Argyle was playing in the limo, wasn't it? Or that was on the audio track/soundtrack, anyway.

Such a good, fun movie to watch this time of year.

"Ho Ho Ho...now I have a machine gun!"



The ultimate good-time popcorn flick.
Yeah, Argyle was put it on when they were leaving the airport - it was on a :gasp: tape. He he
Yeah haha, its a classic and so much better than the others in the series.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miko View Post
Do the words Music Genome Project ring a bell? Pandora uses it as well to gather music that you like based of the artist you choose when creating artist stations.
Yes, they do. I was aware of this too, it calculates what kind of bmp, frequencies, etc are to your liking and searches the db for other similar songs, yes?

EDIT: on a side note, is it possible to strikeout words on our forum?

User formally known as Sh0eWax
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2008-12-23, 23:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miko View Post
Do the words Music Genome Project ring a bell?
No.
  quote
Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2008-12-23, 23:19

I know this is going to be off topic, but I don't want to start a new thread, if someone has the answer to my question feel free to PM me instead of writing back here.

What is the licensing regard app store apps? If I buy a copy of an application for $4, do I only have the right to install it on one of my iPhones, or can I copy it to another. What's the policy here?

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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Bill M
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2008-12-23, 23:20

Actually Shazam uses:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoustic_fingerprint
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2008-12-23, 23:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maciej View Post
EDIT: on a side note, is it possible to strikeout words on our forum?
No.








(Just quote me to see how it's done. )
  quote
jdcfsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida
 
2008-12-24, 00:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M View Post
I'm still leaning toward magic.
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Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2008-12-24, 15:00

Oh yeah, Shazam is amazing. It impressed the hell out of me when it correctly identified a banghra playing over the tinny speakers in a loud Indian restaurant a couple weeks ago. That was a stress test.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2008-12-24, 15:04

I'm going somewhere this evening where I'll get to share it (okay, show it off).

The house I'll be is quite fond of their XM system, and always have old big band or jazz piped through the place.

We'll see if this Shazam knows its Glenn Miller from its Wes Montgomery...



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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2008-12-24, 17:14

I will say that it doesn't know Christian Rock very well. Not that I'm surprised. It did a pretty good job picking up the secular music in iTunes on my system though. Thanks for bringing this little app up. My wife and I will be using it more and more no doubt considering the number of times we've asked each other what song was playing.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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