Friday, July 24, 2009

TrackID Review / MusicID comes to iPhone

I'm currently waiting for my iPhone 3G S to arrive at the end of this month and the one application that I was going to miss from my current Sony Ericsson W880i phone was the TrackID application.

What's that? Well, how many times have you been caught in this scenario - You are listening to the radio and hear this cool tune that you really like. You wait for the song to end hoping that the DJ will say what's the name of the song and artist. Unfortunately, it goes straight into commercials or the next song on the playlist fires up or the DJ just doesn't give you the info you want (How rude!). Sound familiar? Well, it has happened to me a countless number of times.

That's where TrackID came in and saved the day. TrackID actually uses a technology called MusicID from Gracenote, which utilizes "multi-step recognition method to enable identification, categorization, and organization of digital music". Ok, sounds funky. So what does it do already?

Well, what this little application claims to do is to identify any song and artist by just taking a 5-second sample of the song and then, using any available data service on your phone, connect to the MusicID server. MusicID will then do it's magic and display the results of the search on your phone's screen.

Sounds too good to be true right? Well, I was unconvinced as well, so I put the application though a series of tests, including putting on some local (though popular) songs and some Japanese and Mandarin songs.

To my surprise, TrackID was successful every time!

I then tried it out in my car, I fired up the radio and tried identifying a song while I was driving (background noise). No problem! Took a turn and had the indicator clicking in the background - bingo again!

Over the course of 1+ years using the application, the service has occasionally not been able to find a match and I have gotten the wrong result a couple of times before, but all in all, it has been very accurate and a very useful application.

So when I finally decided it was time to upgrade my phone and chose going the way of the Apple, I was quite bummed that I'd be losing this app.

Well, I am bummed no longer as I found out yesterday that Gracenote has released a version for the iPhone as well! Cost is USD2.99, but it's a small cost to pay I guess.

I also just found out that there is another similar and free service available called Shazam. So I'll be trying both these services out and posting my comparison later.

Stay tuned!

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