Monday, July 21, 2008


Their name is Shazam Entertainment. And, they have a peculiar biz model. They wrote this iPhone app that turns your iPhone into a music track identifier (from a database of more than 4 million tracks, they boast). It works like this... you hear a song somewhere, your radio, TV, a illegal MP3 with the wrong title, etc... and you wonder what the song or singer might be. You press the Shazam app button on your iPhone, and Shazam starts recording the sound (keep quiet otherwise you'll distort the sound too much and it won't be able to find out accurately). Provided you are internet connected (wifi, EDGE or 3G) Shazam sends the recorded sound to an engine in the cloud that quickly analyzes the sample and sends back full data of the song, name, artists, even CD/LP cover illustrations. And if you like it to the point you wanna buy it, it links you to iTunes to place your order and download it on the spot!

Now, listen! I don't know how often this happens to you, to wanna find out about some good song you are listening to... it happens to me more and more as I age and my memory is no more what it used to be... The app is a free download and I still wonder how they make their money these folks from Shazam Entertainment. From their homepage they appear to only have this one app! That's it. I am sure though that there's more behind it. If you got to store digitally encoded 4 million tracks on rapidly accessible storage and need to run simultaneous transactions from requests around the globe in the hundreds (or thousands) at any given moment, then these folks must have aligned some serious horsepower in terms of host servers and CPUs to run the service.

I wish I was twenty again and my dad was a rich dude... all this high tech and global connectivity is so much fun to be around nowadays. I can't get it that so many youths in our times are suicidal and take their own lives. We couldn't afford even a TV in my times... we got palmtop devices now that tell you where you are if your are lost, tell you what songs are played anywhere from the sound they are 'listening to', show you the lyrics so you can sing along while... driving (well, not you, I reckon), keep you busy with stupid games if you are bored to death, tell you how and where to invest your money if you got some spare, show you the latest YouTube insanity... and so much more. The limit is a geek software developer's wildest imagination. What are we gonna see next?

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