Tuesday, September 22, 2009

«iPhone: Midomi»

I have an iPhone. Not one of those newfangled1 3GS phones, but 3G isn't even available in this town anyway. I also have no cell plan for the iPhone, so it's basically a glorified iPod Touch. But hey, I can still use WiFi.

One app I have that I'm pretty happy with is Midomi2. It listens using the microphone built into the phone and identifies what song is currently playing. They say on the website it takes 5 seconds. In my experience, it takes anywhere between 8 and 20 seconds. With songs that start out slow, it may fail to identify it until the main part of the song is playing. I've also had a couple of false matches, but a re-try usually returns the correct song.

I'm actually surprised at how well it works. Unlike some of the music identifying apps out there, Midomi doesn't use the lyrics for identification. That means it can identify instrumental music as well. I've tested it with the music at the end of a movie during the credits, and most of the time it will identify the song, and even list the soundtrack album for that movie. You don't even have to hold it up to the speakers for it to work, either. Background noise or people speaking in the background can throw it off, though.

Understandably, it doesn't have a clue about some of the obscure songs I have. Like "We Like the Moon" or the "Soluble Song". But those are by Joel Veitch, just a random British person (emphasis on random). It does however, recognize "Still Alive", the credit music for the game Portal. But with a catch: it brings up the version sung by Jonathan Coulton (the writer of the song). For remixes, it usually just brings up the original song.

My favorite feature is when you don't have any connectivity. It will record and save it until you do have a connection. That's a big plus for me.

As a testament to how well it works, it correctly identifies this song (if you can even call it a song) no matter what part of it is playing:
Chacarron Macarron - With Lyrics In Video

1: I've been seeing the word "newfangled" all over the place lately, so I figured I'd use it, too.
2: The extremely observant of you will notice in the link to Midomi, the "from" url parameter says This is NOT a paid endorsement or review of Midomi. I just happened to notice that parameter in their url and figured I'd screw with their tracking metrics.


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