TrackID - it's pure bloody genius
Sony's implementation of the TrackID music recognition system on the Sony Ericsson W880i is absolutely magical
I spoke too soon about the Sony Ericsson W880i. It might have a keypad and nav controls that only anorexics, concert pianists and small children can use comfortably, but all is forgiven because I've discovered the joy of TrackID.
For the unitiated, TrackID is a song recognition program developed by Gracenote - the company that music software like iTunes calls on when it automatically lists the artist, album and tracks of CD that you rip.
But TrackID takes the magic still further. Say you're in a busy pub and you hear a familiar song on the jukebox - you know the tune but your brain's a blank about the artist or track name.
In the days before TrackID my evening would be partly spoiled by my ongoing attempt to dredge the booze-filled cellars of my synapses trying to unearth the nugget of musical info.
Not any more. I just press a button on my W880i, hold my handset aloft* and in 20 seconds I have a screen containing the artist, album and track name of the elusive tune. It works with just 10-15 seconds of input and in my tests with a variety of music and acoustic environments its proved 100% accurate.
At the moment, the service is free apart from the smallish data download of info from the TrackID server (which stores the musical signature of over 2 million songs).
But you can see the vast financial potential when it's tied in to mobile song downloads - and Sony's implementation of the technology means that its phones could be a very lucrative record shop window.