Shazam and Midomi: Sounds like a magic trick, but it’s mobile technology voodoo

Recognise music anywhere

I’ve been playing with a few Apps for my new iPhone and there’s some nice stuff out there. Netvibes, Remote, and Facebook are on my “keep” list and one of these will be next.

Shazam and Midomi have slightly different features sets but both use some very clever technologies to recognise music; and ask what to do with it if identified.

The camera work is shaky and this guy sounds pretty stoned but here’s Shazam in action.

This brave fella called Soldier Knows Best (great name) bust out his singing skills for a demo Midomi.

Both are free downloads, although Shazam only for a limited time. Maybe they’re both trying to get me hooked before they charge.

Some other thoughts of interest i’ve seen:

If Apple was smart, they would keep these music apps free. It is just another portal for people to purchase music from iTunes which of course, will make them a profit. If they start charging, they might as well start charging just to have the iTunes app on our computers.

I would think that Apple would be smart to negotiate a one-time fee, carry the cost themselves, and continue to reap the benefits.

Maybe Apple will look to buy-up one service to integrate and offer it as part of iTunes. Anyway, take a look.

Shazam at the iTunes App Store:

Midomi at the iTunes App Store:

More info:

PicLens shapes up to deliver the most immersive web experience so far.

PicLens is a free plugin that transforms your browser into a full-screen 3D experience for sites such as Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, Google Images, MySpace and more.

Piclens was always an esssential plugin, but this release includes new features such as video playback and search functionality. YouTube is your friend.

IE and Firefox for Mac+PC have already been updated and using Piclens with Firefox 3 on Leopard is a super smooth experience. Safari should follow soon.

Grab it now:

UPDATE: PicLens is now called Cooliris and Version 1.8 is now fully compatible with Safari 3.1

Google launches a virtual world, called Lively.

Google launches Lively

Google is launching a new service called Lively, a browser based virtual world add-on that lets users create and customize avatars and worlds, interact with other users, and generally have a richer social interaction than is offered by GTalk today.

This isn’t yet a full Second Life competitor. There’s no single world, for example, where users can move around. But it’s easy to see Google evolving this into a single online world. And then, of course, selling advertising into it.

Google Lively:

More info:

Indent for The Stanley Kurick Season on More 4

Channel 4 has painstakingly recreated the set of Stanley Kubricks horror film The Shining, complete with look-a-likes of the crew and cast members including Shelley Duvall, to promote a More 4 season of the director’s films.

The 65-second promotional spot has been filmed as a one-take tracking shot through the recreation of The Shining.

Viewers get Kubrick’s point of view as he walks through the set, ending up in his director’s chair as the crew prepare to shoot the famous scene of Danny Torrance, the son of Duvall and Jack Nicholson’s characters, riding round and round the deserted corridors of the Overlook Hotel.

The promo, filmed as a single tracking shot with a cast of 55 actors, was meticulously researched to “remain as faithful as possible to the period in which it was shot and the culture of the British studio in the late 1970s”.

Channel 4 Creative Services, the broadcaster’s in-house creative resource, cast people who resembled Kubrick’s own crew including his script lady, assistant director and director of production, John Alcott, who also worked on films including 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange with the director.

Look-a-likes were also found for Duvall, Danny Lloyd, who played Danny Torrance, and the twin girls who appear fleetingly in the film.

Most of the equipment that appears in the promotional clip was actually used in the filming of The Shining. Many of the props that appear, including the tricycle and Kubrick’s script, were produced for the promotional clip based on photos or sketches from the late director’s archives.

The spot, which was shot over two days at London’s Bray Studios, was filmed using a 25mm Cooke lens — a favourite of Kubrick’s. It promotes the season of 10 Kubrick films to be broadcast on More 4 from July 15.

John Ronson’s documentary, Citizen Kubrick, will air ahead of the start of the first film.

Watch ‘The Making of The Shining’ by Vivian Kubrick:

Watch ‘The Making of The Shining’ with audio commentary:

Show Us a Better Way. What would you create with public information?

The UK Power of Information Taskforce is challenging developers to mash up their public data. Today it launched Show Us a Better Way, collecting ideas and offering £20,000 to develop the best ones. There have already been 50 ideas submitted. The list of ideas is public.

To show they are serious, the Government is making available gigabytes of new or previously invisible public information especially for people to use in this competition.

Dance Off with the Star Wars Stars 2008

This is part of “Snig and Oopla’s Hyperspace Hoopla” during Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As an added bonus it’s an 80’s music special.

The video’s pretty odd anyway… then at 2m55secs Darth Vader appears through the sliding doors and absolutely nails the show.

At the end he tops it off with a “few words” about his win, then turns and nips off to interrogate Princess Leia, find a secret rebel base, and destroy Alderaan.

Originally via dead insect