I found an amazing bit of free software on the iTunes App store called Shazam. The idea of the software is that you send them a sample of some music, and they’ll figure out the Artist, Album, Trackname and so on. On the iPhone, what you do is fireup the Shazam App, click “Tag Now” button which starts the program recording music. It records between 8 – 15 seconds ( depending on how you configure it ) then sends that sample ( or maybe just a fingerprint of the sample ) off to the Shazam service on the internetz. A few seconds later, the program displays the artist, album, track and coverart. It it has any, it’ll also send links to listen to/buy the song on iTunes and links to YouTube to watch the filmclip.
In the few times I’ve used it, the hit rate has been very high. It has missed some tracks ( mostly Finnish tracks ) but overall it’s been quite amazing. I gave it a road test today standing in a café wondering what the music playing was. Fired up Shazam, and less than 30 seconds later, I’ve got all the track details, artist and album art. This track had no links to iTunes or YouTube unfortunately. Really quite a remarkable service.