**We have entered the Appathon competition**

You were all fab last night – I think we did pretty well learning about facial recognition, Shazam, Google Goggles, Amazon Fire Phone, Google reverse image, inventing an app, designing a logo, writing a script and filming our submission – all within one hour! The competition entry & video link from Youtube has now been submitted so let’s wait and see how you do. Regardless, your ideas were superb & well thought out. Thank you 🙂

And keep thinking about App ideas – just because the competition’s over doesn’t mean our brains can go to sleep!

I found out a bit more about how Shazam works from Gizmodo:

“There is a cool service called Shazam, which take a short sample of music, and identifies the song. There are couple ways to use it, but one of the more convenient is to install their free app onto an iPhone. Just hit the “tag now” button, hold the phone’s mic up to a speaker, and it will usually identify the song and provide artist information, as well as a link to purchase the album.

What is so remarkable about the service, is that it works on very obscure songs and will do so even with extraneous background noise. I’ve gotten it to work sitting down in a crowded coffee shop and pizzeria.

So I was curious how it worked, and luckily there is a paper written by one of the developersexplaining just that. Of course they leave out some of the details, but the basic idea is exactly what you would expect: it relies on fingerprinting music based on the spectrogram.

Here are the basic steps:

1. Beforehand, Shazam fingerprints a comprehensive catalog of music, and stores the fingerprints in a database.
2. A user “tags” a song they hear, which fingerprints a 10 second sample of audio.
3. The Shazam app uploads the fingerprint to Shazam’s service, which runs a search for a matching fingerprint in their database.
4. If a match is found, the song info is returned to the user, otherwise an error is returned.”

(The fingerprint bit is pretty complicated but Tim say he will happily explain it to anyone who asks…!)


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About nic schofield

I’m a primary schools computing technician, interested in teaching children, their teachers & their parents, about IoT, computational thinking and implications of technology on their lives and encouraging children to think critically about technology to influence change in the world.

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