Shazam is 20 Years Old #MusicMonday

Of all the things that bubble up in the cultural memory, it may be surprising that the competitive game show Name That Tune, which ran in the 1950s and then again in the 1970s, made a brief return in the 1920s. In this game show, contestants bet on how many notes it would take for them to “name that tune.” Eight notes! Seven! Six! And then some brave soul might bet that they could name that tune in three notes. And now, in the age of the music recognition app Shazam, Name That Tune has a spiritual successor, Beat Shazam. Can you name that tune faster than an algorithm? How does Shazam work, anyhow? Here’s more from CDM:

The first-ever Shazam on the prelaunch public beta came on April 19, 2002, with T. Rex’s “Jeepster.” Here you go, in case that didn’t ring any bells – I’m going to guess that was in a hip Shoreditch venue or something, since the app was born in the UK and this is some British glam rock history

Researcher Avery Li-Chun Wang published the way their original technology works back in 2003. It’s fairly straightforward fingerprinting at its core – you take a spectrogram of the sound, and “fingerprint” that against a database to see if you get a reproducible hash.

And while you’re listening to your new tunes, you can watch the sounds on a tiny Arduino music visualizer, with Adafruit Bicolor LED Square Pixel Matrix, Electret Microphone Amplifier, and Adafruit METRO 328!

Here’s the project!


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