Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Music Recognition Redefined – Introducing SoundHound! #ShazamFail #SoundHoundFTW

August 17th, 2010

Yea… I cannot start off telling you all about recognition redefined without.. first giving you a story about how I came to learn of this amazing tool to battle all tools!

“Ooh! What’s that playing on the radio! Wow, let me see… (Pulls out iPhone4, loads up search and types in shaz – Select Shazam and select “Tag”) [listening… listening… listening…]

You are limited to 5 tags per month!

?!?!?WTF?!?!? I’m limited to 5 per tags per month?!? Okay fine.. sure that was a complete surprise, but I’ll download the pay version and finish tagging my song there. 

Just say no!

HI IM SHAZAM AND EVEN IF YOU PAY YOU STILL GET ADS – JUST LIKE CLASSMATES.COM  Seriously?!   Yea, #fail multiplied by #fail equals me going to look for another solution.   And it was then (that I complained about this on Twitter) that @jeffcoffee suggested I check out SoundHound!  

 SoundHound on the go!SoundHound Mobile

Okay, let me first off set the disclaimer:

There is a ‘5 per month’ limit on the Free version of SoundHound as well, but I was already in the market for a new product which clearly was NOT Shazam.

So, I load up the app and I get splashed with this screen

SoundHound Splash Screen SoundHound and bad singing of Yellow Submarine SoundHound finding Yellow Submarine SoundHound Share Song SoundHound Twitter Integration 

First of all, let me just say.   Whoa!  I decide to click “Tap Here” and I proceed to sing the Beatles “The Yellow Submarine” (I did consider filming me doing that… for your sake, I didn’t ;))

Lo and behold shortly into the song, BAM! It recognized it from my very own (at this point out of tune voice)  Wow! I should share this feat with someone shouldn’t I!? Ooh! Twitter and FB integration!  Yea, that’s the cost of doing business though.    But what if I don’t know the name of the song… all I can really remember is an artist…

Speak the name of your artist

With the ease of knowing ‘words’ I simply say a song name or an artist name by clicking on the “Title or Artist” section and bam! I’m presented with Michael Jackson!

SoundHound Settings

And while it is very nice that they have the settings easy enough to configure inside of the Settings section… the following is something I tested (both from my iPhone and my iPad) Something I had wished Shazam could do.. but never did, and frankly I don’t care if they ever support it at this point!

Suppose the following situation exists:   You’re listening to a song out of iTunes/iPod on your device, or even listening to something on Pandora! And you’re saying “Man, I wish I had the lyrics to that song, or knew what album it was off of, or other details” etc etc..  So you go and launch Shazam and immediately all sound CEASES to operate.  WTF?!? That’s kind of dismissing!

SoundHound Now Playing!

I welcome you to this feature in SoundHound called “Now Playing!”   Yes, this screen shot is from my iPad because it looks soooooo much cooler in that sense ;) But it works JUST as well on the iPhone (I guarantee :))

What's Hot with SoundHound (iPad edition) What's Hot with SoundHound (iPhone Edition)

And the last thing I’d like to share from my playing with this, is the “What’s Hot” “UnderPlayed” and “Just found by Users” options.  As you can see the iPad version looks a lot sweeter than the iPhone version… :)

And last but not least, I’d like to share some of the ‘highlights’ mentioned from their actual website which incase I missed any of this, you have it here! :)

Soundhound on Android Free Version of SoundHound
Now Available for iOS and Android


Blazing fast music identification
Sing & Hum recognition
Voice-directed music search
In-app lyrics

Special on iPad:

Big, beautiful lyrics and music videos
The SoundHound Ticker

Version 3.3.1 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
Version 2.0.1 for Android

– SoundHound (free): 5 IDs per month
Available on the App Store

– SoundHound ?: unlimited
Available on the App Store

Soundhound on iOS

Oh, and let’s not ignore the one feature (which seemed to be overlooked in too many ways in the features…)

Instantly Launch a Pandora Station (SoundHound)

Instantly launch a Pandora Station!!!

Okay..  I think that is enough… I’ll let you tell me your favorite functions, features and otherwise.   If you found this useful at all, and if you kick the ‘”Shazam” habit, let me know.  If you’re from Shazam I’d love to hear your feedback as well. :) 

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Posted in Apple, Free, Geek, Google, iPhone, Technology, WTF | Comments (2)

Google’s new Slogan is “Don’t be innovative” #Buzz #Wave #Fail grin

February 10th, 2010

Disclaimer: I like google, they’ve produced some amazing innovative things [IN THE PAST], but the past year or so has been a horrible game of Catch Up, as if they’re reading the newspapers about what’s been popular for a year and decide “Let’s make a knock off TJ Maxx version of something successful” and I’m sorry but it isn’t working!

Hi Google, you may know me… I use your Analytics, I host email off of your gmail redirectors, I also take advantage of numerous apps as well!

I feel it’s important that we discuss a number of… pursuits you’ve made in the most recent past.   Let’s start with…

Google Wave (-25)

WTF? I don’t want to go too much into this, because I think it’s been said by a lot of people.  Definitely, well done on mashing up a bunch of functionality very poorly to lump it together in an even more mismanaged interface.    We won’t discuss this any further.  I just wonder when it’ll be seen for the fail it clearly is, OR you actually innovate and make it into something successful.

Google Voice +-0

Hey! This is quite possibly one of the best things you’ve done in a long while! Sure it isn’t innovative – But it IS useful, in numerous ways most of which are likely not the intended usage, grin.   So, well done on executing a ‘strategy’ which has been done poorly for a very long time.  There’s a lot of potential there, and in the right cross-hairs it can integrate well, but innovation it is not.

Google Mail +-0

I like Google Mail, it’s like the Google version of Hotmail and Yahoo mail – Again, it’s not innovative, but definitely a useful strategy for getting consumers over to your network.  I know how the backend mail storage is handled and I actually find that quite nice and promising.  So innovative on the back-end, but from a ‘user’ stand point, there is no clear innovation which really stands out here.  Oh, integrating Google Talk into it? Excellent, Hey, wait, isn’t that like Exchange with Office Communicator? Yea, again nice catch up :)

Google Buzz (-50) WTF

Oh I get it! You think that by adding Facebook and Twitter together you’ll get Super Twitter Facebookery! Yea, totally. Following that logic, if I combine bugs with lightning, I should get lightning bugs.   But sadly, jumping 2-3 years late into something you PREVIOUSLY failed with Jaiku and trying to put some ‘Buzz’ around it by calling it Buzz? +1 in Marketing name Innovation, but a absolute FAIL on setting a clear direction, strategy and executing on it.   Just as an FYI: A majority of people use Twitter and Facebook as a means of communicating with a community, peers and others – and frankly if I wanted a consolidated source of whatever kind of ‘direction’ you’re claiming to project with Buzz – Err, I think I just described FriendFeed! Way to play catch up twice!

Google Android (-5)

Now you’re just taking the piss.   3 years after the release of the iPhone you announce Android! It may as well have been 300 years, because it’s pretty clear that in the most recent round of recession based layoffs that all of the talent which would have made the Android a complete success were no longer there. Grin.  This whole post may come across as negative, but in actuality it’s just an honest reflection of a constant (and moreso recently) failure to understand your audience, or I guess to understand we’re not simply idiots, we ARE buying Vision when we buy android, however you’re giving us a myopic vision so far filled with cataracts on the horizon.

Google Maps +1

I like and use Google Maps, though I wish you were a tad more respectful for preferences, to the kind of things I get out of Yahoo Maps.   You really took it up a notch here with Google Streetview, while that did nudge on some people’s ‘”Privacy” rights and violations, it did provide a vehicle for really breaking down barriers of ‘streets’ to bringing ‘locations’ to the masses of the world.   Why can’t you take this kind of strategy which said “Let’s do something like no other” and apply it to other areas, where you’re playing apparently LAME copycat games.

Google Search +5

To say I don’t use Google Search is like saying “Oh yea, I use Bing for everything”, which is clearly a joke.  Hey, I love Microsoft, and I absolutely love some of the innovations around Bing! Now make the content relevant to ME and we might be getting somewhere.  But I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have to search 25 pages in to find something I CARE about, whereas Google? You have my option on the first page? What’s that? It’s even in the top 5 positions, 95% of the time? Thanks Google!  It’s almost like this was the bread and butter you built your business on, but I digress.    You haven’t really innovated anything new in this space in recent times, other than “What’s local” and while you’ve kept up appearances of keeping the upper hand over all of the other search engines, I’m not saying I expect more from the search engine capability – But it may be time to see how you can leverage this to improve your other solutions and innovate! Oh and not through senseless tat like I’ve mentioned above.

Google BlogSpot “Blogger” +-You Don’t deserve a rating

I don’t think there is any lack of google searches you can find which won’t tell you just how much I HATE BlogSpot.   I’m sure it’s all fine and dandy for people who find WordPress or TypePad (Yea, I don’t like you either TypePad, but for different reasons) difficult.   However, Your FORCED and I mean FORCED like in Microsoft Style “Make me login with my Passport to try to do ANYTHING” submission you force upon me to comment on people’s blogs? Seriously? Hey, let’s CONSIDER for a moment open standards.  The credentials I use 99% of the time which happen to be tied to my domain do not automatically pass through when I hit a Blogger based site, and it wants to comment with the wrong creds.  I find the system doesn’t then let me comment using another set of credentials, I get frustrated, I don’t comment and I further go on hating BlogSpot.  Perhaps this is just a poor attempt at integrating Blogger (Who was decent BEFORE you purchased it) into the fold of the trillion other apps you have out here – Ooh, perhaps you should non-innovate on something “like” Microsoft Passport, but one which doesn’t suck like Microsoft’s or your own today! That’d be a non-innovation, but frankly, just opening up a Facebook/Twitter oAuth sounds like a better idea, grin.

Google Chrome +-0

Two years ago, I might have given this a plus, but seriously.   I do like the description on the google options page “A browser built for speed, stability and security” Strangely, three things it doesn’t exactly do very well.    Speed is AMAZING if I’m a single threaded boy living in a single threaded world, however as my usage goes up, scalability (not even mentioned!) goes through the floor, and with it goes Speed and Stability.   It’s because of that I cannot even begin to imagine it being appropriate for an audience like me.   I wasn’t even a “casual user” as I adopted the full use of Chrome 100% of the time, and found that I was using it for 98% of all of my web traffic, until I encountered scalability fail, and that story I’ll end there :)    The real story behind Chrome is a ‘competitive keeping up appearances battle with Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer’, but it isn’t exactly what I would call an innovative browser in any sense of the word, Sorry.

I could literally go on forever, because frankly Google has a lot of stuff, but I think I’ll end it on this one last ‘innovative’ note..

Google Invites +-WTF?!

Looking up the definition for “invite” by doing a “define: invite” in my browser, I come across several topical definitions: “tempt”, “have as a guest”, “request the participation”, “attractive and tempting”, although no where in those definitions does it say “Hey, let’s be a douche and stingy about our Invites”, I also seemed to miss the definition whereby “smoke and mirrors” was used in lieu of releasing a viable solution which actually DOES have a strategy and a vision.  Yea I know, it has the name “Beta” on it, which clearly means we have no semblance of planning, but let’s get with the program.   Every one on the planet wants to Opt-in for the latest and newest Google solution, just like everyone wants to try out the new Apple products 500 years before they’re “announced” yet, they’re so secretly kept under wraps that we’re all bored by the time they get released because it’s blatantly obvious.    Perhaps what might make your invites a little more, relevant could be Use Cases! (OMFG HE DID NOT JUST SAY THAT) Yea, I used the 4 letter word (2 words, 3+5 letters, but if you divide by 2, oh my!) Day 1 “Who has an invite for x!” Day 10 “Hey, anyone want an invite?” Day 100 “WTF Why is this still a crappy beta and I have a zillion invites!”    Yea, let’s focus a tad bit more on innovation, be a little more liberal with your ‘invite’ stream, and perhaps even have a viable feedback mechanism! (Whoa! Google Feedback with PSR like capabilities built into the application so people can provide content back to you? Oh no you didn’t!)

Alright, I’ll wrap it up here.  Seriously, I do love you guys, I’m sure you’ve lost a lot of great talent, and probably a majority of your creative talent too (If I’m wrong, let me know, perhaps you’ve overworked by trudging on some stupid project by some visionless neophyte, it wouldn’t be the first time!)  And if you want, we can sit down and discuss what ‘strategy’ and ‘vision’ are, perhaps even a little whiteboarding session on Creativity and innovation because I sadly haven’t been seeing much from you guys – And considering the level of talk of anti-trust and people considering Google to have even less Ethics than Microsoft did back in the day, I’d love to see so much more from you – Cmon, it’s the time of the “Cloud” so it’s time to get your head out of your asses and back into the clouds because that’s where “some” innovation might be found, frankly it’s gonna need more of it and not the constant parroting of what sucks today but in a cloudy model!

Feel free to challenge or call me out on anything I said, Googlers, Others, friends, foes and the like – These reflect my opinions and the thoughts and feelings of every one of you out there who would never say this in public but know you feel it and want to say something :)

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Posted in Google, Social Media, Technology | Comments (4)

Browser Comparison or browser fail?

November 22nd, 2009

I am constantly torn back and forth by the infinite question of “Which browser should I use?!” Yea I know you’re saying “Well, duh, ofcourse you should use browser ‘x’” because you lack any bias ofcourse.. ;)  Though seriously, I give each browser my 100% commitment and see how long it lasts, but most importantly how well it scales.     Scalability is huge for me, because while I may only use 7-30 tabs at any given point, at the drop of a hat that number may scale into hundreds, over the course of days and not just minutes.

Here is the fundamental breakdown of what I was able to determine based upon currently released browsers and my utilization habits.  Feel free to call me out on any of this, but I’ll reference and cite as much as I possibly can – if you want to reproduce it, go ahead!

Using the following browsers: Firefox v3.5.5 Internet Explorer 8 v8.0.7600.16385 Google Chrome v4.0.223.16 Safari v4.0.4 (531.21.10)

I opened up tabs to the following locations:

And in short order the results I obtained from a memory, and cputime perspective were:

Browser Memory Usage CPUtime CPUtime Growth Memory/CPUtime Value
Google Chrome 157,380K 26 seconds semi-stable 6053
Firefox 141,468K 51 seconds semi-stable 2773
Internet Explorer 459,938K 107 seconds Stable 4298
Apple Safari 232,832K 369 seconds Constantly growing 630

So, looking at this by face value alone, you might rate these by various chunking orders such as memory usage, CPUtime usage, or even a combination of the two – Though face value does not determine scalability over the long term usage of the application in question.   Given the figures above, the order I’d place them in would be Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.

I’ve been using Safari full-time since the release of Safari 4.0, and it’s been a great trip, it works very nicely, has an ‘alright’ rendering quality, and has a great UI experience for a number of activities.  It’s short-comings are pretty obvious above, it uses a fair amount of memory but it’s CPUtime utilization is through the roof and this app alone can bring a machine to its knees from inactive browsing activities, let alone regular active time spent on the browser.  Today will by my last day of using Safari full-time.

The recent tests like this one alone here has been encouraged by the preview of IE9 in it’s ultra alpha/beta state, and I would absolutely love to use IE8 as my active browser today (even took steps to do that recently!) As you can see it’s ability to leverage CPUtime and level it off is rather stable albeit higher than some of the others.  IE8 does allow one to scale though not without suffering a memory window to account for, and not to mention when tabs crash they only crash within the crash and not the entire browser as the other 3 browsers suffer from.   Unfortunately the memory consumption is too high for my average use, and I’ll have to put myself in the place of a beta instead of a stable release as this is.   Though don’t get me wrong, When IE9 hits a beta I can get my hands on, it’s rendering engine alone will shatter that of the other browsers and likely will be what I switch to then :)

I used Google Chrome pretty actively for 2 full years, and it looks like it is the champion in a number of ways – almost lowest memory, definitely lowest CPUtime, though one of the things people don’t know about Google Chrome is the fact that it doesn’t scale, the more you use it.  Infact, the longer you use Chrome the more often it just ‘forgets’ your credentials forcing you to retype them, or when you click from tab to tab and wait and wait and wait for it to render the current tab, like it decided to forget the ‘state’ of it and have to reference it entirely.   Not to mention one other little thing whereby I’m no longer able to login to ONE of my gmail accounts using Chrome because it’s trying to “protect me from myself”.  So, the longevity and scalability challenges of Chrome which I know so well will be yet another set of reasons I’ll be unable to use it.

Leaving me with falling back on Firefox.  Yes, I know you FF Zealots who will say “We told you so!@!@!” I already get a flood of those on my facebook ;)   For what it’s worth, I’d much rather use one of the other browsers, because while Firefox is nice and does scale extremely well, not to mention taking advantage of the memory and somewhat decently in the CPUtime space, there are just some fundamental challenges with Firefox which leave me wanting for more.   (A number of IE, Chrome and even Safari features would make Firefox a greater champion) but unfortunately the Firefox stable is to ‘go get yourself a million plugins, kthxbye’ instead of building a far better browser out the gate (Perhaps that is an excuse for scalability issues in the others, though that’s not the cause for Chrome’s problems :))


So, there is no doubt about just how fickle I am when it comes to browsers and my ability to do my work, personal and interactive activities in a constant motion – Feel free to call me out on any of this, and your thoughts on any and all of this, not to mention your preferred plug-ins across the board.   I’m game, and I’m not entirely biased which is why I explain just how I feel about these bits and pieces intimately here :)   See you at the next browser launch :)

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Posted in Apple, FireFox, Google, Microsoft | Comments (0)

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