Saturday, August 20, 2011

After 30 years, I'm genuinely blown away.

I've been playing with various types of high-tech, for fun and profit, for 30 years now.  In fact, 30 years ago, I wrote my first piece of commercial software.  It was called cococopy and was a cassette-based copy utility for the old Radio Shack Colour Computer.  It, and a couple of other projects, paid my way through college.

Over the years, I've gotten to the point where technologically, nothing really excites me.

Until now.

Playing with my new HTC Panache, I fired up an app called "Soundhound."  It claims to be able to identify whatever you play, hum, or sing into it.

Ok.  Fine.  I've heard about it but honestly didn't take it seriously.  That may work for the kind of stuff that passes for music that the kids listen to these days, but what about a real challenge?

There has been this song that I can remember hearing years and years ago.  I don't even think it was in English.  I somehow got the idea that it might have been by Nana Mouskouri or Mariele Matheu but I could find it for the life of me.  In fact, a few months ago the chorus of the song got stuck in my head.  Don't you just hate when that happens and you can't identify the song?

So, anyway, I thought I'd give it a whirl.  I fired up Soundhound and "la la'd" what I believed to be the chorus.

It brought up a list of songs.  The first was completely wrong.

The second song hit paydirt.

For the next half-hour I was sitting there totally dumbfounded only able to utter a continuous barrage of "holy shit."

It correctly identified the song, The version it provided wasentitled "Un Fiume Amaro" performed by Iva Zanicchi back to 1970.

I'd love to find a Polish version of this.  I remember hearing it in Polish a couple of years ago but never got a chance to hear the song identified.

Then I did a bit of digging and discovered that the song is apparently written by Mikis Theodorakis and is called "Ο ΚΑΗΜΟΣ"

A fine example of it in the original Greek is here:

Holy shit.

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