Monthly Archives: February 2012

Not Up on Pinterest? You Should be Ashamed!

Get up on it! If you're not already.

I just heard a story about a web developer working on a project, who didn’t know what Pinterest was.

My immediate reaction was horror, as the two year old social photo sharing site has over 11.7 million unique monthly visits.

To be fair to the developer, I take for granted how much the landscape of social media changes and how quickly one can lose track of what’s out there.

Although some dismiss Pinterest as a niche community (it’s mostly a female audience), the reality is that this audience is cohesive and MASSIVE.

You ignore Pinterest to your own demise.

The developer (from the story) definitely lost the client.

I felt bad.

Scanning my in box today, I came across this article in Mashable, discussing Pinterest’s value to brands looking to connect with consumers.

Another, on the PRDaily blog, discussed the record pace at which Pinterest’s monthly daily views eclipsed the 10 million mark.

Clearly, interest in Pinterest is spiking, because it’s audience is also.

And folks who are paying attention, aren’t trying to miss this social media boat.

Truth be told, someone else put me on to Pinterest.

So I can’t even act like MY trend spotting lens is so deftly honed.

But I am kinda tight. Don’t get it twisted!

Having spent time on Pinterest, it’s very visual nature should be intriguing to any brand that understands the eyes are the keys to the soul wallet.

With numbers like Pinterest’s that’s a lot of souls wallets.

If you’ve never heard of if, I’d suggest you hustle on over there and take a gander.

There’s loads of interesting content being pinned and lots of dialogues around that content.

And that makes Pinterest one of THE places to be online IMO (I can’t even help using this damn slang!)

While it’s invitation only, I haven’t run into anyone who has been turned away.

You don’t get to 11.7 million unique views a month saying ‘no’ to folks.

Several notable brands have already ‘pinned’ parking spaces on Pinterest, and they’re hoping the exposure pays off.

I’m certainly advising the folks I know to do so!

If you really want an in-depth analysis of Pinterest, TechCrunch does a great job breaking it down (to it’s very last compound) for you.

Happy pinning!

UPDATE: My girl Cara Largoza Reynoso just put me up on an infographic that was published yesterday on Social Times. It really does a good job breaking Pinterest down in an easy-to-follow graphic.

Check it out.

What's what on Pinterest.

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Dark Side of Grace. Undercover Urban Thriller

Trees like this feature prominently in Dark Side of Grace. Spooky right?

My girl Melissa Cooper-Caraballo just let me read her manuscript for Dark Side of Grace, a novel she just penned.

Dark Side is a fictional tale which follows the heroine, Asha Davidson, an African American social worker, who runs a center putting ex-cons back to work.

Set in Newark and South Carolina, Asha is called upon by her ancestors, to break the curse that has caused all the female members of her family to appear to go crazy towards their later years.

Her great great grandmother Grace, a slave on a plantation several generations ago, killed the master of the plantation, Massa Henry, to protect her daughter from his lechery.

In doing so, she unleashed a curse which took the lives of Asha’s great grandmother Jessie Mae and her great aunt Emma, as well as her great uncle, Little (Reverend) Jimmy.

The curse was now threatening to befall her grandmother, Nancy (who sees he departed sister, Emma, and the evil Massa Henry torments her daily) as well as her mother, Francis, and sisters, Nzinga and Imani.

Asha, fearing for her family’s safety (and sanity), undertakes the unenviable task of traveling to South Carolina to attempt to free the family of the curse and bring closure.

The book moves quickly, as we follow Asha’s trials and travails throughout the story.

We meet her best friend Lourdes, whose family is practiced in the spiritual arts, and her man Rahman, with whom she has a taboo relationship (since he’s an ex-con from her job, the New Day Program, and someone her family-especially her mother-wouldn’t approve of).

If you’re a fan of thriller novels and stories with supernatural elements to them, then Dark Side is for you.

With disembodied spirits, voodoo and black magic, Dark Side has enough otherworldly stuff to satisfy even the most discerning horror-genre junkie.

But the story is written with such pace that you’re inextricably drawn in and quickly find yourself consumed with it.

And the characters have such realism that you relate to them like they’re everyday people you know.

I devoured the manuscript in two days, and we’re going to be working on her strategy to self-publish and release the book.

She’s currently working on her second novel, which follows Rahman, one of the principle characters, in Dark Side.

I’ve gotten her permission to give my seven readers a taste of the novel, so please do enjoy:

Asha’s head was pounding and her stomach was spinning. She could taste the bitter contents of her stomach rushing to escape her body. She ran up the steps as fast as she could, swung the bathroom door open and dashed to the toilet. The warm rancid vomit practically flew out of her mouth in waves. She could scarcely catch her breath before the next wave pushed her mouth open.

She was gasping for air when she felt her locks being pulled back away from her face and a cold hand passing gently over her forehead. She was thankful that Rahman hadn’t left. She imagined that this small sympathetic gesture meant that their relationship hadn’t been too badly damaged by their first fight. She took a few deep breaths. Asha felt her locks fall back to their normal position around her face.

She turned around to face Rahman and found the bathroom empty. Her heart raced. She pulled back the shower curtain and found it empty as well. She was alone. She ran down stairs and discovered Rahman sitting on the same spot on the couch where she had left him moments before, it looked as if he hadn’t moved at all. He was nursing a cigarette between his lips and was pointing the remote control at the television.

“Damn girl, I thought puking was supposed to make you feel better. You look worse now than you did when you ran upstairs.” Rahman didn’t want to continue fighting.

“You weren’t upstairs in the bathroom with me?” Asha was still panting when she asked the question.

“No, why?” Rahman was confused and disturbed by the wild look on Asha’s face.

“Rahman, please be serious! When I was throwing up, you pulled my hair back for me and stroked my forehead. Today is not the day for practical jokes!” She realized that she was screaming. She looked around the room for evidence of anything out of the ordinary but didn’t find anything.

At first Rahman thought that Asha might be more intoxicated than he realized. He calmly explained to her that she probably held her own hair back and didn’t remember it. He even suggested that she had passed out for a minute or two and dreamed that someone had touched her hair.

Asha’s chest rose and fell at a rapid rate. Rahman could tell that she was really freaked out. He began to get the feeling that she had not told him something. His instincts were good. He had a keen ability to read people and situations. He knew that it was his instincts that kept him alive on the streets and in prison. Now, his gut told him that there was more to the look on Asha’s face.

That was just a taste.

I’ve recommended that Melissa release the first chapter to her book online, so you can get even more Dark Side prior to it’s release.

And I’m definitely going to put you on when she does drop it. Of that you can be sure.

And since we’re talking books, you need to pick up Aliya King’s second novel, Diamond Life, and get your read on!

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The Oscars were a bore. But the Hollywood Reporter app saved me!

Did you watch the Oscars? I didn't.

It’s awards season.

And during this season, we’re constantly bombarded by awards shows with celebrities basking in the global adulation of peers, critics and fans.

The Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Grammys, Golden Globes, and the Spirit Awards, are all opportunities for we little folks to ogle while the industry pays homage to the stars of the silver screen.

But how many of these shows can you really watch, before they all simply blend together and your eyes bleed?

If you’re like me, you lack the patience (or interest) for these orchestrated marathons of self-love.

You try to watch, and halfway through, they’ve got paddles to your chest trying to revive you.

But you don’t want to be the one dude at the water cooler not in the know.

Hey Stephen, did you see the Oscars?

Naw, I was, uh, man-scaping.

Man-scaping?

Nevermind.

That won’t work.

So I was very happy to come across the Hollywood Reporter Race to the Oscars app.

THR Race app that lets you track all the nominations from the convenience of your iPhone.

THR Race app links directly to The Race Blog.

So instead of sitting through 3 hours of speeches, skits and more (acceptance) speeches, I was able to periodically check in, and see who had won what.

When I downloaded the app, a few days ago, I was able to follow the THR blog and check out the nominees for the various categories.

THR's Race to the Oscars app breaks out all the categories for ya.

Each category listing included a review, trailer, news feed, the different areas in which the film was nominated and the pedigree information for each film (written by, directed by, cast, crew, etc.).

Twitter was going bonkers last night. Love all the banter between celebrities!

THR app also includes an ‘Event’ feature that let me follow the real time tweet stream from the Oscars, and get folks’ reactions to everything from Angelina Jolie’s scandalous slit in her skirt to the ‘Scorcese!’ drinking game.

People were upset that Meryl won over Viola, but somebody's got to win!

The app was so tight, that I almost felt like I actually watched the whole friggin’ thing, without losing three hours of my life glued to the tube like a zombie!

THR The Race app was designed by Fuzz Productions – who I’m going to see today – so checking out the app was more homework than anything else.

Fuzz is an interactive agency out of Brooklyn –BK in the house! – which develops web, mobile and social media apps for their clients.

Fuzz has produced innovative solutions for the likes of Jay Z, Satchi & Satchi and Sotheby’s, so I wasn’t surprised by how well the app functioned.

My brown-nosing is just shameless!

But, truth be told, I was impressed.

Now, in my opinion, this app is really only useful once a year.

But maybe the Hollywood Reporter will drop an ‘awards season’ app, that will let you follow all the awards shows, and not just the Oscars.

Anyway, if you wanted an easy way to find out who won what this year (and you don’t want to wait for recaps on TV), get the app (it’s free) and you can check them out all in one place.

You can thank me later.

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Filed under apps, branding, iPhone, mobile, opinion

Get Inspired! AOInspiration.com

A few days ago, my girls Ashley Gee and Oneika Mays (soft) launched their lifestyle website, AOinspiration.com, and I couldn’t be prouder!

A&O's homepage. Looks nice right?

You must know that a few months ago, A&O was just a concept Ashley and Oneika were throwing around.

But fast forward and now it’s a living, breathing, full-fledged website/brand, offering inspirational stories, articles and posts about healthy living, travel & leisure, natural hair and beauty and more.

The tagline of A&O, “Discover Inspiration” is an extension of the spirit with which the Mays sisters (yes, they’re sisters) undertook this endeavor.

Not content to be another online destination hawking this, that and the third to visitors to the site, A&O aspires to be a brand that provides more than just regurgitated bits of information.

Today, for example, there was a delicious recipe for brown rice stir fry that Oneika made (and wrote about), and a travel post on the Dominican Republic, from Ashley’s recent trip with her husband Grant.

A&O offers more than just tips on healthy living and travel, though.

Their Thoughts & Opinions section addresses diverse topics, from hip hop to activism, love to racism and everything in between.

The Mind & Body section speaks to the spiritual and reflective side.

If you haven’t yet, I strongly recommend that you check them out.

While a large part of the editorial content is driven by Ashley and Oneika, they’ve got a tight team of strong writers, each lending their unique voices to A&O.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that their site was designed by Websignia, the Newark-based creative agency.

I was part of A&O’s search committee, and Websignia bested a field of talented developers to become A&Os agency of record.

Dal, I’d appreciate small unmarked bills, thank you very much.

They’ve put up a Facebook page and their Twitter following grows daily.

And I’ve heard through the grapevine that they’re hosting a launch party soon.

There are lots of websites and blogs out there, vying for your attention, so I’m sure reading about yet another, is only but so exciting.

A&O is different.

But don’t take my word for it.

Check them out and see for yourself.

I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

And if you are, I don’t want to hear about it!  These are my girls damn it!

Now go get inspired!

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iCloud? iDontthinkso!

I just got this email from MobileMe, informing me that my MobileMe subscription was about to end, and inviting me to move my account to iCloud.

iDon't want to move to iCloud! And iWon't!

I’ve been avoiding iCloud like the plague, because I, for one, am not really interested in having Big Brother be the keeper of all my information.

iCloud is Apple’s suite of wireless sync and backup services, whose function is to keep all your iOS devices synchronized, regardless of which one you happen to be using at any particular moment.

While most see iCloud as some savior and a panacea for all that ails us, when it comes to synchronizing and backing up your data, I am not among them.

Even while Apple claims that the cloud (and supposedly all of your private data) is ‘secure’, recent events have proven otherwise.

More importantly, I don’t really dig the fact that I don’t have a choice in the matter.

What if I don’t want to move my MobileMe account to the cloud?

What happens with my data?

Is my account locked?

Is my content irretrievably lost?

And what does moving to iCloud really mean?

Apple claims that I’ve got 5Gb of ‘free’ storage.

But my iTunes library alone is over 20Gb.

What happens with the rest of my music library?

And what about my pictures and video?

How will iCloud handle all that?

I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

The reality is that there are (some) answers to all many of these questions.

MacWorld published a very comprehensive article on iCloud last summer, which addressed many of the questions I raised above, and then some.

But, if you’re like me, you’re really not trying to read an entire tome just to figure out the costs and benefits associated with trying something new.

Especially if you really don’t have a choice in the matter.

Come June 2012, MobileMe will be gone.

Period.

If you haven’t moved to iCloud before then, you’re screwed.

Period.

Sure, you’ll still have access to some of the functionality currently available on MobileMe.

But the majority of what (I’m sure) most of us use MobileMe for, will be gone – forever.

And what Apple doesn’t say, is that to access some of the advanced features that you’re probably going to want to use, you’re going to have to pay – dearly.

Being a technologist, I’ve already got data synch and back-up happening without iCloud.

Apple has had these features available within it’s ecosystem for years.

But now they’ve got everyone clamoring to get on the ‘cloud’ even though doing so may ultimately be to their detriment.

I’ve had a slew of calls from clients seeking help for the (to borrow a term from a fellow blogger) clusterfuck they’ve gotten themselves into, blindly accepting iCloud’s Ts&Cs only to find themselves incapable of finding their data later.

Luckily for them, they know that my crew and I are Apple guerrilla warriors and un-clusterfucking the clusterfucked is our speciality.

But if you’re a regular Joe, and don’t have a crew of Apple ninja assassins at your beck and call, proceed into the cloud with caution.

As many who have moved to iCloud have found out, all that glitters is not gold.

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Filed under digital advocacy, opinion, rant, Smack talking, technology

Enough with the Leaks! Drop The iPad 3 Already!

Is it real? Will the world have the iPad 3 soon?

A little over a year ago, I got my first iPad.

Less than 35 days after I did, Apple released the iPad 2.

Needless to say, my acquisition fell outside of the 30 day window in which Apple permitted iPad owners to exchange their iPad and upgrade to the iPad 2.

I wasn’t about to shell out any money for what I thought (at the time) were minor upgrades.

I had fallen for Apple’s chicanery in the past, and I wasn’t about to be parted with my money for a few bells and whistles.

Sure, there’s a better display, and two cameras, and a faster processor, but what does that really mean?

It wasn’t until a few months ago, that I actually used an iPad 2 for the first time.

Now I look upon my iPad with utter disgust.

How could I have been living like such a…savage…for so long?

So, it is with much anticipation that await the release the iPad 3.

And each new leak only increases that anticipation.

What leaks?

Where have you been?

For months, there has been unbridled speculation about what new features the iPad 3 would possess.

And recently, there have been credible ‘leaks’ of some of the component parts of the upcoming Apple tablet.

Here’s a short summary for you cave dwellers.

The Case

Last week, Mashable released photos of what purports to be the outer casing for the iPad 3. The images, which came from a Chinese blog, Apple Daily, are contained in a gallery which show the inside and outside of the casing. In addition, Apple Daily included a comparison of the three iPads, showing the similarities and differences of one section of the iPad. The case is rumored to be slightly larger than the iPad 2, to accommodate a larger battery, to support a more powerful processor and the LTE 4G radio.

iPad 3, I must have thee!

The Retina Display

The iPad 3 is rumored to have a 2048×1536 retina display. This rumor was apparently confirmed by MacRumors (how appropriate) last week, when they posted (what appears to be) photographs of the new ultra-high resolution retina display, which they claim to have examined under a microscope.

What does a display with twice the pixels of the current iPad mean to regular folks? Think HD on your iPad. Images will be incredible sharp and you’ll see details that you weren’t even aware were there on regular displays.

MacRumors side-by-side microscopic comparisons of the iPad displays.

The Camera

The size and configuration of the back casing also appears to fuel speculation that there will be an 8 megapixel camera (the same camera on the iPhone 4S) on the new iPad. An 8 megapixel camera on the iPad 3 will mean higher quality photographs, rivaling that of professional cameras. (Not really – but I wanted to sound dramatic).

All I can say, is that the speculation is killing me!

What I didn’t tell you about my experience with the iPad 2, was that I was seriously contemplating robbing the friend who let me rock it.

As I walked around Miami, recording video and talking with various admirers inquiring as to what I was doing (walking around holding a tablet in front of me), I thought about the various stories I could come up with as to why I was returning without the device.

But, I suspect, if I had made off with the iPad 2, the iPad 3 would drop immediately thereafter, and I’d be stymied, once again, in my efforts to possess the latest and greatest Apple device.

So, I wait, until March 7th, when Apple will allegedly announce when the iPad 3 will be available for sale.

And I will wait (not in some line outside the Apple store like some teenage concert-goer) until I can cop one for me-self.

Shoot, it’s about to be my 42nd birthday in two months.

Perhaps I can convince my network to help me raise the money to buy one, as they famously did on my 40th (love you guys!!)

But really, enough with the leaks. Drop the iPad 3 already!!

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Filed under branding, digital advocacy, iPad, rant, technology

There’s (Already) An App For That. Just Make Your’s Better!

I think I've got an idea...maybe not.

So the other day, I thought I had a killer idea for an app.

It was a variation of the peek-a-boo pens from back in the day.

You know, the ones where you flip the pen and the girl’s clothes disappear revealing her undergarments.

I shared the idea with a few people, who were also of the impression that I had a killer app idea on my hands.

I was brainstorming for a client that caters to ‘adult’ themed entertainment – not personal, mind you.

The idea was so good that I raced home to sketch a few ideas out on OmniGraffle.

But then it hit me…

This idea was too good.

Not that I’m a dunce or anything, but I couldn’t imagine that an idea this good hadn’t been done already.

So I Googled it.

And wouldn’t you know, my app idea had been done – by no less than four different developers.

They were all variations on a theme, and each executed with varying degrees of aplomb.

Mind you, I come up with apps all the times.

Clients are constantly asking me what they should do, and I’m a wellspring for app ideas.

The one thing that I tell all my clients, is to find an app out there, that they like and think works well, and improve upon it.

With over half a million apps in the iTunes App Store alone, it’s very likely that any idea you’e got (as I found out) has already been done.

And that’s not to say that original apps aren’t still being created.

It’s just that it’s unlikely that most of us will come up with something that is truly original.

And that’s okay.

The reality of it, is that you wouldn’t necessarily want to be the first app to do one thing or another.

Unless you knock it out of the park on your first try, you’re probably going to have an app that’s buggy, and delivers an ‘ok’ user experience at best.

Believe me.

I’ve created a number of novel web and mobile applications that, despite how hyped and excited as we were about it, our initial market trials were…not good.

But what we did learn from those experiences, was that being second (or even third) to market was useful, because it gave you invaluable insight into what your competitors were doing.

It also helped you figure out what the market would bear (i.e. should your app be premium or free).

The most important thing you can get from building an app based on a pre-existing app, is that there is room for more than one.

Photo sharing app.

Think Instagram and Path (and now Wyst).

Music identification apps.

Or Shazam and SoundHound.

Checkin apps - there sure are a bunch of 'em!

And how about Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, SCVNGR, and now Yelp for Mobile.

You get the picture.

This underscores my point that even if your app idea has already been done, you can still make a mark or carve out a niche by doing something – even just one thing – better than the rest.

So don’t be discouraged if you find that you idea for the next killer app has been co-opted by someone else.

Check them out. Bide your time. And once the feedback starts coming in about what they did wrong, drop yours!

What’s your killer app idea? Wait…don’t tell me…it’s been done already. Right?

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Filed under apps, branding, digital advocacy, mobile

When Good Apps Go Bad (aka Bump You’re Obsolete)

Does anyone bump anymore?

Remember Bump?

Bump was the app that let you literally ‘bump’ your iPhone with another user to exchange contact info.

When it first came out, I thought it was the most ingenious app ever!

So, of course, I downloaded the app, and was ready to bump with all comers!

Whenever someone asked me for my contact info, I pulled out my phone and asked if the person wanted to bump.

I would push my phone furtively at them, grunting ‘bump, bump’ incessantly.

Usually, all I got back were quizzical stares.

I guess I was one of the very few who actually got bump, because I wasn’t really bumping with anyone.

Whenever I was in a position to use bump to exchange info, the other person didn’t have Bump.

The few that had it, didn’t know how to use it.

The ones that had it installed, didn’t have their contact set up and thusly, couldn’t bump with me.

After a few (too many) instances of bump fails, I just stopped using it.

It was too frustrating.

How many times would it take for me to realize that Bump just wasn’t that joint?

I don’t think I’ve used it in over a year.

I haven’t been asked by anyone to ‘bump’ in even longer.

But for some reason, I’ve still got it on my deck.

So I opened it up today, to see what (if anything) I’ve been missing

Apparently, you can use Bump to share pictures and music too.

You can connect with Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin now as well.

And there is a messenger function, that lets you message other Bump users remotely.

I did a Google search for Bump recently, and they’ve also got an Android version of the app.

The new Bump logo.

Does anyone even bump anymore?

There are a heck of a lot of ratings in the iTunes store (over 300,000), but are folks really using Bump like that?

I doubt it.

But hey, what do I know?

Do you have an app that you were once ga-ga over, thanthat now, you treat like a hump-backed stepchild and you don’t even look at?

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Filed under apps, iPhone, mobile, opinion, rant

The Lorax App. A Kiddie Brostache!

20120217-181324.jpg

I’m at the movies with my four kids watching The Secret World of Arrietty, about little people who live under the floor and the boy who befriends them.

But I’m at the movies with a ‘little person’ myself, my two year old, Fuji, whose attention span was spent as soon as the last of the curly fries disappeared down his gullet.

So I’m wandering the halls on the AMC as Fuji flits from one video game to the next, pulling and pushing, banging and kicking and generally causing controlled mayhem outside of the theater.

And as I pass this Lorax display, I wonder “did they have the foresight to make an app for this movie?”

The Lorax is a movie based on a Dr. Seuss book about a little boy trying to save the world, with the assistance of a small grumpy little creature.

IMO, the world of Dr. Seuss was made for apps. I imagine a world of talking rhyming books, interactive games, entire virtual worlds built off of the colorful characters of Dr. Seuss.

So (since I’m bored) and playing man-servant, hallway chaperone to my toddler, I pull out my handy iPhone, which I had switched to vibrate in the theater, and typed “The Lorax” into the App Store search window.

And wouldn’t you know there are like four different apps for The Lorax (and eight total Dr. Seuss themed apps)!

20120217-182649.jpg

So I downloaded the free promotional app from the movie and tried to keep Fuji from climbing the Lorax reclining on the display.

The app has a Lorax ‘Brostache’ that moves in response to your voice. There’s also a feature that lets you place the Lorax mustache on your photo.

20120217-183059.jpg

He was genuinely amused by the app, for like five seconds, and then it was back to banging and kicking, pushing, pulling and punching (Mr. Lorax didn’t put up much of a fight).

20120217-183439.jpg

Even though the app was very light on pure entertainment value, it’s still a great tie in to the movie, and a great way to leverage an app from a promotional perspective.

Although I haven’t seen the app advertised alongside the movie yet, it’s niceI’m pleased to see that they created one nonetheless.

It was a nice (albeit brief) distraction for my little hellion, and it gave me something to talk about in this quick post (which I created solely on my iPhone-nicely done WordPress!).

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Filed under apps, branding, iPhone, mobile, Parenting

I’ve been hard on Shazam. But SoundHound is better.

Shazam is good, but SoundHound is better!

I’ve never been a fan of Shazam, the music identification app, that ‘listens’ to a few seconds of a song, and then tells you the name of the artist, title and other info on the song.

As an early adopter of the app, I was greatly disappointed by the number of times that Shazam crashed, didn’t or couldn’t identify the song I was listening to.

It’s hit/miss ratio was like 1 in 4.

And to me, that sucked!

What made it worse was the fact that Shazam was everywhere!

Despite it’s poor performance, folks were acting like it was the best thing since sliced bread.

And then I found SoundHound.

SoundHound is another music identification app, that works just like Shazam.

Press the SoundHound button, it starts listening to a music stream, and then identifies the song you’re listening to.

The big difference was that SoundHound almost always identified the songs I was listening to.

When I found SoundHound, I ditched Shazam, and haven’t looked back since.

However, last weekend (or was it the weekend before last?) I watched several Super Bowl ads with the Shazam logo, and I blasted Shazam in one of my post-Super Bowl posts.

But since it had been some time since I actually used the app, I thought that I might have been a bit harsh, and that Shazam deserved a re-do.

So I re-installed the app on my iPhone and gave it a whirl (again).

I decided that I’d do a side-by-side comparison between SoundHound (my new favorite music id app) and Shazam.

To make things interesting, I selected radio stations at random (from whatever I have programmed on the boom box in the kitchen) and held up my iPhone using both Shazam and SoundHound.

In each instance, I wanted to see which app found the song first (assuming they both found the song), and what information they returned when they did.

I listened to The Motto, by Drake featuring Lil Wayne on Hot 97 FM, Il Andante con motto, by the Slovak Philharmonic on 88.3 FM WBGO, One of those Days, by Whitney Houston on 98.7 Kiss FM, How Will I Know, by Whitney Houston on 107.5 WBLS (Whitney stays on rotation these days), and Levels by Avicii on 103.5 KTU.

Afterwards, I listened to Little Child Runnin Wild, by Curtis Mayfield on the Superfly album, to test how long each app took to capture the info from the same starting point.

In my testing (and to my surprise) Shazam was able to locate and identify every song except one.

Shazam mis-identified The Motto as the remix version by Jeremih (featuring Drake) although it was the standard version.

In every single instance, SoundHound returned information faster than Shazam.

This was the case regardless of which app I tested first, the song or volume (I tested the apps at both high and low volumes).

Both apps returned the majority of album artwork, although Shazam failed to provide artwork for two titles.

While Shazam did okay in my non-scientific head to head song identification comparison, there were a few areas in which SoundHound was unmatched.

The first is that in addition to listening to an actual song, SoundHound can identify a song if you sing or hum a few bars of the song (this worked well when I sang ‘Who The Cap Fits’ by Bob Marley).

SoundHound's results include the streaming lyrics right on the page.

A second is the streaming lyrics that are displayed right in the interface, and following along with the song in real time.

There are other little things that I like about SoundHound over Shazam, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much Shazam worked on this trial (versus how it worked when I originally copped it).

I did a little survey on the internet to see how other folks feel about the whole Shazam vs. SoundHound debate.

While Shazam clearly has the better marketing behind it, the universal unofficial opinion among users is that SoundHound is the better of the two.

But don’t take my word for it.

Take them both for a spin and tell me what you think!

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