You know what it feels like when you know a song (and can sing a phrase) but you cannot name it. You go to a Karaoke and you cannot remember a song that was your favorite a few years ago. It is even more frustrating when you hear a music that you really like and you don’t know the title or the artist.
I have been expecting that there should be a solution for this, and it seems that there are some now. Companies like Shazam and Gracenote are providing the solutions. Some telcos, especially mobile carriers, seem to have launched services using the solutions. In Korea, KTF is providing Search Music. How does it work? When there is a music playing, you call the service number, put your handset close to the speaker from which the music is playing, and in 15-30 seconds the service will find the music and send information as SMS. Basically, it seems based on some kind of music recognition technologies.
One problem is that it does not work for a live music. Only prerecorded music. I guess it is probably easier to search pre-recorded music in a library of pre-recorded music. It clearly means that you cannot hum to the phone and expect that an answer will pop up. You will have to encounter your mysterious music again! So, it is not perfect, but still is a major development forward.