What is Record Player?
I love Sound Hound. Don’t know who the artist is or can’t remember the song title? Fire up Sound Hound and nine times out of ten, it will give you the track info and even allow you to find it in your streaming music service. I find this very cool.
Enter Record Player where you can take a picture of a vinyl album cover and, in theory, have it search for the tracks from the album. The suggestion is that you can use this if you’re in a record store and want to hear the album to decide if you want to open the bank for a purchase.
According to the Record Player app, here’s how it works – “This is a Rube Goldberg Machine of the Google Cloud Vision API and the Spotify API. After logging into Spotify, upload an image. The image will be sent to the Google Vision API, which will guess what it is. The app will then search Spotify using Google’s guess, and give you the first result to play.”
So, you need Spotify – just the free version will work, but only play samples of the tracks. I thought it was pretty cool and as I was telling my son about it, it occurred to me that I could just search Spotify or Deezer or Apple Music to preview the album.
Ah, but what if its a rare album that isn’t on one of these services?
Well, my quick test indicated that currently that’s not going to work. I tried the Record Store Day 2018 release of Kenny Loggins “Return to Pooh Corner” – got it with no problem and Spotify previews were perfect.
Next challenge – Rationale’s latest release. I had an autographed version and thought maybe this would throw the search off. Nope, got it bang on.
Next challenge was another Record Store Day purchase – John Fogerty’s picture disc Center Field. That gave me a straight up error.
I pulled out a couple of older (70’s) albums, but nothing rare to any extent. Cat Stevens, Tea for the Tillerman. I got Mobile Orchestra, Owl City. Hmmmm. Next up, George Benson, Breezing gave me Breezing by Cody G. Seems that current releases are the sweet spot – not so much anything older and I suspect rare is out of the question.
Now the Engadget article brought up a fun experiment – try seeing what album comes up for your selfie.
I got Craig Mack Flava In Ya Ear Remix. My grade three class picture yielded Colombo Club, Proactive Social Group of Gentle Apes. A picture of my dearly departed golden retriever gave me Pumpkin Snout by Frequent.
OK, maybe not the most useful app yet, but I can see the party potential.