Cool Tool Alert: My Oh My! The Times in Which We Live…

ShazmWho ever would have thought…

Too often technology just complicates my life. (Some of you are thinking: I can’t believe you just said that! But it’s true.) I guess we have to take the good with the bad, because life in any time has both. But sometimes a technology comes along that really makes me smile. This post is about such an application: Shazam.

I just learned about this application from one of my good friends who is driving around someplace New Hampshire, lost, listening to the radio, using his iPhone 3G to identify the music on the radio and his location on the map.

How many times have you been someplace and wanted to know the name of the song you are hearing: on the radio, in a movie, in the grocery store, at a restaurant. Maybe the song is a blast from the past (you can’t quite remember the name or group) or maybe it’s a song you have never heard and really like–would like to purchase. Now the information you need is just two touches away!

Shazam is a free application at the iTunes Store. Touch the Shazam icon on your iPhone so it will “listen” to the music. A few seconds later your phone vibrates, and Shazam gives you a picture of the album cover and all of the details of the music! I am blown away. This is an awesome idea. And It really works! Click on the picture in this post to go to the app on the iTunes Store.

You also get links to purchase the song right then on your iPhone from the iTunes Store. (You must be on a WiFi network at the time for this feature to be available.) You get links to any YouTube videos featuring the song. You can even attach a photo (from your iPhoto library or one you just snapped with your phone) to the song and share it via an instant email to anyone in your address book. “Hey! Remember 10 years ago when we heard this here…”

This is just insane. Loving it.

As most everyone knows, I travel a great deal these days. Today I printed out my boarding pass for Delta. Again, I love the convenience. But this time I was shocked. The boarding pass doesn’t look the same at all.

Now I must first confess to believing that 98% of all advertising is nothing but noise, even graffiti as far as I am concerned. I LOATHE advertising! On rare occasion an advertisement has some merit on its own. Rarely.

Well, the new Delta boarding passes have full color advertisements on them. Damn! I’m printing out an advertisement, using my ink (which we all know isn’t inexpensive!), so I can get on their plane?! Aggravation and irritation. I’m sure they are looking for every way they can find to make money to compensate for rising oil prices and keep fares affordable. And I must confess this is a clever idea as it has great margins: virtually no cost for Delta at all, just profit!

But the boarding pass also includes some useful information as well: the weather forecast for the place I will be. Now that’s really useful and convenient, especially since they are forecasting thunder storms. They also feature recommended (read: paid advertisements) places to eat with their phone numbers, tours and other “touristy” information.

Well, they almost provided me a service but had to make some money out of it as well. OK, I’ll take the good with the bad.