Podzinger Rocks

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When was the last time a search engine made you say, “Wow”?

For me, it was probably the first time I tried Podzinger; I was wowed by the fact that the folks at the BBN-owned company had figured out how to catalog words spoken in audio and make them searchable, then take you just to that part of the audio file where the word was said.

I had another “wow” moment today trying out the OWL music search, hosted on the Creative Commons search page, as well as on its own page. (The difference between the two: the Creative Commons search allows you to find Creative Commons-licensed work.) The search suggests you can “find music through music.” Click on the graphic that invites you to open an MP3 file, and the file you select appears as a waveform in a blue space that occupies the top of the page. Click the play button and you can listen to the song as a slider moves across the waveform. Stop the music from playing when you hit a spot you really like, then click the search button. OWL will find other songs like the one you were playing from a current database of more than 10,000 songs from independent music sites.

I picked “Missing Person” from the new Eric Clapton/J.J. Cale collaboration, “The Road to Escondido;” OWL found 55 songs by artists I’d never heard of, providing me with information but also the ability to play the song-and specifically, the part of the song that matched my original selection. You can also limit your search to genres like classical, new age, rock, jazz and blues.

I can’t get the OWL music discovery engine to work in Internet Explorer 7, so be sure you have Firefox or some other browser before giving it a try.




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Shel Holtz is principal of Holtz Communication + Technology which focuses on helping organizations apply online communication capabilities to their strategic organizational communications.

As a professional communicator, Shel also writes the blog a shel of my former self.

Podzinger Rocks
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