(from Billboard Magazine, October 12, 2013)
Anyone who has ever been to a music festival knows that hearing new bands play can be just as enjoyable as seeing the groups you already knew performing. This thrill has been a big contributor to the popularity of music festivals, but, unfortunately, it can be hard to enjoy these new found gems after the show is over if you didn’t catch their names or song titles at the show. This can get especially problematic when trying to track down the name of a song since artists often play different versions of songs, use different instrumentations, and even improvise new lyrics that differ from those on the official song recording. Furthermore, if there was currently a smartphone app capable of matching these live performances with previous recordings, it is unlikely that cell service would be strong enough for a majority of people in the areas that most music festivals are held.
This blemish in the festival world could soon be changing though. Both Shazam and Gracenote are currently working on live content recognition for fans and are taking different approaches toward getting the job done. There won’t be an official announcement made for a few months, but there have been reports that Shazam is making this possible by knowing where the user is, what time it is, and what genre of band you are seeing. Gracenote is taking a run at trying to detect the actual notes played in order to locate a melody and identify what song is being performed. The creation of a truly accurate way of recognizing live content could mean great things for artists and fans. For those putting on these festivals, having this information is less direct. However, Rick Farman, Co-Founder of Superfly Presents (which puts on big festivals such as Bonnaroo), says that having this information is important to fans, and, therefore, makes it valuable to them as well.