On my new (ish) mobile Android phone, I've got this Shazam app which can sample any 30 seconds of music and pretty much without fail, instantly tell you what song is being played and by whom.
Loads of people have it or a similar such app of course but that doesn't stop me from showing it off at any given opportunity! Students in accredited online colleges for music would love this, too.
Having said that, I've rarely actually used it for it's proper purpose. Most of the time I use it to decipher a song I already know to show those with me at the time how it works.
But last week, it happened to do exactly what it's meant to do. I was sitting in Aberystwyth's Varsity with a friend Rob Hardware when I heard the strains to a song that I recognised but which I could not place. It was a song which I had not heard in a long time and which, despite my eclectic love and knowledge of most things musical, I would never in a month of Sundays have placed.
This is where for once, my Shazam app came in handy for the right reason. I pointed my 'phone up in the direction of the nearest speaker for the 30 or so seconds required for it to collect the sample and within seconds it gave me an answer that pleasantly surprised me.
The song with that catchy hook in the chorus which I had not heard for years but which I instantly knew I liked on hearing it again was Livin' Thing by of all groups, the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). It was one of those wonderful dawning moments of realisation. I've always had a soft spot for that unique ELO sound even though I would't go so far as to call myself a fan. I clearly didn't have enough of a knowledge of their back catalogue otherwise I'd have known that Livin' Thing, with it's wonderful use of strings (which I've always enjoyed in a good pop tune) was their song.
But now I know, and I will never now forget that lovely musical fact because of my snazzy Shazam mobile app.