Secret DJ

Secret DJI’m far from convinced by QR codes especially as many are in places I have no interested in scanning them (eg on the tube where there’s no phone signal) but last night there was one on our bar tab card so I scanned it.  It took me to the iPhone App store where I downloaded Secret DJ.

Secret DJ is neat idea.  It’s an app that lets you pick three tracks from the venue’s ‘jukebox’.  It was quiet in the pub so our three chosen tracks played straight away to our musical (and my geeky) delight.  There’s some proper thought been put into the app.  It uses GPS to ensure you are in the venue.  You can see what is playing now, listen to previews, see who else likes the tracks and buy the tracks (there-be the business model).

There’s data-collection on registration which I guess is shared with the venue (sorry I gave false details so don’t know for sure).  And I bet it is a lot cheaper to install and run than a traditional jukebox (a bet made the assumption the music is played on a laptop application hooked up to the venue’s sound system).

It is win all around.  Except for fans of proper jukeboxes.  And those without iPhones. Maybe not such a win then.

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Bus Countdown

Bus CountdownWhen I first came to London I was very excited to see Countdown on all the bus stops fulfilling all my ‘when is the bus due’ needs.  Then for reasons I never understood the dot-matrix displays were removed from most (but not all) stops.

As a person who was excited by the bus stop displays you can imagine how I felt when I heard TFL were releasing Countdown data for developers to use in apps and the like.   The first public stage of this release has been to put them online on their website.  Said website is nifty on a desktop but fiddly on an iPhone.  Despite this we battled through in the pub after listening to our tunes and got the times of our bus.  It meant we could quickly drink up to catch the next bus.  Without it we would have drunk slower, just missed the bus and had to wait 15min for the next one.

I’ll be buying the app.

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Spotify’s Bad Adverts

SpotifyI’ve been working from home of late and listening to a lot of music while doing it.  I cannot work while listening to music I know (too distracting) so last.fm’s artist/friends radio and Spotify’s playlists have been my soundtrack.

In the past I’d never been bothered by the adverts on Spotify so never felt the need to subscribe.  But returning to it now there seems to be a lot less adverts on more regular rotation.  And those adverts are dire.  Piccadilly Institute – I’m talking about you.  They have the sort of advert we used to have on student radio.  A poor quality voiceover talking about a ‘cool new nightspot in the heart of London’.

But I wonder if these bad adverts are a subtle ploy from Spotify to boost subscriptions.  Finally on Friday I cracked and signed up for a free week’s trial.  I’ve since enjoyed the uninterrupted music.  Once the trial is up I’ll probably sign up for their £4.99 a month plan.  All because of the Piccadilly Institute’s advert.

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