Imagine this scenario, you're listening to your favorite music track on your Mac and had to leave the house, don't you wish your iPhone or iPod touch can seamlessly carry on playing the track from where you were at in iTunes on your Mac? Or if you were deeply engaged in a podcast just before you had to head out, so you have to wait for the iPhone or iPod touch to synch using iTunes before you leave. This happens to me often especially the latter. Fortunately, Five Details, the 2008 Apple Design Awards winners and maker of Flow, has a solution and it is called Seamless.

This little utility comes in an iOS/OS X duo, a free OS X app and a USD0.99 iPhone app components. The OS X app is a background app that only appears as a menu item on your Mac when running.

Before anything is to work you will first have to pair the iOS app with the OS X app. This is done easily:

  1. Have both the Mac and the iOS device on the same WiFi network.
  2. The OS X app needs to be running.
  3. Starts the iOS app then;
  4. Clicks on the "Add A Mac" option in the iOS app.

The Mac will immediately recognizes its iOS component, and presents a dialog to confirm your action.

Seamless - Add iOS Device

Acknowledge the iOS device by clicking on the Allow button. Now the Mac will become one of the Near By Macs in the list within the iOS app. There does not appear to be any limits to the number of Macs the iOS app can be paired with or vice versa.

Seamless - Track To PlayWhile the OS X app runs in the background it monitors the currently playing track in iTunes. When you have to get away from your Mac all you have to do is start the Seamless iOS app on your iPhone of iPod touch. The iOS app will immediately picks up the current playing track from iTunes on your Mac and presents you with a large button to "Transition music from Mac".

Clicking on the "Transition Music from Mac" button will immediately plays the track in the iPod app within your iOS device. Of course the said track will need to be already on your iOS device. Seamless will not magically transfer tracks that are not already on the iOS device or the Mac.

Seamless - Track Not Found Seamless - Transition To MacIf the track is not found the iOS app will show a screen telling you to synchronize your music between the Mac and the iOS device.

Note: currently Seamless can only recognize tracks within a Playlist synchronized between the Mac and the iOS device, but this bug should be fixed in the next version.

Going from the iOS device to the Mac is just as seamless. An added bonus is that the iOS app will quietly fades away the track on the iOS device while it transition the track to the Mac.

Overall this is a well polished 1.0 app for from this award winning developer. For the inexpensive price of USD0.99 it is well worth it to have this function that Apple should have built into both OSs.

[vimeo][/vimeo] Seamless from Five Details on Vimeo.


Ever went into a record store not knowing the name, artist or title of a song you looking for, and decided to hum to the store staff expecting them to know what song you're looking for?

Well, the students at New York University may have a solution for record stores around the world.

They have created a system that allow one to hum into a microphone, the computer records it, analyse and extracts the melody and rhythm characteristics, then compares it to its database returning a ranked list of possible songs.

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Pandora is a new service by Pandora Media Inc.. It is essentially a very smart customized radio station. It is based on the work from the Music Genome Project.

It allows you to specify the music you like and based on the Genome of the music specified it will play other songs that it thinks you will like.

The great thing about this service is that it does not require any download, accept for the FLASH plug-in to be installed on your favorite browser.

Why do I think Pandora is great? Well we have to begin by talking about the problem with many of the current online music stores (iTunes Music Store, Connect, etc.) and similarly the brick and mortar stores (HMV, Best Buy, SAM's, etc.). The fact that it is difficult to find what you (the individual) like. More importantly, what I may like based on my music preference. Pandora solves this problem by using the Genome of the music you specify to seek out other songs that you may like.

This is similar to the technology applied with Amazon.Com and other online retail, but this is done without other members' input.

Pandora's Genome library is built by professional musicians, each with at least 3 years of professional music experience, performing classification of a song.

Each song takes about 3 hours to classify and each musician participating had gone through extensive training on Music Genome.

You can check out My Radio Station at Pandora.