October 20th is Mashujaa Day in Kenya. For me, it will be another special kind of celebration: 5 years of using TrackID, the popular music recognition app found on Sony’s Android smartphones and which Sony Mobile has been graceful enough to let those of us who don’t live and die by its Xperia brand of devices to enjoy.
Only that I won’t really get to mark that much-awaited fifth anniversary as TrackID will have closed shop a month earlier.
This is what greets users of the app when they launch it:
As if the pain of losing all the music the app has helped me identify since October 2012 (back when the only sign in/up option was Facebook) is not enough, there’s just no way to back up or export that entire catalog. Wait, there’s a way: using pen and paper. Because this is bloody 1996. Sad!
So what does Sony recommend we do? Move on and start using Shazam, something I did two and a half years ago when Shazam got a facelift that appealed to me with the onset of Material Design. For me, back then, it was just going home since Shazam had grown to include some of the features that had made me ditch it for TrackID in the first place. Like the ability to record music when one is offline and delivering the desired result when an internet connection becomes available. Its lyrics search, powered by Gracenote, was also a force to reckon with but Shazam is now much better.
Other than Shazam, TrackID users can also sample SoundHound, the music recognition software from the same guys that make a very competent personal assistant, Hound.
Talking about personal assistants, word in the grapevine is that Google is looking at bringing the “what is that song?” feature to Google Assistant, providing further options to orphaned Sony Mobile fans around the world.