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2 Oct 2011 / Julie

Shazam!: audio qr codes

so I’m sitting in a hotel last night watching tv (the original Mission: Impossible movie which apparently is on it’s 15th anniversary if you want to feel old…) and a progressive insurance commercial comes on (as they do). but this one is special- it shows the shazam logo at the bottom halfway through the commercial. i immediately turn to D and say, “holy shit they’re using it as an audio qr code!” actually i think it was more like “holyshittheyreusingitasanaudioqrcode” but thats hard to read in print.

haven’t seen it? check it out. (sorry it’s not embedded- I’m writing this on the iPhone in the car (i’m passenger) and can’t figure a way to embed it.

so what’s shazam and why am I so excited? Shazam is one of the apps that will recognize music playing near you and tell you what the song is, let you buy it, etc. and the reason I’m so excited about it is it’s effing brilliant. its the next thing in short code access! (and frankly I’m a little annoyed I didn’t think of it myself)

it makes perfect sense to use shazam like this since at it’s core it’s a program that will give you visual info output for an audio input. just like qr codes (which are visual, visual).

let me pause for a second- need to brush up on the what’s and why’s of qr codes? I wrote about them in 2007 & again in 2010 when libraries started to clue in.

okay so why care about this? because it’s another way to get more info to your customers. got a radio ad for your library? now people can go straight to your website after shazaming (yes i’ve made it a verb) the ad. put something up on YouTube? local access? the college station? shazam! and your customers can auto dial your ref desk, see your hours, or instantly be routed to your catalog or downloadables. really the possibilities are endless- not just with shazam, but this is a model: what else can we use for something besides it original purpose? with the world of mobile devices, crazy apps that basically do everything hut fold your laundry, the possibilities are insane.

I haven’t seen a lot of talk about this move yet, but check out the article in business wire.

so, my brilliant readers, how would you use audio qr codes to promote your library and give people quicker, mobile access?

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