Do wah diddy

The coolness of SongTapper is very much the outside scoop (it's been around for well over a year, now), but I continue to be amazed at how good it is at picking relatively obscure tunes just from their rhythm.

There I was, wondering what the vaguely-Raymond-Scott-ish tune was that people always seem to use without permission as an accompaniment to video of a Rube Goldberg/Heath Robinson contraption when they're not using Powerhouse without permission, so I tried tapping it:

doo doo doo doo dee-dee-dee-dee-dee, dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee doo doo doo doo

Bing! The Tapper told me that it was the unavoidable Danny Elfman's Breakfast Machine theme from Pee-wee's Big Adventure.

(Which I've never watched, because I was not a small child at the appropriate time, and because Pee-wee Herman gives me the creeps. Paul Reubens, I'm fine with, but Pee-wee scares me.)

SongTapper was and is not very useful for classical music - although when I tried to get it to recognise hymns and Beethoven it did have a pleasing tendency to put "I Like Big Butts" high in its list of suggestions.

And, obviously, anything whose main theme has an even and unbroken rhythm ain't gonna get recognised.

But even when it fails, there's usually something good in the list of suggestions.

Posted in Music. 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Do wah diddy”

  1. g-lock Says:

    Ah, the always hilarious SongTapper. Turns out I have no rhythm whatsoever. Couldn't get random Rage Against The Machine songs right, threw it a curveball when I tried to play Tool, so I settled on something simple: Blister In The Sun.

    SongTapper decided that I was trying to play Anal Sex In The Prison Shower, by one Art Vandalea. Priceless.

  2. Mighty Says:

    I think I got dragged to Pee Wee's Big Adventure. I was pleasantly surprised. The story is juvenile, the "acting" is over-the-top. But somehow he pulled it off. If you're in the right mood for silliness. It's not great, but it's nowhere near as bad as I had feared.

  3. Laco Says:

    Is there some trick to it? Like, do you have to start at just the right point in the song or something? Because I couldn't get it to recognise anything at all, even including 'Happy Birthday'. I tried tapping along with a few popular songs while actually listening to them, which still didn't work.

    Some of the suggestions are quite entertaining though..

  4. Daniel Rutter Says:

    I just tapped "Happy Birthday" (don't tell Warner Chappell) with perfect success.

    I surmise, Laco, that you walk without rhythm, and will not attract the worm.

    (Oh, and g-lock: Suggestion 4, for this test, was "Touch My Todger" by "Smegsmear", which is known only as a SongTapper result. I suspect that it, like the similarly filthy suggestion it gave you, is not actually an existent song. SongTapper may Make Stuff Up when it can't find enough hits, or perhaps these are "trap streets" to detect people who're ripping off whatever database SongTapper uses. The filthy results appear in the listings so often, though, that I think they may just be there to annoy the censors.)

  5. Kagato Says:

    Actually, I think the bogus songs are entered by visitors who tapped something a bit similar to you. There's a box on the right that says "If the song you tapped is not listed, please tell us".

    Which would explain why my quick test with an obvious tune gave me a 2nd result of "Happy Birthday Dumbass You Dont Know Any / Songs".

    Sadly, I expect the SongTapper database to rapidly decline in accuracy as it gains the attention of idiots.

  6. Daniel Rutter Says:

    Aaaaah. That makes sense. I didn't think I'd seen all of those rude results back when SongTapper was new :-).

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