Do you remember the first time you saw a Shazam commercial or a SoundHound demo on a mobile phone and thought: “Oh my God! This is fantastic. Now I’ll never have to worry about getting stuck for hours trying to remember that song’s name!” Well, if you haven’t heard of IntoNow, you should prepare to be amazed again, as it does the same level of magic for TV shows and movies.
What Is IntoNow?
IntoNow first came into the picture as an iPhone application that aims to do for TV entertainment what Shazam and SoundHound does for music: almost instant identification.
The magic happens thanks to their servers and algorithms that follow hundreds of TV channels, live, and create an audio signature for whatever is being aired. Whether you’re watching an episode that first aired 10 years ago and TIVO’d last night, or a new episode that’s being broadcast right now, IntoNow can recognize it from its audio signature and present you with several details about it. IntoNow released their Android application a few months ago, and were recently purchased by Yahoo!
Browsing, Tagging and Sharing
Upon signing into the Android IntoNow application, you’re presented with three tabs: Activity, Popular and Profile. The Activity is a stream of shows that were last tagged on IntoNow, while Popular is a list of the most tagged shows in different time frames (current, 24 hours, week, month and all time). Both can be filtered to all IntoNow users or just your friends on the service. The Profile is where you can access your own watched history, most watched shows, friends’ profiles, and notifications for new friend requests.
However, the magic of IntoNow happens when you press that green button on the upper right of the screen. You’re instantly taken to a TV-like color bars pattern screen, and the microphone starts recording the audio from whatever you’re watching. 10 to 15 seconds later – sometimes sooner – the details appear on the screen. Whether you tagged a TV series or a movie, you see an image, a brief description, the cast and genre, and little details like the TV channel it was broadcast on. For TV series, the specific season and episode numbers will also be displayed.
IntoNow also gives you access to the IMDb page of the show, the different people who also tagged it, a discussion board particular to this particular episode or movie, and sharing options for Twitter and Facebook personalized with your comment.
How Well Does It Work?
If it has been on national TV in the USA, it is on IntoNow. That’s a simple equation to describe it, but it’s quite close to the truth. IntoNow works wonderfully on all the TV series and several movies – from the Godfather to Black Swan – that I have thrown at it. I don’t live in the USA so I haven’t tried tagging the more indie shows and stations and don’t know how well it fares there. However, the mere fact that it can tag live national TV, as it happens, is a wonderful trick that’s quite magical.
I have personally started using IntoNow in two situations. The first is when watching TV to quickly identify a movie’s name or a series’s season and episode, especially when I catch it too late and want to watch it again from the beginning. The second is when the shows downloaded to my computer have their tags messed up and I need to re-label the season and episode correctly.
An App for “Just-in-Case” Situations
Now I reckon you probably won’t be using IntoNow every day, and neither will I. However it’s one of those applications that screams: keep me on your phone, just in case. And for our favorite price of free, you can’t go wrong. Download it, keep it, and when the need arises, it will only be a tap away.