IntoNow app brings sound to media social networking

Feb 7, 2011
Tech

IntoNow isn’t the first app to turn watching television into a social networking experience, but from what I’ve seen so far, it might be the best. What makes IntoNow stand out from its competitors is the company’s proprietary fingerprinting technology, SoundPrint. Instead of having users manually input the name of the show they’re watching, IntoNow […]

IntoNow isn’t the first app to turn watching television into a social networking experience, but from what I’ve seen so far, it might be the best. What makes IntoNow stand out from its competitors is the company’s proprietary fingerprinting technology, SoundPrint. Instead of having users manually input the name of the show they’re watching, IntoNow uses SoundPrint to identify the program through its audio track (much like Shazam does for music). All users have to do is tap the big green button.

IntoNow is free, and although it requires an account, users can test it (with limited functionality) without registering. Once you’ve registered — easily done in app — you can integrate your Twitter, Facebook and Netflix accounts, and find fellow users via your address book. Those with friends utilizing IntoNow will have the best user experience, as much of the app is designed to show you what others are watching, or you can have discussions about shows via the “Comment” function.

I was impressed with the accuracy of IntoNow, especially while I was watching a live event. About 10 seconds after hitting the green button, IntoNow was able to indicate that I was watching the Super Bowl, even while a commercial was airing. I was added to the list of 1,000-plus users who were watching the game, and I was able to see information, such as location, channel and teams. Regular programs or movies will displays plot information and cast details. IntoNow tracks 130 channels of currently airing television, and has an index of 140 million minutes of previously recorded programming. Because of this sound library, IntoNow will be able to identify most television programs and movies aired in the past five years, and the system works with shows or movies playing on any device.

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To play up its social networking aspect, users can browse curated lists of programming via the “Discover” tab, or see what’s popular. If a show is currently on air, it will be marked with a green triangle, so you can easily see if there’s something airing that you’re missing out on. When viewing show information, IntoNow provides links to purchase via iTunes, to see more information via an IMDb page or to add to your Netflix queue, when available.

IntoNow is only available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, so its presence is limited, but I see the service catching on fast as its market widens.

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