The iTunes/Starbucks deal is not so crazy after all

When Apple announced that they were partnering with Starbucks, many people scratched their heads. I’ve now changed my tune. In fact, I think the plan should be expanded to more types of stores.

Here’s the basic idea…you walk into a Starbucks. While you’re waiting for your double peppermint soy latte, you notice that you happen to like the song that’s playing. You take out your iPhone or WiFi-capable iPod Touch and it tells you what song is currently playing, as well as what songs were playing previously (in case you didn’t realize you liked the song until after it stopped playing). You can then buy the song right from your iPhone and sync it back up to your computer when you get home. The program is now active in Seattle, San Francisco, and New York, and will expand to more cities next year.

It’s not something I can see myself using frequently unless I start spending more time in Starbucks, but the idea is sound. This morning, I went to get a bagel from Bruegger’s and heard a song playing that caught my attention. It was a female singer who sounded somewhat like Kate Bush and sounded like it belonged to the late 80s-era alternative scene from England. The sound system wasn’t very good, but I thought I made out the lyrics “We could be dancing” as part of the chorus.

I hate not being able to figure out what song I’ve heard, so I hopped onto Google when I returned home and searched for ‘”We could be dancing” lyrics’ in Google, but came up with songs that sounded nothing like what I heard. Thinking I may have miss heard part of the lyrics, I modified the search to “could be dancing”, “you could be dancing”, “I could be dancing”, even “be dancing”. None of the songs were even close.

I then resorted to a different strategy. I knew Kate Bush had recently released a new album, so I checked out the most popular songs from it using iTunes – didn’t sound anything like what I had heard. I then thought further: who sounds like Kate Bush, may even sound like she has a British accent, but is more recent? Tori Amos. I tried searching for ‘”We could be dancing” “Tori Amos”‘ in Google but again came up short. I tried several purported lyrics search site as well as Melodyhound, a site that lets you enter a tune to search with using a virtual piano keyboard. Nothing.

In one last attempt, I went to iTunes and looked up Tori’s newest album and picked the most popular song, Bouncing Off Clouds. To my surprise, that was the song. It turns out the would “dancing” was actually “bouncing”. Who knew? If Bruegger’s had a system like Starbucks, it would have saved me a great deal of wasted time and frustration.

3 Replies to “The iTunes/Starbucks deal is not so crazy after all”

  1. Today’s version of iTunes/Starbucks is you walk into a Pottery Barn or something and they have a CD for sale at the counter. You could buy 40 CDs for the price of an iPhone.

    Couldn’t you have just asked the Bruegger’s clerk what was playing?

  2. 1) An iPhone and 40 CDs serve totally different purposes. This makes no sense. Also, what if I only want one track? How many stores do this CD thing anyway? (Answer: not many).
    2) I didn’t decide I wanted the song until after I got home, but I actually did go to the trouble of calling Bruegger’s when Google failed me. They had no idea.

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