A new web-based app called Record Player (spotted by Pitchfork) lets users search for records on Spotify by simply taking a picture of the record cover. While seemingly far more impractical than searching for the record using Spotify’s search function, it could be useful in the rare case where the name of the record isn’t written on its sleeve or, you know, for having fun.
The app uses the Google Cloud API and the Spotify API. You just need to head to the app’s webpage, log into Spotify, upload or take a picture of a record, and then the Google Vision API will guess the song before searching Spotify for the result.
— Patrick Weaver (@patrickweave_r) May 2, 2018
I tested the app using record covers from some of my favorite albums (ok, I don’t have any physical albums so I used a Google image search) and it had absolutely no problem finding either AM by Arctic Monkeys or Is This It by The Strokes. One of our team who was able to try it on an actual CD had less success; the app mistook Taking Back Sunday’s self-titled album for the band’s earlier release Louder Now.
To give the app a bit more of a challenge, I also decided to do a search using an album from Korea. After all, one place where it could be genuinely useful is if you can’t actually read what is on the record cover.
Eventually, I settled on a song called Flower Road by a band called Big Bang. Did it work? Well, after an agonizing wait, it showed me… an album called Title Fight by a band called Flowers Green. Not exactly what I was after but at least they got the flower theme right.
If you want to try out the app yourself, and you should definitely give it a go, you can do so here.