It must have happened to you too: you’re in your living room, surrounded by all your electronical gadgets, and suddenly you hear an alert tone. “Bong!”, “or dee-dee-dah, didadidah dee daah”. And you’ve forgotten which gadget it can be, or what application. Is it the default SMS alert on your Motorola i265? Or is it your Sony PSP telling you that firmware update 3.52 has completed? Or is it Adium’s sound for a private message on Jabber when you use the Synthetic Misc sound set? Or your TV, or your set-top box, or your watch, or your kettle, or your house-arrest ankle bracelet, or your tamagochi, or what?! You’re confused, you don’t know how to react, and you FAIL.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those “name that tune” web services to help identify a standard sound? I haven’t played with one recently (I’m certainly not going to give some random Java/Flash applet access to my microphone) but I remember liking one that would let you input a tone as text, with a simple notation which only made you indicate if the next note is higher (h) or lower (l) or the same (*). For instance you entering “***lh**l” on the web form would return Beethoven’s fifth (and perhaps a couple of other hits). And it worked really well. Anyway, whatever the input method, a standard alert tone recognition service would be a great idea, and you heard about it here first.