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  • Review

Tag a Tune

  • Currently 4.6/5
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Rating: 4.6/5 (48 votes)
Comments (26) | Views (5,422)
tagatune.jpgArtbegottiA bit of sad news to announce: the previously-reviewed Peekaboom has been removed from the web (although The ESP Game, by the same folks, is a great alternative). The game, created as part of a study by Carnegie Mellon University, was created with the intention of teaching computers how to "see" images based on the input that human players gave. However, CMU has designed a new website with more games for teaching computers to think called GWAP (Games With A Purpose), including the new game Tag a Tune.

Instead of teaching computers to "see" you're teaching computers to "hear". You are partnered up with another random player with whom you cannot comminucate with (until the end of the game). As a sample of a random piece of music is played for you, type in the words or phrases that describe what you're hearing. Does the music fit into a certain genre? Can you name any of the instruments playing? Is it fast or slow? Happy or sad?

Meanwhile, your partner does the same, although (twist ahoy), you might not be listening to the same bit of music as your partner. Based on the descriptions given by yourself and your partner, you need to answer one simple question to earn points: Are we listening to the same thing?

You and your partner only have three minutes to match as many pairs as you can, so type fast and make your selections quickly. You get points for correctly guessing Same/Different, and streaks earn you bigger bonuses.

If you score 1000 points in the main game, you and your partner are taken to the bonus round, where more points are waiting to be won. You're now given three shorter sound clips, and are asked to choose the one that is "most unique." Sometimes, this is easy (classical, classical, techno), while other times might have you scratching your head a bit (techno, jazz, opera). You have one minute in this stage to try to match your partner's response as many times as you can before the game ends.

Analysis: A simple interface and a fun concept, Tag a Tune has the added bonus of being a game with, well, a purpose! In other words, you get to play, but work is accomplished and computers get smarter, freeing up more time for us to play games, so everybody wins! An unfortunate drawback to the system is that it requires free registration, but it only takes a few seconds and requires nothing more than an e-mail and password. A worthy price of admission for a little cooperative tune guessing.

Play Tag a Tune


luckily there is a game that is almost identical to peekaboom by google. google image labeler


guess what i'm doing all day


Fun game, but most annoying thing ever? Partners who guess (correctly, even) without writing anything. Help me out here, guys!

The Great Dane October 20, 2008 11:57 AM

That is really an interesting concept. And it works very well. There is a problem in that you can ruin it for your partner by lying, and then scoring higher. It seemed that several of my partners tried to do that, and then it became a question of trust and reading the other's behaviors. That kinda ruined my experience. Maybe it should be age over 16 in stead of 13.
But nice game over all.


This is a really fun game!
Success depends on the ability of the partner, though... so there is a psychological component too: what description is likely to help my partner?


I've moved on to Verbosity and CHLORIDE!!! How hard is it to guess CHLORIDE?!? I mean, come on people, work with me.



IN the bonus round sometimes the C option will not play or be chosen. Pain!


Nice game. I wish I could choose my opponent though.


Cool game, cool idea.
But apparently, they can't find a partner for me. I am waiting more than 5 minutes.


I loved it while it was working, but now it's just glitchy. It seems like I'm being dropped into the middle of other people's games.


On Tag-a-Tune, if two of them have vocals -- regardless of when in time the vocals came from -- and the other is a chamber quartet? It's ALWAYS the chamber quartet that is different.

By the way, I'm mbevel1972 on the scoreboard.


Fun game, but desperately needs an option to disconnect players who are idle, rather than waiting for the time limit to run out.

Pandragon October 20, 2008 4:21 PM

Other games in the site are also intriguing!
This is very fun, THANK YOU!


w00t, i've been waiting for like 20 minutes and nobody comes in??? Either that or it's broken :(
Can someone tell me if it's working for them?


@ koro:

The site seems to be broken at the moment. ESP, Squigl, and Matchin work for me, but Tag a Tune can't match a partner, and Verbosity doesn't load the game window. Hopefully they're working on it right now.


Dang, I'm a musician, and tag a tune sounded fun, but it is completely down. I waited 25 minutes and nothing. :(

Platypus guy October 20, 2008 7:43 PM

I can't connect but the other games on the site are fun.


Funny because I was JUST thinking of Peekaboom yesterday.


Peekaboom was great but it was ruined by inadequate partners, those who took one guess and ran away due to juvenile frustration. Don't think I want to walk into the same environment.


I like it, but I actually prefer Verbosity.

If you want to get a lot of points, then 'Matchin' is the best one! If you get on the same wavelength as the other person you can easily get 15,000 points in one go.


Verbosity was a lot more fun, but I kept running into words I couldn't type. For instance, the secret word would be webcam, but when I'd try to type it, it said "dictionary words only."

Had to write into support and let them know.


I'd also like to throw in that it'd be nice to chat a bit with people, stick around so we can bad mouth how hard some of the words are.

Cassie! :D October 21, 2008 10:21 PM

I can't get a partner.... =[.


Does anyone know if or when it will be working again? Was fun!


It works for me now. :)


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