Why the Internet is awesome, part 147

Sunday, February 22, 2009 2:38 pm By BigLig

So, for ages now, I've loved an astounding version of "Puttin' on the Ritz", performed by Fred Astaire and a terrific Jazz band, more modern . (I now know it's from the 1952 sessions he did with Oscar Peterson and the best contract musicians of Verve.) Wanted to a) buy it and b) buy more of the same, but how to work out what album it is on?
Then in the car today, "Top Hat and Tails", obviously from the same sessions, was on, and as I arrived at work I was very cross. How to solve this problem?
Then a thought. I've recently signed up for the UK version of Spotify. It's a service that let's you stream music: very good selection, ad supported unless you subscribe. My iPod goes everywhere I do, so I don't have much use for it; I mainly use it when I'm considering buying an album - I just pop it onto Spotify and I can have a good listen, decide if I want it or not.
What if I listen to every version of "Puttin' on the Ritz" on Spotify until I find the one I want?
And low and behold. Fred Astaire's Finest hour, a highlight of the 18 best tracks from the session: which is enough information to give me the session information, which is enough information to find The Astaire Story, which is the whole 38 tracks.
Now I just need to figure out which one I want to buy!
I suppose that if I'd thought of this method sooner, I could have probably done something similar to this with an iTunes search. But the Internet is still awesome.