You're in a bar, and the DJ starts spinning a great song. Problem is, you don't know Common from Kanye -- a shortcoming you'd prefer not to admit. What to do? Dial 866-411-SONG and hold your cell up to the speaker for 15 seconds. The service will send you a text message with your mystery song's title and artist, as well as a Web link to purchase the tune as a ring tone.

The idea for 411-SONG was born of frustration. "I had been living in Europe," explains 35-year-old company CEO Sunjay Guleria. "When I came back to the States, I didn't know what was on the radio, and the DJs weren't ID'ing the songs. I starting talking to people, and it was obvious that there was a desire for this kind of service."

Only pop, hip-hop and R&B are covered. And don't try humming into your phone: The service recognizes only pre-recorded material. Each correctly identified tune costs 99 cents, and there's a database of more than 2.5 million songs.

Of course, that doesn't mean you'll make a sonic match every time. While 411-SONG had no trouble identifying Beyonce's "Naughty Girl," New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle" was a no-go.

Greg Zinman