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NY Philharmonic's "Concert Companion"

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I got an email today from the NY Philharmonic, describing a test for a "Concert Companion":

During the final concerts of our Charles Ives Festival on May 27-28, we're introducing a new technology designed to help you enjoy the music even more.

It's called Concert Companion - a handheld PDA that displays realtime listening notes, synchronized to the music, during the performance.

Want to know what to listen for in Stravinsky's Petrushka? Curious about what Charles Ives is up to in his Three Places in New England? Concert Companion will tell you as the music unfolds before you, using a synchronized wi-fi broadcast of written listening notes by critic and composer Greg Sandow.

They have online sign-up (online sign-up to test the 75 PDA's available during the Ives/Stravinsky concerts.. Deadline for the Ives/Stravinsky concert is 12 May, with notification on 19 May.

This wouldn't work for ballet during the performance, but it would be an interesting option not only for concerts, but for opera venues that don't have supertitles or for the hearing impaired in theaters and movies.

Of course, this assumes that they will disable all of the audio on the devices!

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