Ty Roberts, CTO OF Gracenote, recently took his 8-year-old son to a Jonas Brothers concert. A sea of screaming teens used their cell phones to take pictures and record videos of the hit Disney Channel band.
In the midst of the insanity, it occurred to Roberts that it would be cool to help these fans instantly share the content they were creating. That idea turned into one of many intriguing projects underway at Gracenote, the small software firm with huge ambitions that Sony (SNE) purchased in June.
Sony hopes to use Gracenote's software to streamline the delivery of its movies, TV shows, and music over the Internet and to improve the ability of its phones, portable music players, PS3 game consoles, and TVs to receive digital content. Gracenote, a profitable, ten-year-old company, also licenses its product to Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500), Samsung, and Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500).