Monday, September 26, 2022

Curious results

I asked Amazon for "domra instrument". Of the first 19 entries, one was a decal of a domra player. OK. I was also offered a blue kazoo, a bongo drum set, a harmonica, a jaw harp, an Otamatone, a "wave bead ocean drum", a portable analog synthesizer, six kalimbas and five steel tongue drums. The next page includes more of the same, a Tibetan singing bowl, a percussion box (the wooden one you sit on), and some sheet music for a domra--which is at least within shouting distance. Asking for "alto domra" gets me sheet music, recordings, and blood pressure meters.

It's hard to believe the algorithms are that wild. They can't be blocking Russian-related vendors, can they?

Nope; asking for a balalaika returns an offer for a violin kit, followed by several for balalaika prima (and that blue kazoo again, and a ukelele). I guess the domra is just not weird enough for quick recognition, so it isn't so popular. Or that sponsored offers are shoved in anyplace they might be remotely relevant. But I still don't understand the blood pressure meters. Maybe they figure you'll need them after the interminable search for what you want.

UPDATE: "domra folk musical instrument" finds one, mixed in with with the kalimba and flute and wave bead ocean drum.

1 comment:

Douglas2 said...

I used to be pretty good on Amazon at using search operators to find items that had specific features that I wanted or did not contain features that would disqualify them for my use.
But they've made changes which defeat me, and I have to resort to guessing from pictures and titles which choices might be ok, opening some 30 or more product-page tabs so that I can investigate each result individually and close each page where the product is shown not to meet my requirements. Even then I often have to go to manufacturers' web pages to find actual specifications for an item, or even find and open the PDF instruction manual helpfully provided by a competitor vendor.

The most recent item where Amazon defeated me was looking for an audio "hum eliminator" that had XLR connectors for input but 1/8" jack for output --- to many lecture presentation rooms that I'm encountering have provision for audio input only from HDMI-with-video or a too-short cable intended for a laptop headphone jack.

Someone must be convinced that this sort of change to search helps their bottom line.