Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shazam Music Identification App

In the spirit of the music apps Tony Campo has been reviewing lately in his "The New Walkman" series, I've taken the time to review a music identification app called Shazam (you know... to help you fill your music library if you haven't already!). Shazam can identify music that is playing by using the microphone to listen to music that is coming out of any (decently working) speaker. Simply press the tag button in the "Tag" section of the app and hold your phone up to the speaker playing the music and in about ten seconds it identifies the song that's currently playing and who it's by. Cool huh? If you haven't already, check out Tony's first article on Pandora here. Read on about how well Shazam worked for me, how to use it, and what I use it for in THIS review by clicking on the picture above.

App Profile:
Type: Music Identification
Platforms: Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, iOS
Developer: Shazam Entertainment LTD
Main reason for downloading: To help you identify music on the go and remember to download it later

Shazam "tagging" page
Before I found out about Shazam, I would hear a song I liked on the radio, in a restaurant, at the bowling alley, at the bar, etc... and I would try my hardest to strain my ears and listen to key words in the song that could help me identify it later. I would sometimes even go as far as to write the Chorus lyrics down to help me in my search to find it later. Sometimes after a long search I could find the song. Sometimes it took entirely too long (longer than I'd like to admit to you) to find a song, but I'd eventually dig it up. Other times, I'd search for longer than I ever should have and would never find the song I'd heard. Unfortunately, I didn't know any other way.

Enter: Shazam - the magical app that allows me to identify music on the spot and save my "tagged" songs in a history folder. I was set!

I used this free application numerous times to help me identify music. Then, one day, Shazam told me that I was out of free tags for the month and would need to purchase the full app to keep tagging music. I was devastated... until I found out the full app (Shazam Encore) was only $4.99. Ever since I downloaded it, it's been worth every penny. Not only does it save me a ton of time when trying to identify songs, it's never failed. I've been able to successfully identify every song I've ever tried to identify as long as I can close to the speaker.

A successfully "tagged" song.
So how's it work? To tag a song, simply open up the app and it brings you to the "Tagging" screen. There, you'll see a large Shazam logo. Tap on the Logo, and it starts the "Tagging" process where it is using the microphone in your phone to listen to the song that's playing and then relays it to Shazam's magical music servers that match it up with a song. Once a match is found, it brings it up and gives you options of where to go from there. You can purchase it from Amazon Music, share it on Facebook, create a station based on it on Pandora, play it in Spotify... the list goes on. You can, of course, do whatever you want with that information. If you would like to, you can now go into your favorite music downloader and buy the song. That's usually what I do.

If you have an Android phone there's an optional add-on that helps with tagging music quickly. It can be downloaded from the Android Market. It's called Shazam tag shortcut and it's developed by Jesse VanAssen. This free download allows you to create a shortcut on the homepage of your smartphone that, when tapped, will open up Shazam and start tagging a song immediately. It's helpful because if you tag a song and then hit the home button, reopening the app immediately brings you back to that song and then you have to fumble around trying to get to the tagging page before the song is over. This prevents that from happening.

There is a free version of Shazam that will allow five tags per month. The paid version is $4.99 in the Android Market and Amazon Appstore for Android, $5.99 in the iTunes App Store, $4.99 in the Blackberry Appworld, and $4.99 in the Windows Marketplace (although if you have a Windows phone with Windows Phone 7.5 software installed, you can use Bing Music to identify it for free).

The app keeps a history of songs you've tagged so you don't forget what you tagged later

You can connect to Facebook through the app and show your friends what you're tagging

The "Tag Now" icon is the shortcut for Android phones that you can add to the home screen of your phone.

1 comment:

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