Wednesday App Review: Shazam


I love music. If I had one downfall, it’s probably my inability to give up listening to music. Even as I type this, I have my headphones on, rocking out to an old Apocalyptica track (those cellos!) while I write. So, obviously, an app like Shazam has a permanent spot on my phone’s homescreen and when I am out and about I probably use it more than almost any other app. When it was first released in 2008, the Shazam’s song identification was so-so, and I admit I wasn’t super impressed. The app failed at identifying anything that wasn’t mainstream. And foreign music? Forget about it. So when I upgraded my smartphone a year ago, I decided to give Shazam a second look and man, am I glad that I did. Not only does Shazam identify songs with pretty startling accuracy, but it is excellent at doing so in a noisy car or a crowded restaurant or in a busy food court at the mall. And, unlike previous iterations of the app, Shazam is good at not only mainstream American rock and pop, but other genres like dance, country and rap. It even identified foreign folk rock group Eluveitie, which was pretty cool. Whenever you Shazam a song, you are not only greeted with the name of the song and who performs it, but a host of other information as well such as links to purchase the music, artist biographies, music videos (if applicable), other simlar songs to explore and lyrics. I have found that Shazam is the be-all-end-all of settling debates over lyrics and was invaluable in trying to figure out what the heck Sia is saying in her song, “Chandelier” (which I had to Shazam to find the name). It’s almost like having a little mini music concierge in your pocket. According to Shazam’s website, the app can also be used to identify what TV show is currently playing in the room. All you have to do is hit the button and then hold the phone up to the TV and it should be able to identify the show. I honestly haven’t had any reason to test this out so I can’t speak as to how accurate or useful it would be, but it’s kind of a neat side ability as well. I don’t believe it works for anything other than TV shows though. In addition to music and TV identification, Shazam also has a social function. You can connect the app with your Facebook and share music and TV shows that you discover with friends and also see what cool things your friends are discovering. This isn’t necessary to actually use the app, however. Shazam also compiles a list of the top music that people have identified with Shazam, which is kind of fun. Shazam is available for Android and iPhone. There is both a free version and a paid version, and from what I can see the only difference between the two is ads. So, if ads don’t bother you, then there’s zero need to actually fork out any money for this app as the “pro” version doesn’t seem to have any additional features. All in all, if you’re a music lover then you definitely need Shazam. Who knows, you could be missing out on your next favorite song!]]>

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