Have you ever heard a song playing in a coffee shop or a restaurant and fallen in love with it but you didn’t know the name of the song or the artist? I can’t count how many times I had found myself in this unfortunate circumstance until I discovered the mobile application called Shazam.
Shazam is a mobile app that allows its users to tag songs that are being played around them and it will identify the name of the song, artist, album and many more interesting facts about the song. The app uses the microphone that is built into the smart phone in order to record a 15 second snippet of the song being played. Shazam then establishes an acoustic fingerprint based on the recording and compares its attributes to see if it can generate a match within its central database of songs. If the system can match the acoustic fingerprint to a particular song then the program will identify the artist, song, album, lyrics, artist biographies and much more. The program will then offer links to purchase the song off of iTunes, Zune and other online music stores. The app compiles all of the user’s tagged songs into a tag list where they can view all of their songs. They can also connect with other friends using Shazam and view and compare each other’s tagged song lists.
The application comes in several different versions. The free version operates just as effectively as Shazam Encore (the paid app costs $5.99), however the free version only allows for 5 tags per month while the paid version allows for unlimited tags. While this app is a very innovative and useful program, it is often hard to tag songs if there is any considerable amount of background noise disrupting the song (while the app may thrive for quite elevator music, it doesn’t adapt well to loud restaurants or outdoor settings). Despite these minor hindrances, Shazam is still a very useful and effective tool for discovering new music wherever you may hear it.