Aug 21, 2013
App Awareness: The Evolution Of Shazam

You’re watching your favorite TV show, or you’re eating at your favorite restaurant, and a song comes on. You love it. You reach for your favorite music recognition app. Maybe it’s Shazam, maybe it’s not. But with their new facelift, here’s why next time, it will be Shazam.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the app, Shazam started out as a music tagging service. Using your phone’s microphone, a sample of music is grabbed and matched against Shazam’s music database in just a few seconds. Perhaps what is most impressive about their iOS app is the level of integration and intelligence they’ve reached since their start. Today, when you tag a song, you have the option of downloading it on iTunes, sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or email, listening to it on Rdio or YouTube, or viewing scrolling lyrics with LyricPlay. To sweeten the deal, the lyrics are aligned with where you are in the song at the time of tagging. You can also check out a map of other Shazamers’ tags in the area or around the world.

In their most recent 6.2.0 version, they added a few more functionalities: you can tag multiple songs and buy them all at once in iTunes, and you can get music recommendations based on your tags and what other Shazamers have bought. Last but not least, DJs, clubgoers, and electronic music lovers, this one is for you: they recently made a deal with Beatport. As of February, the entire Beatport catalog has been added to the Shazam database. This means you’ll be able to tag 20,000 new tracks every week.

The iPad version of the app got the biggest facelift when they added TV shows to their repertoire. With TV tagging, you can browse top-tagged TV shows, check out cast information, and see music from the episode. They’ve also enabled “Auto Tagging”, a feature that scans your environment for music, TV shows, and TV ads happening around you.

These impressive updates have really proven Shazam’s strength and ability to adapt in the music app world. The app is available on iOS here, Android, Windows, BlackBerry, and Nokia devices. For an extra cost, you can also buy the ad-free version, Shazam Encore, or (Shazam)Red, which donates 20% of song purchases to HIV and AIDS programs in Africa, in case you wanted to feel good while you listen to good music.

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