Platform: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad (requires iOs 3.0 or later), Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Phone 7
I like to listen to public radio on my way home from work because the DJs select from a diverse library of tunes. I cannot tell you how often I hear a new, exciting song but miss the artist’s name. Desperately clinging to a few lyrics, I hurry home and try to put my reference skills to use. Sometimes I find the song, but just as often, the song is lost forever, only a hazy melody in my head. For music lovers, this week’s app is truly magic: Shazam!
Press the button on Shazam, and the app will listen for a few seconds, matching tunes with a database. The screen pops up with the album cover, the artist’s name, and a list of other ways to interact with the song. Share it with a friend via Facebook or Twitter, read lyrics in time with the song, check reviews, browse related You Tube videos, and buy tracks from iTunes. If you pay to upgrade the app, you can also add the song to Spotify and receive recommendations for similar music.
The app has an impressive array of features, but I wanted to find out what range of music Shazam could identify. I played tunes ranging from Minor Threat to J.S. Bach. All were successfully identified. To really test the app’s limits, I also played a few CDs from local artists. Songs from my hometown collection were unfortunately not found. I suspect that people with more eclectic music tastes would not be as successful. The app will not find music if you hum or sing the tune either.
After playing with this app for several days, I can say that it is a new favorite. Teens (and librarians) interested in music will fall in love. Tagging music with Shazam is informative and social. Those who enjoy a live show more than a recorded album will also appreciate the app’s ability to hear a tune and list upcoming tour locations, and who doesn’t enjoy discovering the lyrics to hard to understand songs? Check out this video on You Tube to see Shazam’s LyricPlay feature.
For more YALSA App of the Week posts, visit the App of the Week Archive.