Title: Shazam

Cost: Free

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.

About Rebekah Kamp

Rebekah works as the Youth Services Librarian at the Belgrade Community Library. She enjoys designing innovative programming for children and teens. When not at the library, Rebekah is an outdoor enthusiast who loves spending time with her children camping, hiking, and exploring in Montana.

One Thought on “App of the Week: Shazam

  1. Kelly Metzger on March 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm said:

    Thank you for the thorough review. I will definitely be checking this out and sharing with students (and family!)

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