Shazam App – Name that Tune

Total Score:  24

Shazam is a handy app to have when you hear a song and cannot remember the name or artist.  The app listens to the radio or music source (not your singing), identifies the song, album (with cover art), and offers you a link to iTunes in case you want to buy it.  The main purpose is to identify the name of a song – not to listen to music.  The iPad app icon has a silver band around it and the background color is a slightly darker blue.

Price Rating = 5    This version of the app is free.  There is also a paid version, Shazam Encore.  It is $6.99.   I did not test that version.

Ease of Use Rating = 5     Very easy.   It’s as simple as pushing a button

Readability Rating = 5      Nice large font that is easy to read

Will You Use It Rating = 3     It is not for everyday use, but it is handy when you need it.

Downsides Rating  = -1     You are limited to five “tags” or selections per month.   While the original free version did have unlimited tagging, this version limits the number of times you can check the name of a song.  It does not seem to be too restrictive to me.  If you find yourself wanting to identify more than five songs a month than Shazam Encore is the app for you.  At this time, this version is only available on the app for the iPhone or iPod Touch.

If there is other ambient noise, like in a bar, the app may not be able to identify the song.  Your choice is to move closer to the music source or decide you don’t care that much.

  Consumer Review Rating = 3.5     361,000 people reviewed the app.  Most of the objections were to the number of times you could tag a song.  I’ve had this app for 18 months and I have never needed to tag more than five per month.  With a reasonable amount of usage, the free app should work for you.

Why Do You Need This App Rating = 4    This is a handy app.  You can settle bar arguments and get that annoying “what is the name of that song,” out of your mind.

How does it work? 

The speakers in your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad serve as the ears for this app.  It listens to songs and identifies them.  There seems to be almost an element of magic about how quickly it comes up with an answer.    You open the app and do the following:

  1. Touch the Shazam symbol.
  2. It starts “listening.”
  3. It identifies the song and offers you an opportunity to buy it.

I did manage to stump it on an old version of an Ace Cannon cut. When it doesn’t get the answer on the first try it asks you for an opportunity to try again.  It may have better luck on a different part of the song.

You can share your tagged songs with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

It appears that the iPad and iPhone versions have similar functionality.  Options are just a little more accessible on the larger iPad screen.  Oddly enough, the app on the iPhone seems to be a little more visual than on the iPad.  It has a lot of black and white, which is highly readable, but, not particularly visually enticing.   There is one screen that is interesting – Tag Stream cascades colorful images of the CD art for songs recently tagged by others around the country.

Devices:  This app can be used on either the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.  It requires iOS 5.0 or later.  This app was developed by Shazam Entertainment, LLC.



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