Sounds fun right? I thought I would start a series about iPhone apps and if I find them useful or not. I’ll review things like the interface and the ease of use as well as the functionality of the app.
Shazam, in case you haven’t heard of it, is a music tagging app. You hold it up to a speaker, it listens and then returns what the song is. It works like magic but isn’t.
Here’s some screen captures of the interface:
When you first fire up Shazam you get to the Recent Tags screen:
Pretty straight forward. Tap on a tag and get tag details:
From here it’ll search Youtube and iTunes to see if a video or download is available. Tapping on the approate link will launch the corresponding app. You can also do a couple of other things from here: Email/share the tag or attach a photo to the tag. Sharing the tag can be handy.
Tap on the “Tag Now” button and it’ll start listening via the iPhone mic:
After its done listening it’ll show the details or the not found message:
You can also change the listening time:
The longer the listening time supposedly helps with figuring out what song it is. I have mine set to the longest (15 seconds), though I haven’t noticed a difference one way or the other.
Over all the interface is pretty clean and clear to use.
Shazam does a pretty good job of figuring out what song its listening to. Though I’ve tried to get it to recognize some obscure Jazz that I have from the 20′s and 30′s and it couldn’t figure it out. It could figure out some of the more popular music from that era. It also figured out some local bands here from Denver. So they must update themselves pretty quickly. It even is able to pick up low music in crowed bars/restaurants, though not all the time. Of course this all happens within a few seconds. How they manage to do that I beyond me. I had found a PDF from MIT (I think) that described how it could be done in micro-seconds. But alas I can’t seems to find it anymore.
Overall it’s a great little app. It’s free, which is an added bonus to the functionality it offers. Though I would gladly pay for it. So if you have an iPhone or an iPod Touch go download it. Shazam is a must have!
I found the PDF I was thinking of yesterday. Its on An Industrial-Strength Audio Search Algorithm [PDF]. And it is by someone that works at Shazam Inc. It’s also not from MIT but hosted on Columbia University’s servers.