Sometimes, an app comes along and does something really awesome. More often that not, the creator of the app is content to sit back and enjoy the success and not evolve. That’s fine in some situations, but it’s really fantastic when an app creator is willing to keep moving forward. This extra effort makes for an app that even years after its release, is still worth talking about.
Shazam certainly fits the description of an app that was not content with its original functionality. It is one of the very first apps I ever downloaded on my iPhone. An app that could identify any song I am listening to? That was amazing.
Well, years later, Shazam is still doing its thing, and it keeps getting better and better. Does it still identify music? Of course it does, but now, it does so much more. It has evolved over time, and it has become something truly special.
So as you would expect from Shazam, it is able to identify any song quickly and easily. Simply press the Shazam logo on the bottom of the screen, and within a few seconds, it will be able to identify the song. It was even able to identify obscure dubstep songs, which was quite impressive.
Once it identifies the song, it will present you with plenty of options such as buying the song on iTunes, watching the video on YouTube, listening on Rdio (which requires a Rdio subscription), looking up the lyrics and more. Just finding out the name of a song is so two years ago, and Shazam offers plenty of options that go beyond that.
The speed with which Shazam can identify a song is impressive, but what really blew me away is how quickly it can identify a TV show. I purposely switched my TV to some show I’ve never heard of called “For Rent” on HGTV. If I’ve never heard of it, Shazam can’t possibly identify it, right? Wrong; it knew exactly what show I was watching within a matter of seconds. I was genuinely shocked and thoroughly impressed.
Just like identifying music, Shazam offers plenty of options after it finds the show. For example, you can see the IMDB page, the Wikipedia article, a list of music in the show, and more awesome stuff. It’s a truly incredible resource.
Shazam also saves everything you’ve tagged for later, so you can always go back. This is helpful if you wanted to go back and find some information on a song or TV show you identified in the past.
There is a Discover section that allows you to see things other people have identified. From here, you can see the music that is currently most popular on Shazam. You can also search for something specific if it’s not playing currently and therefore cannot be tagged using the recognition features.
A friends list in the app allows you to see what other people in Shazam are tagging lately. This is another cool way to discover new things to do on Shazam. You can link the app with Facebook, which automatically populates your Shazam friends with people on your Facebook that also use the app.
Speaking of linking with Facebook, you can control whether or not Shazam posts the things you tag to Facebook through the settings tab. You access this under the “Shazam Friends” tab in settings. You can also unlink your accounts if you decide you don’t want them to be linked anymore. Settings is also where you will come to decide what kinds of content Shazam notifies you about.
Overall, Shazam has improved by leaps and bounds over the years. It has gone from a good app to a fantastic app. Honestly, I can see how it is able to identify music, but the fact that it can identify a TV show from just a few lines of dialog blows my mind. If you haven’t taken Shazam for a test drive since it first came out, you should download it again, because I promise, you will be impressed.