Shazam Update Brings Intriguing New Features to iPhone App


Shazam (free, iTunes link) is one of the very few apps that I’ve actually gotten regular use out of, even nearly a year since its initial release. It does what my brain, radio DJs and movie credits can’t always do, which is identify music that I hear in passing while at the mall, during a movie or on the radio. I tag an album, carry it around for a while, remember that I’ve tagged it, and pick up a nice, new album here and there.

A new update just released for Shazam brings more features, including some that I wouldn’t expect in this kind of software. Expected or not, they are intriguing, and I’m looking forward to finding out if I’ll actually put them to good use.

The new features are designed to make the whole Shazam experience more social. There’s Twitter integration, so that you can tweet your tags directly, thereby sharing them with your followers. And even if your friends aren’t hip enough to have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon yet, you can share tags via old-school email postcards that allow them to add the info to their own Shazam accounts.

Perhaps more interesting than Twitter integration is that you can track your tags geographically using your iPhone’s location services. Your tags now appear on a map within the Shazam app, thanks to the new 3.0 Google Maps access API, which provides a visual geographic history of where and when you had music discovery moments. That would’ve come in handy for John Cusack’s character in “High Fidelity,” when he was organizing his music collection biographically. Time will tell if these additions influence the way we interact with music, or join the growing legion of underused iPhone app features.