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Shazam Update Brings Intriguing New Features to iPhone App

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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.

9 Responses to “Shazam Update Brings Intriguing New Features to iPhone App”

  1. DhanNoon

    Question: I realize the whole “Adds to make it free” quote on the Shazam website, but do you still have to pay for anything, like a monthly payment?

  2. Gazoobee

    @ biz: you make a good point, but I wonder if that’s really the reason they put it in there or if the location feature is all about advertising again.

    On reflection, I think I’m just angry about the advertising being put into the app. Given that it’s still the only song recogniser that works even half the time I would probably pay a dollar or two just to get rid of those ads.

    I find the whole concept of advertising in free apps despicable and dishonest. Either it’s free or it’s not. “Free with ads” is not free, it’s just a different way of paying for the app. I’d rather have the option to use that “money” stuff and pay for it honestly. :-)

  3. @gazoobee: I would *definitely* care where I was when I discovered a song…it’s a mind-map kind of thing….

    Example: if you remember you were at X restaurant when you heard that awesome song that you can’t remember, you just need to remember the restaurant (which is easier to remember vs. the song which was new), and Shazam: you can then figure out what that awesome song was.

    I always remember I was at Delfina’s when I discovered Outkast. But knew NOTHING about Outkast at the time; Delfina’s was a lot easier to remember.

    At least, that’s how my brain works :-p

  4. Gazoobee

    Just for a data point, I hate the new Shazam update. It’s still almost as useful as it used to be, but I find the new interface ugly and hard to see and the addition of many advertisements is just rude and annoying. The new features are great for those that need them I guess, but I can’t see any use for them myself.

    Why would I care *where* I was when I discovered a song? (or anyone else for that matter?) Why would I want to share that info with anyone? Why would I want to tweet about it?

    I find people who tweet about useless mundane stuff like that are the first one’s I block off my list. With so many people tweeting about so many things, I find that the tweet has to be interesting or useful in some way or it’s just not worth it. A million tweets that are essentially “cool song” and a link to purchase it just sounds annoying to me.

  5. I too enjoy yhenew features on this app. I like the way Of viewing lyrics, just in case I can’t understand what Sting is singing in “Roxanne”