Music Identification

Know What Song Is Playing Wherever You Go

Overview

Have you ever been out with friends, and wanted to know what song was playing in the background? This is the category for you. From Abba to Ziggy Stardust, find the artist and song title like a pro.

Essential Apps

  • $6.99

    Shazam Encore

    by Shazam Entertainment Ltd.

    Shazam Encore is the premium music identification app on the App Store. Boasting a variety of features, Shazam Encore is your ultimate music identification tool. Just tap the Shazam button and the app will automatically grab the song playing. However it doesn't end here; Shazam recently launched its own little social network so you can see, within the app, the music your friends have been tagging. You can also view the song's lyrics, watch its YouTube music video, buy the song on iTunes or play the full track on Spotify, all directly linked within the app. Shazam Encore also presents you with recommendations depending on the music you've already tagged. Although it's got a hefty price tag, it definitely is the best service out there.

  • $6.99

    (Shazam)RED

    by Shazam Entertainment Ltd.

    (Shazam)RED is the same great app with a bonus. By purchasing the app, you help fight AIDS in Africa. The app includes all of Shazam Encore’s features as well as Shazam’s mini social network. (Shazam)RED is also has a red color scheme and provides you with the latest news in (RED) products and events.

Notable Apps

  • Free

    MusicID with Lyrics

    by Gravity Mobile

    MusicID is another great music identification app for the iPhone. The app boasts a beautifully designed interface, the ability to display artist biographies and related YouTube videos to the song tagged. Furthermore, MusicID allows you to view the song’s lyrics and also features iPod integration. You can also use the in-app search to search for other artists, songs, and lyric previews. Overall, it seems like something fresh in Music identification apps, and is quite different from its competitors.

  • Free

    SoundHound

    by SoundHound, Inc.

    SoundHound is probably the better free music identification app on the App Store. The app is the fastest at identifying what is playing and also offers bonus features such as sharing what is currently playing on your iPod, related artist information and more. Also, unlike the free version of Shazam, SoundHound has unlimited tagging, ensuring that if you are not up to paying for any of the premium music identification apps, this ad-supported version will certainly be the one for you.

  • Free

    Shazam - Music Discovery

    by Shazam Entertainment Ltd.

    The app that started it all: Shazam was the first ever music identification app to hit the App Store. However, with Shazam Encore out, the free version has become quite limited, only offering about 5 tags per month. Overall though, it contains the same great feature-set as Shazam Encore. But due its extreme limitations, you may find it hard to reserve a spot for it on your homescreen.

Decent Apps

  • $6.99

    SoundHound ∞

    by SoundHound, Inc.

    SoundHound ? is the ad-free version of the free SoundHound app with a few extra features. The app is focused on tagging as fast as possible, “as little as four seconds” as the developers claim. SoundHound ? also includes other features such as sharing the song you have tagged on various popular social networks, view full-length music videos from YouTube, iTunes and Pandora links, lyrics, artist Wikipedia bios and more. Unfortunately with my experience of the app, it is not as accurate as I would have hoped. I tagged a famous Black-Eyed Peas song and SoundHound ? displayed the French album information of the song while Shazam quickly found the same song in English. This may be due to the app’s focus on speed over accuracy. Hence, I feel, it doesn’t do justice to its hefty price tag.