Shazam

Sort of like Yelp, Shazam is often seen as a redundant service to Microsoft’s built in Bing offerings. And like Yelp, Shazam does a lot more than too.

For instance, starting with version 3.5 you can tag (ID) songs even when you don’t have an active internet connection—that’s kind of a big deal if you’re like us and are always trying to figure out what that song is. You also get things like LyricPlay, the ability to buy music from the Xbox or Nokia Music stores, one-click tag with the Tile, watch YouTube videos, see local tags and more. Heck, it even has lockscreen support. That’s way more than the Bing Music ID service.

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Last week we reported that unconfirmed rumors on Reddit had hinted that Microsoft might be expanding it's Bing Audio music matching service. Today, the company announced that it would in fact be expanding the service into 14 new countries around the world. The music matching service is a great alternative to applications like Shazam, as it comes pre-bundled into the Windows Phone operating system.

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Shazam has been with us since Windows Phone 7 and is a fairly well-established msuic discovery app, come service. Today the company has pushed through an update to the Windows Phone Store, which introduces both automatic resubmission and LyricPlay, the latter being real-time lyrics for music to help consumers awkwardly sing along when in public.

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We’re actually pretty big fans of Shazam, the popular music ID service, as it tends to do a slightly more accurate job than the Bing music service. Throw in the ability to pin the scanner to your Start screen for 1-touch access and we’re happy campers.

Today, Shazam is announcing an updated Windows Phone 8 version of their popular app and it looks quite polished. Probably the biggest improvement comes from the tie in to Nokia Music, which is becoming an ever more popular service on Lumia Windows Phones.

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You'll be able to tag TV shows with Shazam soon enough

The popular music tagging service Shazam has reached 250 million users and has unleashed the ability to tag TV shows as well. The added functionality will enable users to find out what music is playing, who's acting on-screen, and more. The service is available in app form for Windows Phone, but it's often overshadowed by Microsoft's own Bing Audio music tagging integration on the mobile platform, which offers identical functionality.

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22

Shazam Mango updated to version 2.2

Shazam Encore, which has been updated as a game in the past, has finally received Mango treatment and has brought along some goodies. As well as fast-app switching, you're now able to pin the tagging functionality to the home screen to allow quick access. While Shazam is useful, Bing also offers music identification from a recording snippet too (for free).

You can pick up Shazam Encore for $5.99 from the Marketplace. What do you use? Bing or Shazam?

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Shazam, the only music ID app, has finally returned to the Marketplace along with its $5.99 super-expense-it's-not-really-worth-it older brother. (See our comparison video between the two)

Both apps were pulled a week ago for various reasons. For one, we knew Shazam (free) was installing under your Games category (no, it never uninstalled, it was there the whole time), so that required it to be pulled and fixed and re-submitted. Shazam Encore was pulled, some speculated, due to poor reception and the high price. Well, at least with the latter, it still has that high price--$5.99.

Encore though has been updated to v2.1 and we're comparing/contrasting with our v2.0 to see if there are any feature differences that could possibly justify the $6 price-tag, so look back in a few for that update...

Update: After comparing both the free version and Encore, we still find very little difference between the two apps. Nothing has changed, as far as we can tell.

You can grab Shazam (free) here and Shazam Encore ($5.99) from the Marketplace here. Thanks, SEKKDS, for noticiing!

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As some of you may have noticed, yesterday Shazam released two updates to their popular music ID program.

  1. Shazam (free) went to v2.0 with new features e.g. YouTube, discography, biography
  2. Shazam Encore, for $5.99, gives a "premium" experience e.g. unlimited tags, lyrics & recommendations

Some of you may have also noticed Shazam free has been pulled from the Marketplace--we're pretty sure that's a temporary problem due to the fact that the free version installed itself under Xbox Games and not applications. Obviously, that's a big problem (though quite common), so we bet it will be up in a day or two.

The next question though is this: Is Shazam Encore for $5.99 worth it?

Short answer: If you've been using the free version prior to May 11th, then you get unlimited tagging and no, Encore is not worth it. Watch the video for a more direct head to head.

Update: And like that now Shazam Encore has been pulled from the Marketplace. What's the reason? We really don't know though Windows Phone Daily speculates it's due to the negative response. Perhaps. Hopefully we'll learn more once it returns. Thanks, Derek!

Grab Encore here and the free version here, in the Marketplace.

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If you have a Zune Pass, you'll read this story and chuckle as Shazam + Zune Pass = music heaven (I use the combo 4-5 times a week, easily). For those outside of the U.S. who either don't have Zune Pass by choice or by circumstance (basically, not these countries), this may make you a little peeved. (If we recall, only United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain have Zune Pass access)

Today, both companies announced a partnership that will come close to simulating the Shazam + Zune Pass experience:

Shazam, the world’s leading mobile discovery company, today announced that Spotify, the popular music service, will be integrated across the full range of Shazam’s free and premium Apps for iPhone, iPod touch and Android. As a result, Shazamers will be able to access Spotify directly through a new ‘Play in Spotify’ feature, which will take them directly to Spotify where they can immediately begin listening to the full track that they either tagged or discovered within Shazam from recommendations or the Shazam charts.

Why no Windows Phone support? We have no idea--although one could surmise a disagreeing Microsoft having a say. Shazam is already on Windows Phone and Spotify have a client that someday should see the light of day (whatever happened to that one?). So presumably they could do it, yet at least from the press release, it's not happening...yet. Of course, despite what the iPhone and Android will get, it still pales in comparison to the instant-download-gratification of a Zune pass, amirite?

For our Euro collegues and those without Zune Pass service: thoughts? Sound off below.

Source: Shazam

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...and it continues to grow. The Marketplace just added the free (and very popular) Shazam music ID app to its catalog.

The app promises to ID any song you throw at it just by pointing your phone at the music source and giving a few seconds. The software has been around for awhile now, first appearing on T-Mobile Windows Mobile devices as MusicID (remember that?) then after being ripped numerous times, they finally went public as Shazam. That version is available to current Windows Mobile users (see our Midomi review as an alternate)

This adds yet another feather in the media cap of Windows Phone 7 (see others here), even before launch. As a special "launch offer", they're offering free, unlimited 'tags'. Lets just hope the launch offer lasts long enough till we get some phones in our hands!

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Video Review: Midomi 2.0 Music Identifier

For the last 2 years or so, many in the Windows Mobile community have been using MusicID (now Shazam) as a way to ID music that they hear in a commercial, on the radio, or even the supermarket.

Now, via the newly launched Windows Marketplace for Mobile, we have a choice with Midomi. Costing $4.99 for an unlimited subscription, not only do we have a viable music ID program, but one with many, many more features. Probably the most unique is the ability to hum or sing the song you can't quite remember — awkward, sure, but it works!

After the break take a look at my whole review including a video demonstration of it in action.

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It was first on a select few devices, then ripped and pirated for the masses, then rescinded under DMCA notices, but now MusicID has returned as Shazam and it is now legally available under Windows Marketplace for Mobile (although it hasn't showed up in our listings yet).

For a non-whopping (and oddly priced) $4.69 you can have unlimited music identification on your Windows phone, or use the free version which is limited to 5 IDs a month.  You are also treated to a full 7-day trial.  All of which we think is worth it.

(Anyone else notice their old MusicID doesn't work anymore or is it just us?)

See the official press release.

[via Tech Kritik]

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