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Windows Phone 8 updates come to SoundHound

Microsoft kindly built in music recognition into Windows Phone a while back but for the power user they generally need to seek other solutions. One such solution is the SoundHound instant music and discovery service.

With advent of Windows Phone 8 we got some nice new features and many apps have been picking up updates to take advantage of them. SoundHound picks up improved search, fast app resume, enhanced Live tiles and more. Read on to check out the changes.

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In the land of music identifying apps, we fall into the SoundHound camp (versus Shazam). Yes, we know Bing can ID music and it is pretty good, but SoundHound right now has the better library for IDing songs, making it more accurate for us--plus we dig that one-button tagging option.

While version 1.0 was pretty solid for a first-release, it did have at least one major issue: the Facebook posting did not work for many. That's now fixed in v1.1 which just hit the Marketplace. In addition, v1.1 brings "faster search results"  and "artist social channels" which allows to easily follow musicians on social networks...or something. Also, the quick Tile graphics have been updated wit a more identifiable look.

Pick it up for free here in the Marketplace.

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Official Soundhound musid ID app now available

While Windows Phone 7.5 has Bing Music on board for ID'ing songs, it's not available everywhere nor does it have many bells and whistles. Enter Soundhound, a popular music ID service similar to Shazam but in many ways, better. The service is extremely popular on iOS and Android so it's nice to see it finally arrive on Windows Phone--better late than never, right?

The app is free, Mango ready and pretty well thought out. You simply tap the big button, let it sample the music and it'll ID it for you. From there, you can "buy" the song by jumping to the Zune Marketplace directly (nice), share the find on Twitter and/or Facebook or take a gander at the lyrics.

Searches are saved for you in the "my stuff" section and you can set it auto-share your search results to Facebook or Twitter, if you so desire. There are nicely added context menus to your "my stuff" section if you want to delete previous finds and the ads (yes, there are a few here and there) are unobtrusive.

Coolest feature? Pin the "listen button" to your Start screen. With one-tap, it hops into the app and starts listening for the song. And really, that's what it's about, right? You need to launch music ID apps as fast as you can to get that song before the commercial is over or the radio is changed. So brilliant use of the Live Tile there.

Unfortunately, we couldn't get it to work with our Facebook, but perhaps a glitch on our end and the quick-launch mentioned above is still a tad slow. But for a v1.0, we're impressed and look forward to future updates. Highly recommended.

Grab Soundhound here in the Marketplace for free. Thanks, Richard E. for the tip!

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