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ShazamID review

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How many times have you turned to a friend and asked them – who does this song? We’re guessing a fair few, as we know we do. The chaps behind Shazam obviously felt the same was true, which is why they came up with ShazamiD – answering that question once and for all.

The technology is not new – software such as MusicBrainz has been doing this for years, taking your untagged, unlabeled MP3 collection and working out what it is. It uses a very similar technology by basically creating a finger print identity for songs and trying to find a match. The problem with such technology is that if it’s not in the database, you won’t get a result. So very new songs, or unsigned bands, are unlikely to be in there. It also won’t work with classical music, live music – or as we tried ourselves, merely humming the tune into the phone.

The software itself is very easy to use. You simply click a button and point your phone’s mic in the direction of the music. It will then send a processed form of this sample to the Shazam servers for analysing. Very quickly, it will come back with the track name, artist and album cover. Unfortunately it lacks a few useful bits of information such as the year of the track.

Shazam will use your data allowance, but it’s very conservative – before downloading any extra information, such as charts, artist information or pictures, it’ll ask if you want to do so and each attempted track ID uses only 2kb of data. It’ll maintain a list of songs you have recently ID’d, so you can wait until you get home before researching the artist further.

The software works with remarkable accuracy, so it’s difficult to fault it. If it’s on the radio, playing in a shop or club – chances are very high that it will get picked up.

To use the software, you pay £3pcm on a rolling premium rate SMS service. For a casual user – this is a hefty price to pay.

The alternative is to dial 2580, which is charged at standard rates and doesn’t require the installation of any software. If they successfully ID your music, you will be charged 50p via a premium rate text message bearing the results. If you’re only using it once or twice a month, this is a more economical way of using the Shazam service.

However, if you find yourself doing this more than 6 times a month, it’s time to consider paying the monthly fee. This allows you up to 300 IDs using the 2580 service, or an unlimited number (with a fair use policy) when using the ShazamID software.

Shazam is a handy piece of technology that isn’t for everyone, but will be very useful to others. At very least, store 2580 in your phone as you never know when it’ll come in handy.

Qik info

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Features: [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”thumbnail_60x60″,”fid”:”21620″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”60″,”width”:”60″}}]]
Overall [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”thumbnail_60x60″,”fid”:”21621″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”60″,”width”:”60″}}]]

Platform: Symbian S60

Price: £3pcm

Developer: Shazam

Website/Demo: Shazam website

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