Shazam is an Apple-owned mobile application used to identify songs based on a small sample using the microphone inside a user’s device. The application identifies content by creating a digital fingerprint based on a time-frequency graph known as a spectogram to match the sample with content in Shazam’s database. It’s supported on iOS, Android, and Windows platforms.

To use Shazam, users simply hold their device close to the speaker playing the audio to be identified. Shazam will analyze the 10-second bit and seek a match in a database of millions of songs. The app will then deliver the tune’s artist, song title, and album to the user. It can be used for identifying songs in movies, advertisements, commercials, and so on.

Shazam Entertainment Limited, the original app developer, was founded in 1999 by Chris Barton, Philip Inghelbrecht, Avery Want, and Dhiraj Mukherjee. In September 2018, the company was acquired by Apple Inc. for $400 million.

Users report that Shazam accurately identifies songs, has helpful features for discovering new music, and is easy to use. However, some report if the device is not close enough to the speaker, Shazam inaccurately or is unable to correctly identify music.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.
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