Tech Tuesday: Battle of the Mobile Song ID Apps

OK, now be honest. You’ve invested in a well equipped, technologically relevant mobile phone or tablet device. You may even use your mobile phone to make an actual phone call or two but, if you’re at all like me, you may have discovered the most significant use of this investment may have less to do most days with mobile productivity and more to do with winning trivial disagreements with colleagues & family by accessing useless, Internet trivia and facts on demand. Admit it! And how about music? Does music ever factor into this equation? Names of songs, artists, genre specific factoids, etc… If you’re now nodding your head in the affirmative, have I got an entertaining project for you?! Pandora and Grooveshark are fun juke-box style apps but I’ve found that a good Mobile Song ID App can really take your music listening experience to the next level. Are you ever sitting in your favorite local shop or café when a song comes on that intrigues you that you can’t ID? If so, you need to spend some time with one of the two main mobile song ID apps. The most senior of these would be Shazam.

You simply activate the app on your internet connected mobile device, either hold it anywhere near a stereo speaker or even sing or hum a song and it will identify the name of that song, the artist as well as additional information that will enhance and make your music listening experience much more dynamic!

However, Shazam now has a significant competitor that you may not have heard of called SoundHound and, during my testing, it actually surpassed Shazam in song recognition & range of functionality. Both apps are readily available in both Android, iOS version for Apple devices, among others. Both apps come in two flavors: free and paid. Though the full-featured version of SoundHound lists for sale for $4.99, it’s significant to note that I have seen that same version available for free via the Android App Store on a couple of occasions as their featured Free app of the day. So be on the lookout if you’re a Droid user!

While basic functionality between Shazam & SoundHound is comparable, I find SoundHound’s native functionality to be a bit more robust and song recognition accuracy superior. You can pull up a song’s lyrics, share what you’re listening to with others via Facebook or Twitter, pull up other music by that artist and buy a copy of the song, find similar artists and songs all while the song continues to play in the background. You can also launch a Pandora station based on the song or watch the music video (or other performances of the song) via YouTube without having to leave the app. So, beside identifying songs with greater accuracy, SoundHound also has a bit more umph under the hood, in my opinion. Here’s a bulleted look at some of what you can do with the app once SoundHound recognizes a song:

  • Look up song lyrics
  • Search YouTube for videos of the song
  • Buy a copy of the track from Amazon
  • Follow the artist on Twitter
  • Ask SoundHound to recommend similar songs or even artists
  • Retrieve album appearances a song has made

Any and all of you involved with the Thursday night LATISM Tweet Parties, which begin at 9pm Eastern, know that we always round out our evenings with a music filled after party. (If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, see THIS LINK HERE to learn how to participate.) Imagine how much fun you will have at the next party using a Mobile Song ID App to participate in and enhance your experience as you join us in the weekly Pachanga! ¡Ahí te esperamos! (We’ll be waiting for you!)


TIME: 9pm to 11 pm EST


HOSTESS: @ergeekgoddess



Tony Vargas (@tonytorero) is a technology evangelist who has lived and worked in the US and Europe. An accomplished developer and project manager in Telecommunications, Web & Software Development, eCommerce/Banking, Knowledge Management, eMarketing and Social Media, Tony has a unique, award-winning track record of finding creative, profitable solutions to challenges for every partner he collaborates with. You can connect with Tony on TonyTorero.comLinkedInTwitter.

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    AnaRC 6 years ago

    This is excellent Tony! Incredible that it exists. One of those brilliant but simple ideas that you wonder why it hadn’t been invented. Love it! and I’m getting it right now.

    Eva Smith™ 6 years ago

    Love it Tony! Gonna download the app and prepare myself for Twitter party.

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