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View Full Version : SHAZAM..How the hell does it do that?




cenetti
Jul 10, 2008, 12:20 PM
This is like one of those WTF?!! moments for me...

I tried 10+ songs, every time, it told me what song I was playing...
:eek:

What's the technology behind this application?

I am officially impressed!

Just play a song, hold your iphone next to your speaker and in 10secs it identifies the song... whoa?!!



D3lta
Jul 10, 2008, 12:26 PM
Magic.:eek:

ipodtouchy333
Jul 10, 2008, 12:26 PM
Cool, huh? Try midomi though. It's like the same thing except you can actually sing to it or hum the song and it will tell you. I haven't tested either of these because I will be getting my iPhone tomorrow of course but these will be great apps to use for sure!

newappleboy
Jul 10, 2008, 12:29 PM
Will apps like this function on the touch? I suppose not, but am not sure. Have yet to purchase the touch, nor have I been home yet today to download iTunes 7.7 to play with the app store. Does it even separate which apps will not work on the touch but will on the phone?

drewfus
Jul 10, 2008, 12:31 PM
I'm impressed with Shazam as well. Out of the 10 or so songs that I tried, it got 8 of them. The two that it had trouble with were classical pieces. The others were rock, pop, jazz, and R&B. I guess I'll go into the settings and see if making the listening time longer will help at all.

I was skeptical about how well it would work at first, but now I think it's awesome!

kwjohns
Jul 10, 2008, 01:11 PM
Awesome! I was so upset when I found out the one from the jailbreak a while ago was no longer going to be in development due to licensing costs. Nice to know I'll have this app back.

mrklaw
Jul 10, 2008, 01:34 PM
it'd be good if it could then search the wifi itune store and let you buy it...

t0mat0
Jul 10, 2008, 01:38 PM
i thought you could get a song via shazam?

http://arts.guardian.co.uk/columns/paterson/story/0,,800257,00.html

Developments in audio pattern recognition mean that songs are given their own unique fingerprint. Hold up a mobile in a club or to the radio or TV and Shazam can check the 1.6 million songs it has on file. A text message naming the title and artist arrives within seconds. This technology has five patent applications; four were needed to detect variances in the work of Big Country.

Bit like audiobrainz - fingerprinting songs and getting their tags.

xerostyles
Jul 10, 2008, 01:43 PM
it'd be good if it could then search the wifi itune store and let you buy it...

It already has this feature.

billchase2
Jul 10, 2008, 01:54 PM
does shazam or midomi seem to be working better for you guys? the two seem to do relatively the same thing.

irun5k
Jul 10, 2008, 02:01 PM
Basically, it transmits the audio in real time to a large call center type place overseas (70 cents an hour kind of place), where there are a bunch of workers who are very familiar with music and can recognize 90% of all songs instantly. There is a fail over, so if one person doesn't know the song, it rolls over to one of his colleagues, who very well may know it.

When these guys aren't handling song identifications, they subcontract to answer Dell Support phone calls. Need a hand with that wireless router?

okay, okay. its a joke.

Jeremy1026
Jul 10, 2008, 02:14 PM
Cost for SHAZAM?

Tallest Skil
Jul 10, 2008, 02:15 PM
Cost for SHAZAM?

Free. Just LOOK for it.

Jeremy1026
Jul 10, 2008, 02:19 PM
Free. Just LOOK for it.

Unfortunatly my job doesn't allow me to have iTunes on my computer. Actually, we aren't allowed to download anything, for security purposes, sucks working in a bank.

PrinceOfEgypt
Jul 10, 2008, 02:20 PM
Cost for SHAZAM?

both are free (SHAZAM and modimi)

Tallest Skil
Jul 10, 2008, 02:21 PM
Unfortunatly my job doesn't allow me to have iTunes on my computer. Actually, we aren't allowed to download anything, for security purposes, sucks working in a bank.

Ah. Understandable. Say that you don't have iTunes access next time; that's something taken for granted these days!

newappleboy
Jul 10, 2008, 02:28 PM
Will apps like this function on the touch? I suppose not, but am not sure. Have yet to purchase the touch, nor have I been home yet today to download iTunes 7.7 to play with the app store. Does it even separate which apps will not work on the touch but will on the phone?

Anyone...? I'm also at work and can't browse the iTunes which I have heard separates Touch apps from iPhone apps.

billchase2
Jul 10, 2008, 02:31 PM
i think i'll stick with midomi. you can hum, speak, play, or type to figure out the song...

Sky Blue
Jul 10, 2008, 02:36 PM
Anyone...? I'm also at work and can't browse the iTunes which I have heard separates Touch apps from iPhone apps.

It's not compatible with iPod Touch

newappleboy
Jul 10, 2008, 02:55 PM
It's not compatible with iPod Touch

Awww. I'm sad. :(

Lee Fyock
Jul 10, 2008, 03:00 PM
I tried Shazam with two songs on youtube, and it identified both. I then tried the same two with Midomi, and it didn't identify either. I tried humming one of the songs to Midomi, and it didn't get that either.

The Shazam interface seems a bit cleaner as well.

That's my 2 minutes of testing. I don't know anyone who works for Shazam or anything. :-)

Maybe the Midomi server's down or something?

PeckinOrder
Jul 10, 2008, 03:26 PM
while i know this is a forum for apple and the iphone and stuff this technology has been out for a while. Verizon has had this on some of their phones for nearly a year. It would listen to the song for 10 seconds and be able to tell you who plays it what CD its on and whats the name of the song. And then through their Vcast would then let you buy it in either ring tone format or full song version.

Now I dont know if this is better or worse then the VCast version Verizon has but it has been out for a while.

I used it but never really got to much of use out of it. But it was cool using it while i had Verizon before I bought my iphone. Ill prolly get this again and see how much I use it this time.

rcw3
Jul 10, 2008, 03:27 PM
The recognition technology used by Shazam (www.shazam.com) is owned by Landmark Digital (www.landmarkdigital.com). It is a patented fingerprinting technology that recognizes practically any audio that is within the recognition database very quickly and with a very small amount of audio even under heavy noise. Shazam provides recognition services on phones and smartphones all over the world (and now the iPhone).

For the person who mentioned classical - classical is a huge library that is difficult to keep cataloged, which is likely the reason it wasn't picked up. Other genres should work very well.

briand05
Jul 10, 2008, 03:29 PM
I tried Shazam with two songs on youtube, and it identified both. I then tried the same two with Midomi, and it didn't identify either. I tried humming one of the songs to Midomi, and it didn't get that either.

The Shazam interface seems a bit cleaner as well.

That's my 2 minutes of testing. I don't know anyone who works for Shazam or anything. :-)

Maybe the Midomi server's down or something?

Yeah same experience here, I tried many songs with Midomi and it recognized only 1 out of the several I tried while the Shazam app has worked with every one I've tried.

Jaunty
Jul 10, 2008, 04:12 PM
We have had Shazam for years over here in the UK, just dial a number then hold the phone up to the block rocking beat & get an SMS with the song details (for a small charge, no charge if the song is not tagged).

Nice to see it packaged up as an iPhone app though.

Hutch1981
Jul 10, 2008, 04:15 PM
I have herd that this is going to have a monthly fee attached to it at some time but at this time it is free.

bubbagumpshrimp
Jul 10, 2008, 04:45 PM
I have herd that this is going to have a monthly fee attached to it at some time but at this time it is free.
Well, that will be the day I stop using it..... I guess I got to start using it first.:rolleyes:

dombookpro
Jul 10, 2008, 05:29 PM
So what's the meaning of the no-cost small print for this app? My cynicism tells me that they'll start charging every time you wanna identify a track at a later date

marksman
Jul 10, 2008, 05:30 PM
I hope not, but how do they make money with it now?

I tried it out and got like 15 for 15 in matches, from iTunes, to satellite radio to television show theme songs.

gadgetmacfreak
Jul 13, 2008, 04:30 PM
I think they should get a cut if you end up buying the song from iTunes and generate their revenue that way. I do not know if they do get a cut though.

If not, what would you be willing to pay for the service? I have heard that in the UK it is 99p for 1 use which seems way too expensive. I read speculation that monthly service would be $5-$10 per month. While I love this app I would not pay that.

I guess for me, $3 per month or around $40 per year would be my upper limit, but even then I would search out a free alternative.

lindsayanng
Jul 13, 2008, 09:10 PM
i had something like this on my LG Chocolate thrrough verizon. It was teh ONLY thing that i missed when i switched to the iphone. the ONLY thing.. i'm SOOO psyched that its here now!

ChrisN
Jul 13, 2008, 10:36 PM
I dont know how it does it but its one of my favorite apps


ChrisN

Lewiji
Aug 15, 2008, 01:38 PM
There's no way they'll keep it free, the amount of cost involved in owning every cd ever released and then running hugely complex decoding and searching algorithms must be ridiculous. Even if most of their userbase are on other phones letting iPhones use it for free must cause a huge amount of lost revenue.

Currently I think they do a subscription for the regular call up service that costs 3 a month or something like that, for 300 song recognitions, which isn't too bad actually. I just hope either they subsidise that with iTunes affiliate revenue, or they just do a one off app charge of say, 9.99.

iTeen
Aug 15, 2008, 01:47 PM
Verizon has had this forever.

Vcast Song ID.

Really do wish I wasn't on Verizon though...:(

Ntombi
Aug 15, 2008, 01:50 PM
I love both of them, but they do different things.

Shazam recognizes recorded music, and Midomi recognizes music that you hum or sing into it. Neither will work doing the other, which is a shame.

I'm glad they're both free for now, at least. :)



And I really wish there were a service like this for classical music. :( I would pay for that.

Mal
Aug 15, 2008, 01:52 PM
Will apps like this function on the touch? I suppose not, but am not sure. Have yet to purchase the touch, nor have I been home yet today to download iTunes 7.7 to play with the app store. Does it even separate which apps will not work on the touch but will on the phone?

The application will probably open and "function" but without a microphone there's nothing it can do, so it'd be entirely pointless.

jW

rcw3
Aug 15, 2008, 02:37 PM
Verizon has had this forever.

Vcast Song ID.

Really do wish I wasn't on Verizon though...:(

This is actually the same technology...

bluenoise
Aug 15, 2008, 03:58 PM
I had this on previous AT&T phones, too. It was free for a limited time (30 days?) and then they wanted $10/month for the privilege of using it after that.

I use both Shazam and Midomi. I also wondered how they got their money and hoped it was through some kind of "commission" on iTunes sales directed by those apps. If it becomes a pay-to-play service, though, I'll be done using these apps. There are usually other ways to ID music that I don't need to pay for it.

T3hPreacher
Aug 15, 2008, 05:00 PM
I had this on previous AT&T phones, too. It was free for a limited time (30 days?) and then they wanted $10/month for the privilege of using it after that.

I use both Shazam and Midomi. I also wondered how they got their money and hoped it was through some kind of "commission" on iTunes sales directed by those apps. If it becomes a pay-to-play service, though, I'll be done using these apps. There are usually other ways to ID music that I don't need to pay for it.

I think Midomi is a community project that relies on matches of recordings made by other community members. I don't think they make money off of it.

www.midomi.com

severe
Aug 15, 2008, 05:49 PM
There's no way I would pay a subscription fee for either of these programs. No way. Sure they're fantastic little apps, but they're about 90% novelty and 10% useful.

I mean, come on. I'm a big fan and I haven't even opened the app in weeks. I could see paying something for them, within reason, but that's about it. One time.

tleafs
Aug 16, 2008, 01:12 PM
Very cool, amazed on how it does it. Even for some foreign songs, it picks up!

DamnDJ
Aug 17, 2008, 12:07 AM
I love both of them, but they do different things.

Shazam recognizes recorded music, and Midomi recognizes music that you hum or sing into it. Neither will work doing the other, which is a shame.


Midomi has a tab to recognize recorded music.

hotsauce
Aug 17, 2008, 12:22 AM
Wirelessly posted (Apple Communication Device: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_0_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5B108 Safari/525.20)

There's no way I would pay a subscription fee for either of these programs. No way. Sure they're fantastic little apps, but they're about 90% novelty and 10% useful.

I mean, come on. I'm a big fan and I haven't even opened the app in weeks. I could see paying something for them, within reason, but that's about it. One time.

I love the app, but hell no would I pay a subscription fee nor would I pay a per use fee for this. I'd always call someone I know and hum it to them first.

MisterEd
Aug 17, 2008, 06:29 AM
I must say, I have a MUCH greater success using Shazam over Midomi. That must be some craaazzy algorithm they use to match the samples to their database that fast...

Ed

Ntombi
Aug 18, 2008, 03:40 PM
Midomi has a tab to recognize recorded music.
Wow, I have no idea how I missed that constantly. I saw all the other options, but never noticed grab until you said that. I was wondering why it couldn't. :o

Thanks. :)

Libitina
Aug 19, 2008, 03:19 PM
There's no way I would pay a subscription fee for either of these programs. No way. Sure they're fantastic little apps, but they're about 90% novelty and 10% useful.

I mean, come on. I'm a big fan and I haven't even opened the app in weeks. I could see paying something for them, within reason, but that's about it. One time.
I'm the opposite and use it a few times a week on average. I do listen to a lot of random music though.

Wouldn't pay for it though.

CollateralDmg
Aug 19, 2008, 05:03 PM
Verizon has had this forever.

Vcast Song ID.

Really do wish I wasn't on Verizon though...:(

I've really been amazed at the response over Shazam for exactly this reason. Every POS phone on verizon has been able to do this (for free as well) for a long time. I was actually surprised to see that the iphone didn't do this natively. Verizon does it so they can sell more songs on their (aweful and expensive) music service. It seems like a natural pair for iTunes on the iPhone.

Chim3ra
Mar 20, 2009, 02:31 AM
sorry to bring up an old thread but

this app is effing amazing!

we were in a club tonight, and my friend was wondering what the song was. it pulled out his iphone and it was able to catch the song!!

it's crazy cuz the song isn't playing in it's original sound, but was being mixed around by the DJ!! friggin crazzzziii

Zincous
Mar 20, 2009, 02:53 AM
Yeah this is a cool app.

Lol wow you really dug this thread up. :eek::p

gothamm
Mar 20, 2009, 03:18 AM
Basically, it transmits the audio in real time to a large call center type place overseas (70 cents an hour kind of place), where there are a bunch of workers who are very familiar with music and can recognize 90% of all songs instantly. There is a fail over, so if one person doesn't know the song, it rolls over to one of his colleagues, who very well may know it.

When these guys aren't handling song identifications, they subcontract to answer Dell Support phone calls. Need a hand with that wireless router?

okay, okay. its a joke.

hahahha, what a gemstone.

chas0001
Mar 20, 2009, 03:24 AM
Basically, it transmits the audio in real time to a large call center type place overseas (70 cents an hour kind of place), where there are a bunch of workers who are very familiar with music and can recognize 90% of all songs instantly. There is a fail over, so if one person doesn't know the song, it rolls over to one of his colleagues, who very well may know it.

When these guys aren't handling song identifications, they subcontract to answer Dell Support phone calls. Need a hand with that wireless router?

okay, okay. its a joke.

Well that explains it. I was on a support call to Dell the other day and was put on hold with a song playing in the background. When I eventually got to speak to a representative he told me the song name and artist performing it.

claytontstanley
May 3, 2009, 10:42 PM
The recognition technology used by Shazam (www.shazam.com) is owned by Landmark Digital (www.landmarkdigital.com). It is a patented fingerprinting technology that recognizes practically any audio that is within the recognition database very quickly and with a very small amount of audio even under heavy noise. Shazam provides recognition services on phones and smartphones all over the world (and now the iPhone).

For the person who mentioned classical - classical is a huge library that is difficult to keep cataloged, which is likely the reason it wasn't picked up. Other genres should work very well.

//////////////////////

I visited the 'landmarkdigital.com' site; it looks like they use a simple neural network to do this pattern recognition stuff, essentially mimicking (presumably) how people do the same thing.

The network takes as inputs, certain song attributes (e.g., tempo, tone, instruments), and provides as output, its best guess at the song. A bunch of nodes are placed in between the inputs and output, and these nodes are trained (i.e., values changed) by running a bunch of known songs through the network and making small changes to the node's values until the network gives the right prediction for the song (i.e., gives the correct output). When you query the database, you're essentially providing an input to this trained network, which just spits back its output to you.

Presumably, this company is constantly retraining and updating their network by running new songs through the database, and updating the weights of the nodes accordingly (i.e., they make sure the network still predicts the correct output for new songs; and if it doesn't, they change the weights so it does).

I do wonder what inputs they're using for the network, and how your recording of the song gets converted to values for each of the inputs. I think this is where the majority of the cleverness in the technology resides. A bit of spectral analysis is probably done (FFTs), but other than that, I'm not too sure.

My best guess,
-Clayton

Tcstang
Jul 21, 2009, 01:24 AM
My iPod touch is os 3.0 and because I have an external mic, It works great

tempusfugit
Jul 21, 2009, 01:46 AM
Cool, huh? Try midomi though. It's like the same thing except you can actually sing to it or hum the song and it will tell you. I haven't tested either of these because I will be getting my iPhone tomorrow of course but these will be great apps to use for sure!


midomi is absolutely worthless. I remember trying and trying to get it to return ONE correct song name/info and im a musician, so I have a good sense of pitch. I even played a real song into it that did not work.


worthfreakingless

jmann
Jul 21, 2009, 01:48 AM
midomi is absolutely worthless. I remember trying and trying to get it to return ONE correct song name/info and im a musician, so I have a good sense of pitch. I even played a real song into it that did not work.


worthfreakingless

It would be a pretty amazing app if it was executed better/more accurate. It would be quite entertaining. :)

RiceRacerDX
Jul 21, 2009, 02:21 PM
Actually, my music library is constantly growing thanks to Shazam. It only fails to identify live music (which sometimes it still gets even that right), old music, sometimes brand new music, and music by no name artists.

The only improvement I would like to see on Shazam is a different initial screen. Instead of starting the app by viewing all your recently tagged songs, I wish it would start with two large buttons: one for your tags and another to tag a song. At times, the small button to tag a song is hard to tap when you're in a rush to capture the last bits of a song on the radio or at the mall or something. I don't always start Shazam to look at my tags anyway....that only happens about <10% of the time.

And btw, I concur with the majority. Midomi is absolute crap. Only works less than half the time on popular songs.

rebecca.x
Jul 22, 2009, 06:01 AM
I'm also in love with this app, use it quite a bit, will be a shame if we have to start paying for it like suggested in this thread, I wont use it then. Its good, but not *that* good.

orpheus1120
Jul 22, 2009, 06:37 AM
Well it seems Midomi is no longer free.

ratbatblue
Jul 22, 2009, 09:00 AM
The recognition technology used by Shazam (www.shazam.com) is owned by Landmark Digital (www.landmarkdigital.com). It is a patented fingerprinting technology that recognizes practically any audio that is within the recognition database very quickly and with a very small amount of audio even under heavy noise. Shazam provides recognition services on phones and smartphones all over the world (and now the iPhone).

For the person who mentioned classical - classical is a huge library that is difficult to keep cataloged, which is likely the reason it wasn't picked up. Other genres should work very well.

While I agree that Shazam is an incredible, "magic" app, I don't know about that "under heavy noise" thing. I was recently in a certain national chain steakhouse local store and two separate iPhones couldn't get Shazam to deal with music playing over their piped-in Sirius station, presumably because of background noise or maybe (comparatively) low volume level, or both. (Compared to my living room, I mean.) It wasn't that the songs weren't in the database, either, it was that the server couldn't "hear" what was playing.