Shazam launches Player app to complement its LyricPlay service

Jan 12, 2012
Music

Shazam is one of those apps that’s used to show just how exciting an iPhone can be. It uses your iOS device’s microphone to “listen to” and identify songs that are playing nearby. But that’s not the only cool thing Shazam can do, and the developer has just rolled out a new app to showcase […]

Shazam is one of those apps that’s used to show just how exciting an iPhone can be. It uses your iOS device’s microphone to “listen to” and identify songs that are playing nearby. But that’s not the only cool thing Shazam can do, and the developer has just rolled out a new app to showcase another feature.

It’s called Shazam Player, and as we reported yesterday, it’s basically another music player for your iOS device, with one important difference: LyricPlay. That’s a feature Shazam rolled out late last year to go with its standard Shazam app. LyricPlay goes a step further when identifying a song – in addition to figuring out what you’re hearing, Shazam also provides the lyrics in real time as the track is playing.

LyricPlay is a pretty impressive feature, but it’s marred by one small problem: there’s a protracted delay in Shazam listening to the song, sending out the information to the Internet and identifying the track in order to kick LyricPlay on. It might only be 20 seconds, and a reasonable amount of time to identify a song, but it’s kind of a long time to wait to find out the lyrics of what you’re hearing. Shazam Player, on the other hand, is a great showcase for the feature because it uses the music that’s already on your iOS device.

Shazam Player scans your music library for tracks that can work with LyricPlay and then makes them available to you. When you hit the play button on a song, your screen displays the lyrics in real time, synced with the music. It’s not a bouncing-ball sing-along, either – LyricPlay lyrics pop up in stylish, 3-D-looking pages that are slightly more akin to kinetic text. The app will scan through all your tracks for you, adding lyrics wherever it can, including in your iTunes playlists. You’ll then be able to search through your tracks or filter them so that only LyricPlay compatible songs play, since Shazam hasn’t yet covered every song out there (it does have lyrics for about 30,000 of them, though).

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Fans of the standard Shazam app will recognize the rest of the app’s features: the ability to share albums on Facebook and Twitter with friends, YouTube videos of concerts, searches that pick up tour dates and allow you to buy tickets. In fact, Shazam Player is really only short the “shazam” part of the app – the one that listens to tracks and identifies them for you.

After Shazam partnered with streaming music service Spotify late last year to make playing tagged songs easier, Shazam Player adds more nifty functions to help the apps become staples of any iOS device’s library. Now you have the ability to identify songs, listen to them with a Spotify account, purchase them through iTunes and see the lyrics as the track plays, all without ever getting up from your seat on the bus or out of line at the bank. Makes one wonder what Shazam will get up to next.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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