To identify a song, open the application, tap the listen button and wait a few seconds. SoundHound says the fastest recognition takes place in four seconds, but in our experience it can be up to thirty seconds before a song is successfully identified. It works by creating a fingerprint of the music it hears (essentially a compressed file describing the unique characteristics of the music), which it then sends to a server, where it is compared against a database of millions of songs.
SoundHound can also recognise hummed tunes, although in this mode it does tend to be less accurate. Despite the fact that music recognition technology has been around for a number of years it remains one of the more impressive demos of a smartphone's sensor capabilities.
SoundHound's major competitor is Shazam, which has very similar functionality. Both Shazam and Sound Hound are available as free downloads from Marketplace. However, the free version Shazam is currently limited to 5 tags (identifications) per month; a premium version, Shazam Encore, allows unlimited tagging and costs £4.99. In contrast SoundHound places no limits of the free version, allowing an unlimited number of identifications.
Incidentally a Mango version of Shazam was being demoed at Nokia World, which included additional and updated functionality (e.g. deep linking via secondary Live Tiles). We'll cover this in more detail when the new version is released.
What's that song? Identify original music or a singing search with the touch of a button! SoundHound is instant music and discovery.
- Fast music recognition: name tunes playing from a speaker in as little as four seconds. Unlimited usage!
- The world's only viable singing and humming recognition
- Song Previews
- Share to Facebook and Twitter instantly
- Buy links, and more...
More information on the Sound Hound app page.