Shazam is a commercial mobile phone based music identification service, with its headquarters in London, England. The company was founded in 1999 by Chris Barton, Philip Inghelbrecht, Dhiraj Mukherjee and Avery Wang.
Shazam uses a mobile phone's built-in microphone to gather a brief sample of music being played. An acoustic fingerprint is created based on the sample, and is compared against a central database for a match. If a match is found, information such as the artist, song title, and album are relayed back to the user. Relevant links to services such as YouTube or iTunes are incorporated into some implementations of Shazam.
Shazam's oldest service is the 2580 service, accessible only in the United Kingdom. Customers dial the shortcode 2580 from their mobile phone and hold the phone to capture any music playing in the background. The service analyzes the captured sound and seeks a match based on an acoustic fingerprint. The result is sent to the customer in the form of an SMS. Customers are charged for the call to the shortcode and are charged for any successfully matched (tagged) tracks.
Shazam is also a free or low-cost application for the Nokia N97, Apple iPhone, BlackBerry devices, Windows Mobile devices, Android phones such as T-Mobile G1, and most Sony Ericsson phones (renamed as TrackID). It does the same thing as most phones, but does not text the response. Instead the result is shown on the screen complete with details on Artist, Album, Title, Genre, Music ...