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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 label, a thumbnail image of the song/album artwork, links to download the song on iTunes or the Amazon MP3 store and, where relevant, show the song's video on YouTube.

A similar application is available for Java compatible handsets called ShazamiD. ShazamiD differs from the iPhone application in that ShazamiD is a subscription service and only available in the UK (customers currently pay £2.00 per month and must text a shortcode to receive a link to the midlet), whereas Shazam for iPhone, Android and Sony Ericsson phones is a free application available in a number of countries.

An implementation of Shazam for the Nintendo DSi, called ShazamDSi, is available as a free download from the Nintendo DSi Shop.

The "acoustic fingerprints" used by Shazam are based on spectrograms that have been generalized to a group of peak intensity frequencies. Pairs of these peak values are compared against the main database to locate matching songs.

The service does work with classical music although results are sometimes a little patchy, because classical music can be played differently by many different orchestras.
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Quick Tip by . March 10, 2010
I totally find this app helpful! I can stump it sometimes, it's its only fault, but rarely!
Quick Tip by . March 09, 2010
posted in iApps
Now I never have to wonder what that song is again :)
Quick Tip by . March 04, 2010
posted in iApps
yes, sometimes i can stump this app, but it's definitely a "must have" app in my book. i'm no longer the person asking "what's this song?"
Quick Tip by . November 12, 2009
Um, coolest app, ever? Now I never have to scramble to remember & search for lyrics as long as I have my iPhone around!
Lunch Average Rating: +3.8 (15 ratings)
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