This time not five, but four apps. That has a reason. There are more apps that recognize music, but we don’t think it’s good enough to discuss here. Below you will find the top four, in order of our preference.
Shazam was the first. And is still the fastest of the four apps that we discuss here in terms of recognition. Shazam excels in simplicity. A large blue field with a large round button in the middle. Press it, make sure the song is audible and within a few seconds Shazam will show the correct answer.
In the My tags tab you can check the music found. There the songs are shown complete with a picture of the record sleeve. Then you can choose what you want to do with it. You can share it via twitter, facebook, e-mail or something else. You can listen to the song for free on Rdio, Spotify or you can have the YouTube video popped up. If you do not have a premium subscription to Spotify, you should immediately watch the YouTube video. If you want to know more about the artist, a discography can be requested. And even ringtones are possible to look up.
The tag also shows where and when Shazam recognized the song exactly. Always nice for a scrapbook.
A “news” tab shows music suggestions, the “parade” tab also shows records that you have probably never heard before. That way you can hear something new.
Shazam allows you to set the app in such a way that you can create a circle of friends, whether or not via Facebook, so that you also see tags from others from that circle.
Soundhound does what Shazam does, with some interesting additions. In this way you can not only hear a song from the radio or television, but also sing or whistle it. If you do that well, it will be recognized. That works, we have experienced, the best with the more famous songs. If you try to sing or whistle a classical album, Soundhound often does not play at home. Or rather: you get to see a map with the location where you are, and we miss a bit of what it means to you if you’re looking for a song.
Soundhound also offers hit lists of frequently tagged songs, and songs that are often tweeted or tagged by others. If you have just missed a song on the radio, you can check there if someone else might have just tagged it.
The world map option is interesting for those looking a little further into the app. This way you can see in which places around you active members of Soundhound have been busy in roughly the last hours.
Soundhound has a membership. Then you can exchange tags with other members and hear what they are listening to, and vice versa.
The app also offers the possibility to say an artist’s name, if you already know it, and then you can hear the song. Unlike Shazam, you don’t have to open another app to hear that song, but Soundhound plays the song for a few tens of seconds. If you want to hear more, you can go to Youtube, Spotify or Rdio, or buy the song directly from Amazon.com.
TrackID (alleen Android)
TrackID is from Sony, and is therefore included on many Sony smartphones. As is known, Sony is also a very large record company, with millions of songs from well-known and less well-known artists in the file. If you own a Xperia smartphone from Sony, you will have the option to get the found tags as a palylist in the Walkman app. You must have a Music Unlimited subscription for that, which can be compared to Spotify Premium.
In addition to being redirected to the Sony record store, you can also have the found song displayed in YouTube. That costs nothing.
The recognition is good at TrackID, sometimes this app finds a song that Shazam or Soundhound cannot find in the massive database full of music fragments that all these apps draw on. TrackID also offers the usual possibilities to share the found music information with others via the social networks. You can also look up more information about artists.
Google Sound Search (alleen Android)
Google Sound Search is not really an app, but a widget. That you place on one of your home screens and then you can use it just like all other music recognition apps. Google displays the widget as a broad bar. Tap the bar and the app starts listening, which looks like an equalizer that shows the pitch of the music. Once the music has been recognized, it will be displayed immediately, with something else: a link to the Google Play Store where the song can be purchased immediately.
So no references to Youtube, Spotify or anything else; Immediately purchase that bite. Google likes butter with fish.
By default, the last listened song remains in the widget, unless you knew it. If you do that, it will be saved in a list of tags that can be accessed via the app’s settings.
With this app it is not possible to whistle or sing a song, you really need original music. So via, for example, a radio or television. Of the tested apps, Google Sound Search is the least effective against other sounds that interrupt the song, such as someone sneezing loudly, a slamming door or a crying baby. At Google it must be quiet, otherwise it will be much harder to recognize, the app will take a lot longer and the song will sometimes not be recognized at all.
Google Sound Search is a fixed part of Google Search, which is on all Android devices. If the Android version supports it, there is a widget that you only need to look up on the device to install on a home screen.