back to article Shazam! Record labels shovel $9m into name-that-song app

Three of the world's biggest record labels have clubbed together to invest in London-based name-that-tune firm Shazam. Access Industries, the company which owns Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group owners Vivendi have teamed up with Sony Music Entertainment to each take a rumoured $3m stake in Shazam. Recent …


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  1. A Bee

    Wake Me up...

    ... when there's an App that recognises a song when I hum it.

    (The "what's this tune going round in my head" app.)

    1. resudaed

      Re: Wake Me up...

    2. guybles

      Re: Wake Me up...

      SoundHound claims it can do this...but given how atrocious most people are at humming, I can only assume it uses some kind of witchcraft to show any kind of accuracy.

      (goes and tests)

      Apparently, I was either humming Celine Dion's classic My Heart Will Go On, or the equally classic 'N Sync number, Tearing Up My Heart. Go figure.

    3. Dilbert42

      Re: Wake Me up...

      Soundhound has allowed humming for a while, a bit hit and miss but available.

    4. Kane Silver badge

      Re: Wake Me up...

      ..before you go go?

      1. Infidellic_

        Re: Wake Me up...

        ...when September ends?

  2. Ivan Headache


    And here's me thinking that there was a room full of anoraks at the other end.

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Building music recognition into a mobile OS

    Seems like Apple are trying to out-Samsung Samsung.

    1. Ben 47

      Re: Building music recognition into a mobile OS

      Sony have been at it a while too

    2. Infidellic_

      Re: Building music recognition into a mobile OS

      Google has a "sound search" widget for Android (not sure about < v4 but certainly for KitKat). It's fairly good but I use it and Shazam in tandem - neither gets everything

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Building music recognition into a mobile OS

        Given that most modern songs are a classic tune with verbal diarrhoea and cussing over the top with no real need to keep with the rhythm, I'm surprised they get even 20% accuracy

  4. g e

    Automated piracy detector?

    Can't imagine they'd want something like that to help out the average consumer, after all.

  5. Tiny Iota

    Via text message?

    I remember in the good old pre-smartphone days you could do it by dialling a number, but on a smartphone surely you just use the app and not a text message (I take text message to mean SMS).

  6. phil dude

    not very useful...however...

    I have tried Shazam and been impressed when it samples from the radio.

    However, I am a musician and can "riff out" a great number of things on guitar/keyboard etc... and it will not recognised it.

    Someone mentioned an app that can do humming?

    Perhaps it is the engineer in me, but I see Fourier transform patterns for given songs! I think Led Zeppelins "Communication Breakdown" might well sound as it looks (what's the word for that?).

    Ahh then I remember Godel, Esher and Back by D. Hoffstader , and think we've been here before.

    Man, this is good coffee....


    1. mamsey

      Re: not very useful...however...

      Shazam use fingerprinting methods that can differentiate between multiple version of the same track by the same artist so recognizing your many 'riffs' is not going to work, unless you get them to 'pop by' and fingerprint your riffs as well.

      1. phil dude

        Re: not very useful...however...

        hence my comment about Fourier "riffs" are molecular motions, the ones on the maple are possibly more fun ;-)

        I haven't tried Shazam for a year, so perhaps they have sorted the non-autotune warblers...

        And then we have "muscial aliasing" i.e. some songs just use the same notes....


        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: not very useful...however...

          Tried Shazam a couple of times. The first time was in the early days when it failed to recognise anything I played it (stuff like Throbbing Gristle, Einsturzende Neubaten and The Jesus And Mary Chain). Tried it again last week in the hope that it would recognise a song from a YouTube compilation that had no track listing. It failed again, so I retried Throbbing Gristle and that still failed as well.

  7. Havin_it

    A killer app before there *were* apps

    Always been fond of Shazam. A simple idea, probably borne of that same pub-trivia frustration in which I usually found myself using it, and done impressively well from the outset.

    Back before the "app revolution" (don't get me started) I was taken with someone making simple but ingenious use of a mobile phone's unique features (well, audio comms + SMS).

    Being that the number was 2580 (IIRC), apart from being easy to remember, it also may have been one of the earliest examples of a "gesture interface" on a mobile device: just swipe your finger down the middle of the keypad.

    (Oblig. disclaimer: Yes, I realise "apps" were not invented by FruityCo - pretend you're one of the 99% who don't)

  8. asdf

    obscure somewhat old cultural reference ahead

    Wow Al Bundy could have really used this to hum hmm hmm him.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: obscure somewhat old cultural reference ahead

      The lyrics Al could remember were "Go with him".

      Ah, the things the brain insists on retaining. It's likely been a quarter-century since I saw that episode.

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