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Shazam was the first app where the iPhone became a must-have thing for me. The idea that you could pull your phone out when a song was playing and your phone would tell you what it was just blew me away. My iPhone was smarter than me, and I liked it.
Since that time imitators have mostly come and gone. Some, like SoundTracking and SoundHound, have stuck around on the strength of social media features that they’ve handled better than Shazam. But Shazam is still here and if you just want to figure out the name of a song, it’s still the app to use.
That’s why its latest update, which focuses almost entirely on making Shazam faster at tagging music, is so great. If there was ever a complaint to be levied at Shazam’s tagging it’s that it took its sweet time. If you caught the tail-end of a track and wanted to know what it was, you were usually out of luck. That’s over, now. Shazam is very fast. It boots up quickly, it tags swiftly and it tells you what it tagged immediately. That speed isn’t just cosmetically “better,” but it lets you tag songs you might have missed otherwise, which is a pretty big deal.
The other major feature in the update is the ability to edit the tweet notifications that you can send out when you tag a track. Previously the app limited your options to a generic message about “x” song by “x” artist. Now, you can get a little creative with your message when you admit to your followers that you really did not know that song playing just now was a Blondie track.
If you were looking for a complete overhaul of Shazam, this update isn’t it. But this is not an app in need of a re-design. It’s a music-tagging app that is very good at what it does. Sometimes there’s no shame in just excelling at what you’re good at.