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An App I Like – Shazam

Doo-dloo-doo-doo-doo, Doo-dloo-doo-doo-doo-doo; now what is the name of that tune? Damn it. It’s on the tip of my tongue. Doo-dloo-doo. Aaaaaaagh! Relax. Shazam can help. The brilliant simplicity of Robyn Bechelet’s fave app can teach publishers a thing or ten.

By Robyn Bechelet

Now hear this.

Shazam. But of course. It’s bound to be a hand-clap of delight because, after all, the name sounds like actual magic, right?

Well, believe it or not, (to me at least) that’s entirely true. This app is a kind of magic.

It has a memorable Captain Marvel-ous name and an instantly recognisable icon – quite right too – instant recognition is, after all, its entire ‘thing’.

Download it if you enjoy pop music and want to find out what tune and artist is playing (for there are still occasions when we earthlings cannot find out this information).

Why does it please me? Well, I danced away my teens to Top of the Pops, while learning all the lyrics (thank you Smash Hits). So you can see Shazam’s sparkling allure for the press-‘record’-and-‘play’-at-precisely-the-same-time generation. My generation.

Ok, if you must know the science bit. Wikipedia (yes I know). It says: “Shazam uses a smartphone or computer's built-in microphone to gather a brief sample of audio being played. It creates an acoustic fingerprint based on the sample and compares it against a central database for a match.”

“If it finds a match, it sends information such as the artist, song title, and album back to the user. Some implementations of Shazam incorporate relevant links to services.” (More of that later…)

“In December 2013, Shazam was one of the top ten most popular apps in the world, according to its CEO. The Shazam app has more than 100 million monthly active users and has been used on more than 500 million mobile devices…”

For those of you who haven’t clicked yet: what can publishers learn from Shazam? My top ten is printed below. You are welcome to nay say any of my chart entries – I was asked to yay say.

So, here it is pop pickers, my top ten of what publishers can learn from the Shazam app. From someone who likes the simple things in life.

10. (and 1) Shazam knows it’s ‘why’. Why does Shazam exist? To enhance my life, of course, by informing me about what I want to know right here, right now, and by enabling me to buy music right there and then if I choose so to do.

9. It knows what it is for. Instant gratification. If you are not standing next to a pop aficionado it is well, handy.

8. It’s simple – just point your phone and shoot. After a few seconds, it will tell you whether it has found a match.

If only everything in life was like that.

7. It appeals to the searchers. Once inside Shazam, you can find the song, the album, and what are the ‘happening’ tunes – in ‘real’ time.

6. It isn’t one of a kind but, it is the one I turn to, because it is reliable and quick. It feels like it is dominating the ‘sound space’. But that is because I have never looked around at the others; I noodled around on Google and satisfied myself that I made the right choice. Clever trick it pulled off there, being the one.

5. You can use it anywhere (you can get connected), for impromptu quizzes, to while away your life, to learn (granted, not by my parent’s definition of what is worth learning about, but hey).

4.It’s all good – and celebrates the new (to me). It’s also not trying to do too much. Just one thing brilliantly. Why, it’s like a holiday on my phone, I tell you.

3. Recognises the zeitgeist uber quick – Jeeeez with a few clicks, you could have downloaded an associated playlist and, in the time you can say ‘abracadabra’, you can also have fashion-attire-to-go-with-the-genre wardrobe ordered from Amazon and the next festival ticket locked down. You too can be cool through Shazam. (Beware of trying too hard though).

2. It’s personal. You choose your news. You can see what you have Shazammed before (one ‘m’ or two?) and follow artists. It has become a verb.

1. It makes my life more interesting, and brings me joy. Makes me want to dance. What a feeling!

Oh yes – and there is an official Shazam chart as well. And obvs you can share songs on social, buy them on iTunes and all that. So there is revenue to be shared.

Just like any good app, it is reliable and trusted. I can pick up where I left off and I keep coming back for more, more, more.

How is it keeping me stuck to it?

There will forever be an endless list of music to discover, one song at a time, and… Shazam, I’m sticking with you.

Thanks for your attention, love to hear your views.

Shazam can be downloaded from the App Store.