Feature Article

April 21, 2014

Apple & Shazam Want iOS 8 To Know What Song Is Playing

You know that annoying feeling when the name of a song is on the tip of your tongue but can’t quite get the words out? Apple and Shazam are partnering to make that a thing of the past. They are working on a new addition to iOS 8, or so the current reports go, that should help out on that front: a song identification feature.

Shazam is already well known as a music discovery service, so for Apple to be working with Shazam suggests that the song identification feature of iOS would likely be at least on par with Shazam proper. The information hasn't yet gone public, so the reports come from a pair of sources who wanted to stay anonymous. But, the reports note, under the current projections, Apple wants to add the feature to iPhones and iPads, and it will be incorporated directly into the software the way Twitter is, which means that a separate download onto the device in question won't be necessary. Further word suggests that the identification function may end up as not a standalone app, but instead routed through Siri's normal purview of operations, essentially allowing users to ask “Siri, what song is playing?” or the like.

This report joins an earlier report of planned revamping to the iTunes' music store in the wake of declining sales for digital products, complete with reports of a Spotify-style on demand service and the potential that, in the not too distant future, a breed of iTunes may be available for the Android platform as well. Some reports even hint at the possibility of high-resolution song downloads, which would be quite the step in its own right. With iOS 8 expected to make a debut during the June 2 press conference connected to the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, any changes will likely show up then.

While such a feature would undoubtedly be welcome, there are already mechanisms on the market that can provide this service. Admittedly, adding song identification mechanisms to Siri would probably be a welcome feature, and give the old girl more to work with than ever, it's hard to imagine that iPhone and iPad users would throw over whatever is currently being used just to let Siri handle the heavy lifting of identifying the song currently playing. It's also hard to imagine Shazam being willing to potentially lose the iOS market as users potentially throw over Shazam itself in favor of a newly-empowered Siri that Shazam itself helped to build, but being Apple's partner in the field will probably have rewards of its own afoot.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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