Apple allegedly teaming up with Shazam for song-identification feature in iOS 8

Siri Wavelengh

Come iOS 8, you might soon be able to ask your iPhone what song is playing and get an answer. Apple is reportedly prepping an update to Siri that will enable music identification. Instead of rolling their own music ID software and library, however, Apple is doing as they've done with many Siri features and partnering with an existing force in the space — in this case, music ID powerhouse Shazam.

The report by Bloomberg indicates that the song ID feature will be built in as part of iOS, likely as part of the iOS 8 update which is expected to be previewed in June at WWDC 2014. The integration with Siri will be such that you'll be able to ask "what song is playing?" (or something along those lines) and the device will promptly listen for music and query Shazam's database for a match. If a result's found, you can bet there will be a link to download it from the iTunes Store.

Additionally, Bloomberg reports that Apple is preparing to expand iTunes Radio beyond its current US borders, something that competitor Pandora hasn't been able to do thanks to licensing restrictions. Apple is also said to be weighing pulling iTunes Radio out as a separate app instead of its current position integrated within the Music app. iTunes Radio has come under pressure from music labels disappointed that the streaming service has failed to stem the tide of declining music sales in the face of streaming competition. Apple is said to be considering offering complete albums for sale in advance of wide release in exchange for not permitting individual track sales until that wider release hits.

There's little doubt that iOS 8 won't include new features and tweaks to Siri, iTunes Radio, and the rest of iOS — what do you want to see improved?

Source: Bloomberg

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Derek Kessler

Managing Editor of Mobile Nations, occasional web designer, Army musician, armchair pundit, news addict, all-around nerd, professional ranter, and user of many phones.

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Reader comments

Apple allegedly teaming up with Shazam for song-identification feature in iOS 8


hmm. almost a year and a half behind Google. I guess better late than never? That said, it would be better if Siri knew the name of the song before you asked (i.e. the song is on a screen somewhere). but that would require a MotoX like hardware feature of always listening.

Plus, the Moto X is only listening for one specific phrase all the time. If iOS were constantly listening and processing music whenever there was any playing, it'd require a lot more processing power. It'd be cool, but probably not worth the hit to battery life.

What does Google have to recognize music threw Google voice? No feature! So what are you commenting about?

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This would be a welcome feature but I hope there's more than that. I'd still much rather see Siri act as Google Now and constantly push things that are relevant to my current situation (like the "Today" view in Notification Center).

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For Siri to do that, it would have to steal all your personal data like Google. That's how it's done. Siri doesn't actually know enough about your personal shopping habits and all your friends to do this, and that's a GOOD thing.

Now MS need to integrate Soundhound with Cortana for Windows Phone 8.2 or 8.3 and make the market more competitive

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Windows Phone has had a music identifier since the beginning (as just WP 7) and it is actually integrated with Cortana. Just tested it on my Lumia 920 running the 8.1 update.

Great, another separate app to confuse the system's button controls. It can't be quite as bad as Podcasts though; with nothing to delete, it can't crash every third deletion.

Hope they can somehow integrate it with iTunes Match so it can better identify unmatched songs.

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I am not a fan of OS bloat; Shazam integration reminds me of how Microsoft bloated Windows over the years. Some things are best left to the thriving, agile 3rd-party app ecosystem.

That being said, however, it must be inevitable if both Android & WP have similar integration. *sigh* Perhaps the only real problem is that of favoritism, whether perceived or not, over other competing apps such as the stellar SoundCloud.

That's Soundhound, not Soundcloud. Soundcloud is where hipsters and wannabe rappers share their awful covers and even worse original songs.

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I partially agree yet disagree.

OS bloat is sometimes a negative, however with voice assistants being expected to be capable of doing more and more (especially when the competition is adding more features), an expansion of features and capabilities over time is required. All technology has to go through some 'bloat' or else it will stay as limited as it was in the past.

Besides, bloat is only bad if there is a negative side effect, such as a reduction of performance.

For example, look at iOS 1 compared to iOS 7. iOS 7 is much much more 'bloated' than iOS 1 in terms of features and disk space used, but it is also much more capable of doing much more than its predecessors. That's how advances in technology works.

The one negative I could see is for those who like SoundHound more, this is a minus as it won't be the 'native' music identifier client. However, I think this is also progress. There are many other table reservation and restaurant review apps out there, however Apple chose to use OpenTable and Yelp for Siri to access. The other competing products can still be used, just not from Siri. The alternative would be to select for yourself what apps/services that Siri uses for queries, but we all know that iOS doesn't work like that (not sure how well that would even work, to be honest).

I can't speak for Google Now (which allegedly already has this capability), but WinPhone has had it built into its search engine for a while and now with WP8.1 it is integrated into Cortana. Competition drives innovation which is good for everyone.

Just don't break out iTunes radio from the music app. That is one of its best selling points. I want music, I go to the music app. With iTunes radio, I just deleted all the other radio apps and stuck to the built in one. It is much better than Pandora/Slacker/iHeartRadio anyway...

My hope is that they DON'T just throw this functionality in Siri and leave it at that. Shazam is a horrible company, but the way they do song recognition is infinitely better IMO.

I often need the button for instance because someone starts talking when the song is on. You need the ability to quickly stop and restart the recognition at least half the time to grab the right sound byte.

Also, the graphic is cool. Shazam without that pulsating graphic wouldn't be the same.

Finally! I emailed the Apples software improvement site and posted some stuff in Apples forums. Yes! They might do it! But I hope they took the consideration of switching between switching from Shazam to Sound hound for what people prefer. But Shazam is the better choice I think. I find the payed version of Sound Hound I have is slower than the free version of Shazam.

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I want apple to include battery percentage for iPod touch 5 and other features that are in the iPad but not in ipod for example a cellular network

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