Mac gets Shazam’s always-on music and TV recognition

Just as it does on your iOS device, the Mac version of the Shazam app will listen for music and attempt to identify it using its hefty database of tunes.

In our testing of Shazam for Mac, the app generally did a solid job of picking up audio and quickly identifying the tracks being played. It is of course limited by the number of tracks available in Shazam’s database, and on an eclectic mix of tracks Shazam was unable to identify some of the tracks. Identification was generally solid, however, and came fairly quickly after the track began playing.

The Mac app will also attempt to identify TV shows.

Beyond music, Shazam also works with television channels in the U.S., and Shazam for Mac was able to identify a number of shows and movies airing on a nearby television. Clicking on the item’s listing in Shazam offers quick access to content such as cast information, IMDB and Wikipedia listings, and more. With over 160 U.S. TV channels included in Shazam’s database, content can even be identified from the commercials being played between segments. Even ads such as Apple’s latest “Stickers” commercial for the MacBook Air can be identified by Shazam.

Impressive stuff. I would like to see some sort of indicator, either a light or a menu bar widget, that truly tells you when your microphone and/or camera is on. Here’s just one example of a technique to disable your Mac’s iSight LED. I’d like a bulletproof way to know whether someone is listening or watching.

  • Protecting firmware is an interesting problem. I believe there was a proof of concept in 2009 to add key logging to an Apple wireless keyboard.

    Also, to the original point: Shazam seems a lot less interesting on a Mac, which is probably in my house. And if I’m out and about, I probably have my iPhone with me. It’s not useless by any means, but it’s a lot less useful than the iOS version.

  • lucascott

    I’m more interested in this because its someone making an app and not just doing it via a webpage than anything else. I actually think we need more desktop level options. I was disappointed when Hulu cut their desktop and I wish there was similar for Netflix etc.