SoundHound or Shazam?



So we just posted that 30 second clip for the Nexus S with that ridiculously-catchy song. Many of you stated you wanted the song, and while I won’t be the person to give it to you, I figured you might want to know the name of it. I wanted to know the name of it too. I then remembered Shazam existed.

I downloaded the app and expected to get the name of the song right away and without fail. Quickly, disappointment fell upon me. I turned the volume up to 90, down to 30, I put the phone upside down, turned it inside out. I played different parts of the song to see if one part would be more recognizable than the other (the vocals tend to be the best parts to sample from.) No dice. I then wondered how popular this song was. Considering I didn’t know it, I almost chalked it up to it being an original track Google had made for the various YouTube videos strewn about the Nexus S page.


But I remembered that there were other options: SoundHound. “Why not?” I say. The application can even pick up what song you’re humming, so I figure it must be able to identify this track if it is indeed at least a tiny bit popular. And it did without fail. This isn’t meant to be negative publicity for Shazam, but I just wanted to ask: which do you use? Does it work well enough for you to not consider switching to the other? Do Shazam or SoundHound justify their cost of admission for the premium features offered by each service? Is there another service you’d suggest?

Just a quick break from the action. Sound off below!

PS: For those who were curious, the name of the song is “Allo Allo (Hello I Love You)” by Les Sans Culottes. Album is Fixation Orale.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. SoundHound (Paid Version)

  2. i still use shazam. i tried soundhound, but when i downloaded you could only get 5 tags a day without the paid version, and shazam’s free version still offers unlimited tags. and seeing as i dont care about any of the premium features (all i want to do is see what the song is called) i stuck with shazam

  3. Actually, Shazam’s free version also only allows 5 tags per month, as does SoundHound’s. You probably haven’t updated in a while, though.

  4. @2 I believe Shazam’s unlimited free tagging is only for people who downloaded before a certain date.

    I used to use Shazam, but tried SoundHound and I just found it to be more impressive. That the latter can recognise live performances alone makes it better in my eyes.

  5. FIRST

  6. SoundHound here.

  7. Sound Hound (paid)

  8. The song is called Alo Alo. If you watch one of the voice search videos, they say “listen to Alo Alo”.

  9. The paid SoundHound absolutely crushes Shazam.

  10. The song is called Alo Alo. If you watch one of the voice search videos, they say “listen to Allô Allô”. ** (Not Alo Alo)

  11. i use both :)

  12. SoundHound!!++
    Faster to recognise songs most of the time.
    Using paid ver.

  13. Anything but shazam they threaten anyone who describes what they do in any real detail. Hint; Aholes anyone who knows what an FFT is knows what you are doing, the db of sigs is what you have not the know how.

  14. SoundHound is simply faster, so I went with SoundHound. Paid for it after a few weeks.

  15. Soundhound!

  16. soundhound

  17. Soundhound for my Alternative tastes. :)

  18. I like SoundHound more because it also shows you the lyrics of the song if they are available.

    As for recognition ability, so far neither have been able to identify “Blow at High Dough” by The Tragically Hip.

  19. @Stuntman: I just tried it and it picked it up right away on Soundhound.

  20. people are right, shazam goes after people (legally) for things which have no standing.

    notably, soundhound (paid) works muuuuch better.

  21. Nexuz-Uno: Funny!

  22. Tested Hans Zimmer “Dream within a dream”, Shazam got it, Soundhound, nope!

  23. I’ve done lots of test and Soundhound is clearly the netter product not only in accuracy but also features.

    Soundhound for the win!

  24. I use both :)

  25. I use Shazam for free and have NEVER run into an instance where it didnt work.

  26. soundhound

  27. Soundhound is definitely better :P

  28. I’ve had Shazam since my G1, but I must say that SoundHound is a whole lot more accurate, and it’s faster, So I have to say good-bye to Shazam, it was fun while it lasted.

    G2 All-Day

  29. have used shazam and never had issues….even picked up on sangs playing in loud restaurants or when just catching a bit of instrumental on some songs. even has been picking up christmas songs correctly (i.e. common songs it actually picks up who is singing it)

    that being said I have never tried soundhound and will give it a shot

  30. This is a completely unbiased review on my part. I downloaded Shazam back when the free version still had unlimited tagging. Thankfully, as many of you know, it went to paid version but they let the old users retain the unlimited part. :-D Well, to be honest, they both work equally as well. I’ve tried them both on a whole lot of different songs and genres and I would recommend them both. Shoundhound paid version 4.5 stars – Shazam free version with unlimited tagging 4.5 stars. Cheers. :-D

  31. Paid SoundHound. It makes a fun drinking game, too – the person playing has to sing a song well enough to get SoundHound to recognize it in order to win their turn. Otherwise, you have to take a shot!

  32. soundhound

  33. I agree with the assertion that SoundHound dominates Shazam so badly that even Billy Batson would use SoundHound.

  34. Sound Hound 100%! Shazam sucks.

  35. Sound Hound All the way! Paid version…

  36. I moved to SoundHound to try it out, stayed on principle.

    I used Shazam way before they started charging and was promised unlimited tagging. That is, unless you wiped your phone at any point.
    So I qualify for unlimited tagging but do not get it…

  37. Fixation Orale. Oral fixation haha.

  38. Shazam. It has offline tagging. ;)

  39. sound hound!!!!!! i used shazam before but, i like sound hound better!!

  40. SoundHound is way better at recognizing songs in a noisy environments, it catches live versions, you can even sing or hum (tried that just 2 times, but it worked!). So my first choice is SoundHound with Shazam as a backup.

  41. SoundHound via Droid X!!!!! YeYa!!!

  42. Soundhound, paid. Just keeps getting better.

    (Although I do wish they had an option to use a bigger font.)

  43. Soundhound Paid!!!!

  44. Soundhound all the way, shazam sucks

  45. SoundHound 100% FTW!!!!

  46. @ Batman you probably listen to what is often played on typical radio and so Shazam works all the time when you use it…try using it on your non horrible typical music

  47. …non typical horrible music playing radio station…

  48. I’ve always had better luck with SoundHound, but there’s a lot of stuff that neither one gets, especially with independent and non-American music.

  49. it would be interesting to see how it works with Australian based songs

  50. @Dr. Black: i see what you did, there. LOL!!! nice!

  51. Soundhound Definitely! The paid version is amazing, its able to identify way more music than shazaam, especially all the great latin music

  52. soundhound…shazam takes tooo long to search the music

  53. these limitations are crap. both suck.

  54. Soundhound. Faster and more options.

  55. i don’t like either due to the permissions required.
    cool concept though.

  56. I Verizon Song ID !!!!!

  57. Vote: Shazam. I haven’t had an issue finding a song with Shazam except for the one that was just played. And I’ve found some songs I wouldn’t have thought would be tagable like an old Johnny Cash song “The one of the right is on the left”. Never heard of it before and Shazam was able to find it. I regularly test it to see if it will find odd songs and I rarely come up shorthanded. FYI: I had the free version and I switched phones and was unable to have unlimited tagging. I was ticked at the developer for not letting me switch, but I got over it and decided to support an app I like and paid the approx $5.00.

  58. I had both on my phone for a while but decided to get rid of Soundhound… I liked the Facebook integration better in Shazam (not to mention the unlimited tags!)

    but I did find myself in a similar situation where I had a particular song stuck in my head (an instrumental even) and Soundhound found it on the first try with me humming the melody… pretty amazing stuff. if i ever find myself in that rare instance again i’ll just download the app again

  59. Shazam for me. I was a beta tester, so I got the “paid” features for free. I used it back on WinMo, and it was one of my first app installs on Android. I’ve never had so much as a single problem with it yet. My only complaint is that there is about a 4-5 second “loading” time when you first open the app before you can tag any songs. Not fun when you switch radio stations and catch the last little bit of the song.

  60. I have used Shazam for the last year, so I have unlimited tagging. Haven’t tried SoundHound, but I’m interested now. I don’t tag more than 5 things a month anyway, so I’m sure the free version will be fine for me.

    PS – the song (Hello, Hello, I love you, etc.) is good, but the artist name is funny. “Those Without Pants?” :D

  61. I’ve never tried soundhound and have pretty much only used Shazam. I got shazam prior to them switching to a paid version and I’ve wiped my phone numerous times on end and I still have unlimited tagging. Now to the performance. I do get rather annoyed that shazam takes so long to return with the tag but I still haven’t had a problem with it not tagging correctly or not at all. There was a time that my brother was playing a song using his iPad and it claimed the song was by a certain artist basically saying it was a cover of a song. We both swore it was the original artist. Used shazam and sure enough, even it knew it was the cover.

  62. Soundhound (paid) is awesome. I prefer it over Shazam. Shazam sometimes fails to recognize the music i’m hearing on Hot 97 (NY).

  63. Sound Hound (Paid)
    I only got my Android a couple of months ago, and trialed Shazam it seemed ok, but I looked up some reviews and saw most people saying Sound Hound was better and I decided to purchase it.

  64. I’m in the SoundHound camp myself. I had Shazam when they first hit the market and liked the service until I lost the unlimited tagging (Had to wipe my phone). I did re-download but didn’t really use it. When I did I tested it side by side with my wife’s iPhone version of SoundHound and it always picked everything up quicker and offered a lot more information. So I downloaded it several wipes later it’s still on my Droid.

  65. SoundHound recognizes Japanese songs that I sing to it. Shazam? No? Ok then.

  66. I have both paid versions but use Soundhound about 95% of the time, Shazam just as a backup. Soundhound has a better widget, faster to recognize songs and provides more information once a song is recognized, but it doesn’t do very will with really new releases which is when I switch over to Shazam and usually find it.

  67. F* Shazam. They sent a cease and desist notification to an amateur programming.

  68. I had shazam until I got my Vibrant, which was shortly after they went to the paid version. I tried both out for about a month (using the free versions).

    They both work pretty well, but I don’t think Soundhound ever missed a tag, while Shazam missed a couple, and I like the UI for soundhound better.

    In the end I purchased the full version of soundhound, and love it.

  69. SoundHound. Paid Version.

    It’s simply kick-ass.

  70. This has probably already been stated but I’m too lazy to read all the comments to be sure:

    Those of us who have been using Shazam before they released the premium version were allowed unlimited tags once the premium version went live, thus rewarding us for our loyalty. That said, I have both, I use Shazam for quick snags seeing as SoundHound has yet to incorporate a widget. However, I have noticed that SoundHound requires much less audio to accurately identify a track thus making it better for those instances when you only have a couple seconds of audio to work with. SoundHound also does not require the full sample period to take place before it returns results which is, again, nice if you want the info quickly.

    So I keep Shazam handy just because I’ve used it a lot in the past, but I’m starting to lean more towards SH due to it’s (seemingly) more advanced tagging system.

  71. This type of App has been around for a while, but Sound Hound was the first experience for me, and it has correctly picked the song 100% of the time, and even in a noisy bar. It is definitely worth the price of admission.

  72. …nevermind, SH does have a widget.

  73. Shazam. All the way. Shazam is much further along with their catalog of songs and they’ve nailed all the pre-releases and indie artists I’ve every tried.

  74. Sound hound’s free version now has unlimited tagging

  75. Sound Hound has better recongition ability in my experience. Shazam comes back exmpty handed every time I used it.

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