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Shazam for Android review: A sleek and simple namer-of-tunes for Android

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One spot where Shazam falls short is with tagging songs that are sung or hummed by a user. SoundHound can sometimes identify such song samples, while Shazam needs to the hear an original recording to do its thing. On the other hand, Shazam also has a special power of its own: the ability to identify TV shows. It may not be all that useful, since cable menus often have all the info you need, but it's still worth mentioning, since SoundHound can't do it.

Once Shazam does tag a song, it doesn't just give you the title and artist. In fact, it pulls up an info page where you can see an artist bio, discography, and album information. It also gives you links to ringtones, lyrics, song-related YouTube videos, and the song's page on Rdio (in case you have the Rdio app installed). If you want to purchase the song, you can do that, too, through the on-page Amazon link. Altogether, the info offered here is useful, but it's still not as comprehensive as what SoundHound offers. For instance, SoundHound's info page also has links to tour dates and tickets, similar artists, and even remixes. So, in this regard, SoundHound does take a slight edge.

Nifty extras
One of Shazam's coolest features is LiveLyrics. Once you tag a song, this feature can give you an artsy, full-screen visualization of a song's lyrics, all synchronized, in real-time, to the music that you're listening to. It's a fun feature that is unquestionably a step above SoundHound's similar feature.

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The LiveLyrics feature offers stylized visualizations of a song's lyrics, synced in real time to the song that's playing.

Beyond, the tagging screen, Shazam lets you check out worldwide charts of the most popular songs tagged by users. Also, with built-in social features, it lets you share your tags and see those of friends. What Shazam for Android is missing, though, is the iOS version's Explore screen, which shows you tagged songs on a world map. While the missing feature isn't terribly useful, it is important to note the difference between Shazam's versions.

Final thoughts
With its most recent update, the newly beautified Shazam for Android pulls up just next to its competitor SoundHound in the song-identification space. The app is easy on the eyes, simple to use, and offers a good deal of useful information for tagged songs. Also, the LiveLyrics feature is a nifty one that's a bit more visually impressive than SoundHound's analogous feature.

With both Shazam and SoundHound showing strengths in different areas, it's difficult to say which one is definitively better. If you're looking for a good-looking app that provides a simple way to identify songs on the go, then Shazam is it. On the other hand, if you need power features like humming recognition and links to similar artists, then SoundHound is a better fit.

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