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New SoundHound names that tune--for free (Android)

Following in the footsteps of its iPhone kin, the SoundHound music discovery app for Android now has free and premium versions.

SoundHound, Android
Budget-conscious Android users can now test-drive SoundHound's music recognition app for free.
Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Got a song stuck in your head that you can't place?

Instead of clicking up Shazam, music-ID app SoundHound may soon be the first stop for budget-conscious, Android-loving music aficionados.

Today, SoundHound for Android, ordinarily $4.99, followed in the footsteps of its iPhone kin by debuting a free version.

Like Shazam, SoundHound (known as Midomi, once upon a time) can record a few seconds of song straight from the source and return a plethora of information about the tune's title, artist, related videos, and where to buy it.

What impresses us with SoundHound is that it takes the music-ID concept a couple steps further. It not only records a playing song, it lets you type, speak, sing, or hum the vocal details that you know. In addition, it packages either song lyrics or a link to a Google lyrics search into the results it returns.

The free version does limit the service, but not by stripping away the lyrics search, often one of the defining premium features. Instead, SoundHound's freebie holds you to five music-recognition searches per month when you record a song snippet, sing, or hum, but the app still lets you input as many voice or text searches as you'd like without penalty.

SoundHound and the premium version, henceforth known as SoundHound Infinity, will be available in the Android Market starting today. The music-ID app was good enough to make it into our Android Starter Kit, which spotlights a heap of essential apps you should consider for your phone, and which you should absolutely plumb for app suggestions right away (how's that for a shameless plug?)