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Shazam iPhone app identifies music when phone is locked

The updated app's new feature continuously auto tags songs and TV shows even when the user isn't able to whip their phone out of their pocket.

Shazam's app for iPhone. Shazam

While song identification software is nothing new, Shazam's new update for iPhone and iPod Touch seems to be stepping up the game.

Dubbed "Auto Shazam," the app's new feature, which debuted on Thursday, is able to continuously recognize popular music and TV around a user even though their phone may be locked. This means if someone is unable to whip out their phone to Shazam a song, the phone will still be able to record it.

"Flip the switch on the Shazam home screen to turn on Auto Shazam, and automatically recognize while you commute or watch a movie, even if you leave the Shazam app or lock your phone," Shazam writes in its update.

Last year, Shazam introduced a feature that let users identify television shows and ads. This meant that if a show was Shazam-enabled, users could run the app to get complementary content or an associated app in the iTunes App Store.

The "Shazam for TV" part of the app works with programming at any time of day on over 160 US channels with the exception of some local-only shows such as news broadcasts.