After reading the blog post from Microsoft about the new Music Search that was coming in Mango (and Xbox) I was pretty excited. In fact, I surmised that this would end Shazam as an app on Windows Phones. Unfortunately that’s not the case. I’m running the dev Mango release and I’ve put Music Search to the test a bunch of times and overall I’m not sold on it. I’ve tried it at weddings and in bars (where there’s obviously poor sound systems and lots of ambient noise) and it never once picked up the track. It routinely would search for 30 seconds and then state that no matches were found. I know this isn’t an easy feat to pull off, except Shazam was able to get matches in some of these scenarios. In fact, if music was played too low with background noise (you know, like in real life) I had a few cases where Music Search gave the wrong song. In perfect conditions it is perfect and even finds the album the song was from and if it was a live version, etc. Cool and all but you need ideal conditions for this and let’s admit it, most of the times you’d use this would be somewhere like a bar and you want to know a random song playing. Now I do want to note that both Shazam and Music Search fingerprint songs so they just send key points in the song to the cloud servers for detection rather than sending the whole audio file, and while that saves bandwidth neither would detect a live performance. So I don’t want to be unfair here, so we’re talking about songs being played by a DJ in both cases.

Well I’m a bit disappointed since I thought it was going to be a killer app and I hope there are still improvements coming (which would likely happen on MS’s cloud that is detecting the songs so it wouldn’t be an OS upgrade). For those of you using Mango, what are your findings? Same as me or am I missing something?

7 COMMENTS

  1. I use it on zara store once while waiting for my gf, it works nice and fast, i downloaded the song to from zune as they take me. In my office where sound is not to loud and also a disruption from my own voice is bigger than the sound it will hard to find, and the most important thing is internet connection is works fine, check your signal

  2. You are infact correct, I am also disappointed!!! I work as security for a club and I tried it several times to get nothing…. when shazam picked it up right away. I even tried it for a song I heard on the radio, I had to attempt it 3 times before it got it when shazam got it right away again. But then again this is beta and maybe there is something missing we can’t see. I hope this is the case or ms completely failed and needs to fire the people responsible for this idea and integration.

  3. I guess this provides shows why Shazam is one of those must have apps for music lovers. Its disappointing that in real life use case that Bing Music struggles but on the other hand i’m glad Shazam doesn’t get an istant death blow on the platform.

  4. My experience with the Bing Music search is diverging… sometimes it gets the song right away, even in the car or a pub or similiar. But then it doesn’t know whats going on when listening to it on the radio. But one disadvantage of Shazam, even if it’s better today, it’s not a free service. You can find a few songs per month for free, but more detections require a premium app. Also Shazam is how long in the market – a few years? In the beginning it wasn’t as good as today. Such services tend to be getting better with time ’cause they learn / improve their algorithms based on failed detections. Just give it some time and I think the music search will be a great, free addition! :)

  5. @Murani Lewis: With the crippled version they forced on us I think bing music WILL be the death blow to shazam on WP7. I know I wont be using it once I get mango on my phone.

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