Shazam Review

Discover New Music With the Free Shazam App

Shazam is certainly one of my favorite free music apps because it helps you discover new songs everywhere you go. The app works by telling you the name and artist of the tracks you hear, whether it be on the radio, a movie, during a commercial, or anywhere else you may hear music.

In addition to finding and documenting (tagging) all the songs you come across, you can view related music and get links to purchase the songs, read along with the lyrics, listen to them in other apps like Spotify, view upcoming concerts, and much more.

Picture of the Shazam logo
© Shazam Entertainment Limited

This review is written over Shazam's iPhone app, so some of the details will be different when using it on another device.

Pros and Cons of Shazam

Shazam can run on Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Nokia, Windows 8 tablet, and Windows Phone devices.

There's also a free download for Mac and Windows computers.


  • Extremely easy to use
  • Helps you discover new music
  • Works with popular devices
  • Shows lyrics as you listen to songs
  • Very accurate at identifying music
  • Keeps a historical list of all your tags
  • Free from ads


  • Sometimes slow

More to Consider About Shazam

Here are some additional details about Shazam:

  • Music can be tagged manually by tapping a button, or automatically by using the AUTO option, which works even if you lock your device or switch to using a different app
  • When in Auto mode, Shazam can be set up to send you notifications so you know it's actually working and tagging the songs you hear
  • Shazam's Explore feature shows you popular tags from other users on a map, including those near you
  • Lyrics can be displayed (for some songs) in real-time
  • You can replay a small portion of a song even after you've tagged it, as well as play through all of your tags together, continuously
  • The time of a tag is shown with each song you find, and you can also have Shazam tell you where you were when you tagged it
  • Shazam shows a link to a YouTube video of a song you tag, so you can listen to the whole thing
  • Recommended tracks are shown alongside the songs you tag so you can find similar music and artists
  • A full biography is shown for each artist
  • You can look through the discography of an artist, as well as add any of their songs to your Shazam tag list
  • The Charts section of Shazam displays trending tags, top songs in the US and globally, and popular tags in different genres, including Shazams from TV shows
  • It's easy to search for upcoming concerts near you or at any location, and buy tickets, as well as see all the tour dates, of the artists you discover with Shazam
  • Music that you tag can be opened with Apple Music, Spotify, and others and can be built as a new radio station in iTunes
  • Tagged music can be shared through Facebook, Twitter, email, and other apps
  • You can access all your tags by logging in to Shazam on a computer, where you can listen to previews, download a full history list of all of the tagged songs, view lyrics, share them, see how many other users tagged that song, and find links to purchase them on Amazon, iTunes, and/or the Google Play store

Our Thoughts on Shazam

Shazam is by far the most beneficial music app I have ever used. I've discovered lots of new music from many different sources, and it was completely hassle-free to do it.

Shazam gets especially beneficial when you're watching a movie or commercial, walking through a store, or driving in your car, and you just don't have the time to write down the lyrics. You can simply open the app, click the Shazam button, and find the song nearly instantaneously.

It even seems magical at times. I've had Shazam tag songs in mere seconds even while other people were talking, which seems really remarkable. On a different note, it can catch songs that don't even have words, which is basically impossible for you to figure out yourself.

When watching a movie or in a car, the Auto feature is spectacular because you can switch it on, start using a different app or even lock your device, to gather all the music it can hear, until you turn it off. Then you can just look through them later, adding what you like to your list of tags, and deleting the ones you don't want.

I also really like the fact that even if a movie or TV show isn't playing a song, you may still be able to tag it to see the list of cast members and other information about the film.

If you decide to buy the songs you've tagged with Shazam, you can easily select some or all of your tags, and open them directly in iTunes.

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