Rahul is an app enthusiast who loves scouring the web for alternatives to popular apps and websites. Monopoly mustn't prevail!
What Is Shazam?
Shazam is one of the best song finder apps around. It uses an algorithm-based approach to identify patterned sounds such as music, movies, advertising, and even television shows playing nearby.
With the algorithm, Shazam listens to the surrounding sounds through the device microphone and captures a small sample used for identifying sound patterns. Once a song, TV show, or audio file is identified, the app displays its name and any other additional information alongside sharing or purchase options.
A major Shazam criticism is its inability to identify hummed sounds. Indeed, the app can only identify original sound recordings, a weakness that has been exploited by a few newer competitors. Further, data privacy campaigners fault the app for infringing user privacy by continually listening to their environments even with the app’s microphone turned off. Shazam does not allow users to bookmark or share the songs it identifies.
Best Apps Like Shazam
With a growing market and clear weaknesses, Shazam faces stiff competition from established and new rivals. But which song finder apps are the best alternatives to Shazam?
Boasting the biggest song lyric collection in the world, Musixmatch is one of the leading song finder apps for music lovers. It enables instant song identification for YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify among others, while it can now translate your favorite songs into multiple international languages.
As the leading music data company in the world, Musixmatch supports about 500 thousand artists, including popular global stars and indie music producers. The platform also receives over 70 million unique users each month and can be accessed from about 80 countries around the globe.
In 2020, Musixmatch partnered with Spotify to provide real-time lyrics to Spotify users across more than 26 countries. The company launched a new feature, Musixmatch Pro, in 2021 to enable music creators and professionals to verify their music credits, claim and administrate copyrights, distribute music, and get paid with ease.
Musixmatch supports both iOS and Android devices and has active partnerships with over 10 thousand top music publishers. The app is free to join and use, while it also aggregates and administers royalties for publishers and songwriters besides its original mandate as a content provider.
For consumers and other end-users, Musixmatch allows easy access to millions of new music, including identifying new songs you didn't know about. You can enable floating lyrics to any song while playing, as well as playing back Spotify song previews.
- Easy to use; great user experience
- Multi-lingual support with song translations
- Massive song library across genres
- The user interface is clean with good font sizes
- Suffers slow song search speeds
- No dark theme
- Can identify the wrong song
- Laborious lyric-syncing features
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SoundHound is a powerful audio and speech recognition service and free music and lyrics discovery app for Android and iOS devices. Available for mobile, tablets, and PCs, SoundHound can be used from more than 32 international languages, and reported having more than 315 million active monthly users as of 2021.
Unlike Shazam, SoundHound technology lets users identify songs via singing or humming them, while the app provides perfect results when listening to the recorded song.
The SoundHound app uses a simple design, is very easy to use, and can recognize new music and lyrics fast. To identify a song playing in their vicinity, SoundHound users only need to open the app, tap the big orange button, and the app will listen to the surroundings and identify whichever song is playing.
You can also type in a segment on song lyrics and the app will search its massive database for matches. These multiple ways to search and identify songs, and the fact SoundHound is free, make SoundHound a popular choice for song and lyrics identification.
Its speed of search and execution speed is also one of the best around, while the ability to identify somewhat obscure music is unmatched by peers. Further, SoundHound users receive more information about a tagged song than any other app's, with the song title, album, artist name, and even producer name included in the search results.
- Supports humming or singing
- Fast song results within seconds
- Lip-syncing and sing-along enabled
- Also provides song lyrics
- Users can bookmarked tagged songs
- Irregular search
- Too many ads in the free version
- Best for tech-savvy users
Musera is a top social network platform for music lovers with eccentric features to recognize your favorite songs, access new song previews, share song ratings, and chat with other music enthusiasts among others.
Musera combines the ACRCloud technology for recognizing songs with Deezer's song preview features to create the first interactive social media network in the world. It operates a freemium model, allowing users to use the app for free or upgrade to a premium package to enjoy additional benefits.
Musera is supported on Android, Windows, and iOS devices, and provides users with an easy-to-use, efficient option for managing their music lists and discovering great new music.
Using the song recognition capabilities, Musera reduces the hassle of building one's ultimate playlist by identifying any new song they hear playing. The app adds all the songs identified to a default playlist and lets users decide which new song to keep or delete from the list. Users can also transfer any of these songs to a different playlist.
While helping users recognize new or unknown songs, Musera also provides extensive song details. Just like SoundHound, these include song title, artist name, album, and album cover among others. Musera users can also access other people's playlists or connect with them, while a trending songs playlist allows one to sample the latest songs.
- Excellent layout design
- Fast song and lyric recognition
- Great support services
- Costly premium packages
- Security issues due to interlinking users’ playlists.
- User data privacy concerns
Available on both Android and iOS devices, the Genius app has quickly built up a following amongst music aficionados around the world. Genius is a better fit for people who enjoy humming along with their favorite tunes, boasting a state-of-the-art lip-syncing technology unlike any on today's market.
The app combines traditional AI-based song lyric identification with the ability for users to co-annotate lyrics manually as well as help interpret song lyrics. As a result, the human-AI collaboration has given Genius the most accurate song lyric database on Earth, beating both SoundHound and Apple-owned Shazam by a mile.
Marketed as "the meaning behind the music", Genius is a value-added alternative to other music recognition apps such as Shazam. The app helps users understand song lyrics, decipher what any lyric means, and even get answers about whatever music-related question they have.
With more than 25 million songs and active partnerships with Apple, Spotify, Chartbeat, and more, Genius continues to reach new users. Genius also allows users to watch music videos while reading lyrics, meaning any song you recognized is delivered in as complete a format as possible.
Beyond formal partnerships, Genius also integrates with popular music streaming apps to give users a well-rounded experience.
- Massive music and lyric library
- Automated and manual lyric transcription
- Live song search and identification
- Consumes too much data
- User data privacy concerns
- Excessive fullscreen ads
- Clanky interface design
Supported on Android, Windows, and iOS devices, Audiggle is a free app that lets users search, recognize, and identify any music that interests them. The app uses an intelligent sound recognition engine that searches music samples against a database with millions of songs and collections.
The search process is also very fast and includes several key information such as the artist, album, and more. Audiggle users can also play their tagged songs right inside the app, as well as build custom playlists
Unlike conventional song discovery apps, Audiggle does not necessarily require access to your device’s microphone. Once you signup, Audiggle prompts you to choose their preferred recording line between device microphone or Audiggle default. The latter does not use your microphone and therefore won't seek the respective permissions.
All users must register to use the app, however, both on the website and mobile app. Audiggle users can save or download any song identified via search, as well as read its lyrics among other options. You can search the app by capturing a sample sound file or video clip.
- Simple interface design
- Easy to join and use
- Requires fewer access permissions
- Search function less accurate
- Poor security
Cortana is a free Microsoft-based music player and song identification app particularly developed for Microsoft Windows 10 devices. It has built an extensive music library to rival its flashier, more popular competitors, with thousands of music available across major genres.
Built directly into the Windows 10 software stack, Cortana users enjoy a more powerful assistant that powers a lot more than their music interests. This does not diminish its functional abilities in sound identification, however, and can tag new music, or even play said music whenever the user needs to.
Cortana is a distinct and fashionable alternative app to Shazam's approach. The app can crack jokes, play music, or even serve as a personal DJ. What's most welcome, however, is Cortana's ability to identify all sorts of music, and does not discriminate based on the input modes.
As a native application, Cortana supports integration with several third-party applications. As a result, Cortana users can use it alongside Spotify Premium, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn among others. It was also the trailblazer behind both Google and Apple integrating music identification apps into their respective digital assistants.
- Better user data security
- Numerous value-adding features
- Uses voice commands
- Must be connected to a specialty music service
- Cannot access music stored on your computer
- The user interface is a bit dated
Midomi helps users to discover music and people using one's voice for instant connection to their best music and other audio resources. The app, which is free to join and use, supports both Android and iOS devices and guarantees users the ultimate search and discovery experience.
Besides stellar functionality, Midomi is also fun to use thanks to its loads of cool features. With multiple ways to search, discover, and identify new songs, Midomi users can sing, hum, talk, or type into the search bar and the app will identify the respective music.
Like other music recognition apps, you can also hold your phone to the stereo to capture a recorded song and search it in the Midomi's vast database. Founded in late 2004, Midomi has accumulated a library with more than 17 million songs, while search results also spew out band info, artist biographies, and even links to popular streaming services.
Midomi users can access and listen to hums and songs tagged by other users. The app has also enabled direct song searches to YouTube, suggesting a likelihood of data sharing or transfer. However, Midomi requests and uses limited access permissions to your apps, unlike other similar music finder apps.
- Multi-device support
- Multiple search input options
- Huge music library
- No offline access
- User data privacy concerns
MusicID is a free song search and identification app for both Android and iOS devices. It helps users search for any music playing around them with ease, and includes comprehensive song info in its results. These details include artist name, album name, as well as song producer among others.
MusicID also has a premium package, MusicID Complete, that provides three premium professional tools for music creators, creative arts researchers, and others. Alongside the free plan, MusicID Complete expands music aggregation, search, and discovery, as well as song identification capabilities.
The app boasts one of the most expansive song and lyric databases around, covering more than 70 years of international charts and insights on which songs, genres, and music innovations presently receive the most traction.
Unlike rival apps, MusicID lets users manually edit the data included in album art, supports songs sourced from different regions of the world, and supports in-app song plays.
- Free for all
- Easy to use
- Top of the range security
- Multi-language support
- Premium package is costly
Did I miss out on any other apps like Shazam? Let me know in the comments section.
© 2022 Rahul Pandey