Shazam Finally Becomes A Useful App By Also Becoming Slightly Terrifying

shazam-auto-iosI’ve always been a bit perplexed by Shazam, the app that listens to music and other media and (hopefully) identifies it. That alone can be useful, especially when you’re out somewhere and trying to figure out the name of a song playing in the background, or the artist performing said song. Problem is, it always took so darn long for Shazam to start up that it rarely had the time to listen to a sufficient portion of the tune I desperately needed to name. Now the makers of Shazam have figured out a way to speed up that process — by always having the app listening to your every sound, even when the phone is locked.

The latest update to the iPhone version of the app introduces something called “Auto Shazam,” which “does the hard work for you by continuously recognizing popular music and TV around you.”

You have to turn this feature on — which makes it slightly less terrifying than if it were the default — but once it’s on, it will keep trying to recognize music, and movies that it hears. As mentioned above, this continues even after you lock your phone.

Aside from the bizarre idea of allowing a smartphone app to eavesdrop on your channel-flipping or dial-changing (not to mention all the other sounds it might try unsuccessfully to identify), we can’t imagine that having Auto Shazam on all the time is a good idea for your battery or your wireless bill.

Right now, the Auto Shazam thing is just for iOS; news that makes me glad to have an Android phone.

Shazam for iPhone can now listen for songs and shows in the background [Engadget]

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