Published: 10th July 2021
#ThrowbackToday: When Shazam's music recognition tech bamboozled us all
In today's #TBT, let's talk about Shazam and its ability to recognise songs via audio printing technology. This is how it became the toast of the town when it released as an app on Apple's App Store
It seemed like magic but it was purely the spell of technology. But since Shazam, the application that can recognise music was the first of its kind, it seemed like magic anyway.
Initially, it was an obscure technology, not out in the open yet. American telecommunications companies like AT&T and Verizon were offering the same service via their applications, but the audio fingerprinting technology belonged to Shazam. All users had to do was dial 2580 (because this wasn't the age of smartphones yet, people), play the song and soon, they'd get a text with the name of the song and the artist as well. How? Well, Shazam was offering 'white label' services. Until it decided not to.
It was Apple (actually its CEO late Steve Jobs, another thing to thank him for) who made Shazam's search application available as a free download via their App Store on July 10, 2008. It is London-based Shazam Entertainment that offers this service which since 2008, is owned by Apple Inc. Thus, Shazam became the first one to offer technology like this. No longer restricted to just songs, now it offers to recognise movies, advertising and television shows as well.
Trying is the best way to find out about this technology which, once upon a time, was the first of its kind.