Shazam for iPhone Updated, Gets New LyricPlay Feature

Shazam, the popular music tagging application for iPhone that allows you to hold your device up to a speaker and instantly get to know what’s playing, has been updated earlier today to include a new functionality called LyricPlay that, according to the developers, will display lyrics for the song you’ve just tagged in a beautiful landscape view. It works like this: once Shazam (Encore or RED, as LyricPlay has only been added to the Premium versions) has found a song, it’ll be saved in the My Tags section as usual. In the section, there’s a new LyricPlay button that is capable of syncing lyrics with the song you’ve just tagged, quite possibly promising to start visualizing lyrics in the exact position you just tagged a song. Turn your iPhone in landscape, and lyrics will start flowing in real-time in a Star Wars-esque interface that’s actually quite nice and undoubtedly accurate as far as lyrics go (Shazam says they have access to 25,000 songs with Lyrics after the acquisition of Silicon Valley startup Tunezee).

In reality, I found Shazam’s new LyricPlay feature somewhat unreliable, as it didn’t show up on most (old and recent) songs I have in my iTunes library (best way to run a quick Shazam experiment is to use your own songs), and when it did it definitely wasn’t “synced” with the position of the song. I’m not sure how a listener is supposed to follow the song and the lyrics running on screen, but there’s no doubt Shazam needs to make the whole thing more intuitive.

Overall though, the idea is pretty nice and it comes s a free update. I’m sure LyricsPlay will get better over time, so go download the app here and check out what Shazam has to say in the official press release below.

Shazam Makes First Corporate Acquisition with Synchronized Lyrics

Purchase enables unique, new feature, “Shazam LyricPlay” in Encore, giving fans lyrics for more than 25,000 songs in sync with music

London, UK – 15 June 2011 – Shazam®, the world’s leading mobile discovery company, today announced its first corporate acquisition with the purchase of synchronized lyric technology from Tunezee, a Silicon Valley-based company. As a part of the announcement, Shazam is immediately launching Shazam LyricPlay, a new feature in the Encore premium App that allows Shazamers to view lyrics synchronized in real-time with the music they are listening to, wherever they are.

Andrew Fisher, Shazam’s CEO said, “Shazam leads the marketplace for mobile discovery and we constantly strive to develop even greater consumer experiences. We are committed to make the necessary investments to build or acquire innovative technology in order to enhance these experiences as we continue to innovate and enhance the world’s leading mobile discovery service.”


The new feature automatically synchronizes lyrics with a music source. Shazam incorporated it into its core technology, improving its accuracy, and added a layer of animation and visualization to create a fun and engaging way to see the lyrics in real-time with the song. In parallel, Shazam has built a database of lyrics to launch the new feature with a comprehensive and growing library of more than 25,000 of the most popular Shazam’d songs.

Shazam LyricPlay creates a more interactive experience, letting fans go beyond discovering the song title, artist and other great information; now they can also see the lyrics with eye-catching visual themes in synch with the music they have just Shazam’d.

How does Shazam LyricPlay work?

For anyone using Shazam Encore they simply:

1) Tag a song they like;

2) Activate the feature by tapping the new LyricPlay icon when it appears in a Tag result and turning their device horizontally to a landscape position, then watch the lyrics as they scroll, jump, pop or slide in real-time with the song;

3) Stop LyricPlay by tapping the lyrics for options to return to the Tag result for that song.

Each LyricPlay session will be distinctive, as striking visualization themes integrate colors from the cover art of the tagged track.


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