Shazam is bringing its hassle-free music recognition service to the Mac. Available as a free download, the app works quietly in the background and picks up the tracks playing around you. That can be on your Mac, or in the nearby vicinity – similar to Shazam on mobile, the service will use your microphone to tag music that you can hear elsewhere.
The Mac app sits in the Menu Bar and with a single click, it drops down to reveal a mini-player of sorts with all of your latest tags. The app shows the artist and track name, some artwork and a link to the song in iTunes. Even if you ignore the expandable app, Shazam will give you a standard notification whenever it recognises a new song. Clicking this will throw you across to the recently revamped Shazam website, which shows links to iTunes, Amazon and Google Play, lyrics, music videos, recommendations, a full album breakdown and more.
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Shazam says the app is focused less on identifying music and more on helping you engage with the artist or song. Of course, there will always be scenarios where you just want to know what’s playing in your local coffee shop, or the track used in a recent movie trailer. But the company wants to push the services it can offer after the song has been tagged – this is clearly where the monetization opportunities lie, and an area where Shazam think it can stand out. Lyric sites, for instance, are typically horrible to browse and Shazam hopes its professional alternative will appeal to all types of music fans.
The new desktop app is an experiment. Shazam will be integrated with Siri as part of iOS 8 later this year, and that close partnership has helped spur the creation of the Mac app. The company isn’t working on a Windows app though – at least not yet – with future development very much in the “we’ll see how it goes” category. Shazam is a perfect solution to a common problem on mobile, but it remains to be seen whether the service is equally useful on desktop.