Suddenly, the likes of Shazam and SoundHound are set to have a lot of competition.

The Echo Nest is a ridiculously smart ‘music intelligence’ company, offering products that help developers and media companies build rich music data into their apps and products. Now it’s partnering with 7digital and MusicBrainz to launch what amounts to an open source version of Shazam.

Echoprint harnesses data on 13 million songs and will allow developers build music identification features into their apps. Fully open source, this is an end-to-end solution with a music fingerprinter and a huge reference library of songs to draw from. While newly open source, The Echo Nest has been using the technology with its partners for 18 months on a proprietary basis. With just a twenty second snatch of a song, it can pull in correct metadata. The vast song library is set to increase in size as more partners are brought on board in the future.

So, what kind of apps can we expect to emerge from this development? Well, it’s now ridiculously easy for any developer create their own ‘Shazam clone’, but The Echo Nest expects it to be used in social networks and location services. Letting our imaginations run wild at The Next Web, we’d love to see hardware built that uses the technology to, for example, display the current song playing on the radio in an office or bar.

You can find full details about Echoprint at echoprint.me here.