TechCrunch recently reported that SoundHound is quickly catching up to Shazam as far as active users go. Suddenly, Shazam isn’t the only game in town. Both companies offer ways to identify tunes through respective apps. Chances are, though, you’re only going to download one of these apps. So, which app should it be? Is SoundHound better than Shazam or does Shazam still remain supreme? I put both listening apps to the test. Here’s what I found out.
When testing various obscure tunes, both Shazam and SoundHound were hit or miss. As far as identifying songs goes, both apps are equally as effective. The main difference here is that Shazam and SoundHound display results uniquely. Shazam lists the artist name, album title, date of release, and a way to download the song from iTunes. SoundHound lists all of these things, but also provides a separate list of artists and albums that sound a lot like the one you just tagged.
Shazam allows you to share songs via Facebook and Twitter. With this app, you can also check out songs from artists that are similar to the one you just tagged. SoundHound goes one step further by including email and text options. SoundHound also includes additional tracks from the same artist. You can even listen to additional artist clips (a highly useful feature).
User-Friendliness and Features
Both apps are easy to use. Both apps are also highly integrated with social networks like Facebook and Twitter. I did discover that SoundHound has a lot of additional features that Shazam does not have. One such feature is the Charts feature. With Charts, you can view the current top songs or hot song list. This allows users to discover new music quite easily. Shazam does have a Discover feature that’s similar to SoundHound’s Chart option, though SoundHound splits up those top hits into various categories that seem to make a bit more sense than what Shazam offers.
SoundHound also includes the current SoundHound Twitter stream, which is interesting to look at. As far as ads go, both Shazam and SoundHound are laced with ads (free version). SoundHound’s ads were slightly more obvious than Shazam’s ads. However, both apps provided relevant ads that did have a lot to do with music. Which listening app gained this reviewer’s over all approval?
Tally Up the Score
Both SoundHound and Shazam are simple to use, effective, and overall great music discovery tools. I preferred SoundHound’s layout to Shazam’s for the simple fact that SoundHound’s interface seemed less cluttered and had a smoother flow. SoundHound does seem to come with more ads, however. If you leave the SoundHound main screen alone for a few minutes, a slideshow of ads will display. Both SoundHound and Shazam offer paid versions of each app. You can purchase the Shazam app for $6.99 (lifetime) or $4.99 (one year). Purchasing the SoundHound app will cost $6.99 (unlimited). If you opt for the free version, you will be limited to a specific number of tags per month.