Shazam Knows Rainbow Connection, But Not Movin’ Right Along

Today I updated my iPhone to the 2.0 firmware and started trying some of the new free apps available. One of the apps I’ve been playing with is Shazam, a music detection app. You hold it up to a song playing, it records a for a few seconds, then it tells you what it is. Nothing appeared naturally for me to test it so I went about to try some of my own songs.

I first went for my Shuffle playlist. Shazam easily identified Bixby Canyon Bridge by Death Cab For Cutie and Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect by The Decemberists.

But those were pretty easy, so I decided to try something harder. How about Christian music? Of course, I couldn’t try just any Christian music, I wanted to try some older, rarer songs.

It didn’t know Until Your Love Broke Through as performed by Randy Stonehill. Okay, so that was a relatively rare song. I didn’t try the Keith Green recording, but it did recognize Grace By Which I Stand and Make My Life a Prayer To You by Keith Green. I thought I’d get a bit more ambitious, but it didn’t recognize Michele Pillar’s Love Makes All The Difference. Not terribly surprising, as she’s even less mainstream than Randy Stonehill. Shazam didn’t seem to know Sandi Patti either. I tried two songs; Love Will Be Our Home and Purest Praise and it couldn’t identify either.

That’s alright, but what about musicals? Shazam didn’t recognize Marian The Librarian from the Original Broadway Cast Recording of The Music Man. Maybe it would’ve known the movie soundtrack, but I didn’t try it. In an interesting test, Another National Anthem from the Broadway Cast Recording of Assassins was not identified, but it recognized the song from the Original Cast Recording with the information, or at least the album art, from the Broadway Cast Recording. I was pleased when A Little Priest from the Original Broadway Cast of Sweeney Todd was correctly identified.

What else could I test Shazam with? I decided to try movies.

The first one ended up being pretty easy. Shazam identified Bless Yore Beautiful Hide and Goin Co’tin’ from Seven Brides For Seven Brothers right from the video. I was shocked when it didn’t find I Swear I Saw A Dragon or It’s Not Easy from Pete’s Dragon. It knew Rainbow Connection from The Muppet Movie, but not Movin’ Right Along, which I feel is a great oversight, or Can You Picture That. I started up You’ve Got Mail and Shazam told me that the opening credits song was called The Puppy Song. Shazam knows The Age Of Not Believing from Bedknobs and Broomsticks, it must like Angela Lansbury. It cannot however peform a miracle and find the version of I Can’t Give You Anything But Love used in Bringing Up Baby.

As a final test, I tried TV. Shazam successfully recognized a song being played in an episode of Gossip Girl under dialog. The song was called Do You Wanna by The Kooks and it was in the Gossip Girl season finale. I didn’t know what that song was before I tried Shazam on it, and though I hadn’t been pining to know in that case I can see this kind of application being helpful in the future.