iPhone App Listens to Music and tells you the name of Song

There is an application for the iPhone where you can humm along a song and it will identify it for you. You can then even buy it from iTunes or see related videos on YouTube. The application I’m talking about is Shazam. We were talking about it over lunch and we all agreed it was impressive technology. We were wondering not so much the part of fingerprinting the music, which is already impressive to get right, but how is it possible to search such a large database, supposedly containing every song in the world, in a timely manner? Someone then asked: “who are the people doing such great software?” I then decided it was time to do some digging and found this great video, a bit romanticized I grant you that, but pretty cool..

Some of the things that caught my eye.. they started back in 2000. Also I was reading about the technology and how it works. Fingerprinting the music is based on the spectrogram. The database is an hash table, where the key is the frequency. When it receives a fingerprint it doesn’t need to search all the songs. Still there is an immense amount of work involved in making the whole thing work. It’s fantastic what they have accomplished.

The People

Chris Barton, Philip Inghelbrecht, Dhiraj Mukherjee and Avery Wang.

Chris and Philip were still in Business School (at UC Berkeley in California) when they started Shazam. Dr. Avery Wang comes from Stanford University. Not sure about Dhiraj.

Shazam Founders on Twitter

The beauty of the Internet these days.. you can follow these guys on Twitter.

Chris Barton – @bartonsurfer

Philip Inghelbrecht – @Inghelbrecht

Dhiraj Mukherjee – @dhirajm