How To Develop A Song Finder App Like Shazam

Updated on Dec 18th, 2023

Music is an influencer to the body, mind, and soul. I am sure there have been times in the past when you have been humming a rhythm and can’t find out the song to which it belongs. Yeah, having that earworm was irritating. Well, thanks to shazam, you can now identify any song by just the mere rhythm of it. You don’t have to google or ask your friends about that tune. Just tune in to Shazam or any app like Shazam and voila. You got it.

There are many apps available online like Shazam, but when it comes to recognizing a song by mere hints, no one works as it does. After looking at statistics, you will wonder why it has about 400+ million annual users, and the download counts are far beyond the mark of 1 billion. And the numbers are kept on rising.

The reason that Shazam is so popular is that majority of people consider music an uneditable part of their lives. And if you got a favorite song that hits the stings of your heart, you want to listen to it, save it and hum it as long as you can. Shazam has various other reasons for its popularity: great functions, fantastic design, and few other features that contribute to the cause.

If you look at the history of song-recognizing apps, you will find that this idea is not new. Several companies tried to attempt this task, but they are not successful as Shazam. They follow an identical approach. If a user wants to know about a song he/she has heard on the radio, they have to enter the time when they heard it last and the name of the radio station that was tuned in at that particular time.

Introduction To Shazam

Shazam is a song-recognizer app that was launched in the year 2002. Initially, it was only launched in the UK and was commonly known as ‘2580’. 2580 was the number that users dialed to get a song recognized. The call would disconnect automatically after 30 seconds of duration. The result will be texted to the user with the song title and artist’s name. Later, they began adding hyperlinks to the SMS that allowed them to download the songs they searched for.

Shazam was introduced to the Apple store on July 10, 2008. The app then allowed users to launch, search the songs, download, or buy them from iTunes. In the initial phase, it struggled in recognizing classic tracks.

In 2017, Apple Inc. acquired the app for a massive amount of $400 million. Since then, it has introduced various new features and enables the users to stream the song on Spotify, iTunes, Youtube, and Google Play Music. By August 2012, it claimed that they had been used to find five billion songs, advertisements, and TV shows. It also claimed that the company has 226 million users across 200 countries.

Shazam App

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Also Read: Top 10 Best Music Apps for 2020

Let’s Understand The Process Behind The Magic Of Song Identification

When you get the name of the song and the artist, you must wonder how it works. Even if you are in a crowded place, this app gets your music; that’s more to your how.

This app is quick, magnificently accurate, and can identify every song that you can think of in your mind. Let’s get to the core. This app identifies a song by concentrating on music’s three basics, amplitude, frequency, and time. Each song has an audio fingerprint that is based on a time-frequency graph known as a spectrogram. These spectrograms are divided into multiple pieces that are known as fingerprints.

Shazam uses the built-in microphones of the device to collect a sample of the audio being played. It then matches the audio’s fingerprints to its database, with over 11million songs and numerous songs being added every day.

The Lyrics Are Not Enough

When you begin to wonder how apps like Shazam work, at first, it seems very easy, like they listen to the songs, compares them to the database, and you get your result. But it’s a little bit more complicated than that. 

However, it’s not that simple. We know these songs-identifier use an audio fingerprint to analyze any song; let’s get to know this technology in detail.

The Fingerprint Of A Song

Like the electronic devices that use fingerprint technology for security purposes, there’s a unique fingerprint present in every single track. When we search for a song on Shazam or an app like Shazam, it records the audio and tries to recognize the audio’s fingerprint and matches that into its database.

Several problems make it difficult for these apps to search for a song database of million audio prints. The primary cause of the delay or incorrect matches consists of background noises while recording the audio and distortions caused by microphones. You can visualize an audio fingerprint’s details with a 3D chart or a spectrogram, representing a change in frequencies over a particular time. The loudness of the sound is represented as the intensity of color in the spectrogram.

Humans can identify a different sound by analyzing the frequency. Just like that, apps like Shazam cannot recognize a sound unless it is at a particular frequency. These apps take the highest energy content within an audio clip known as peaks of an audio clip. The fingerprint with these high peaks appeared within a given time are compared with the ones available in the database. The matched fingerprint is then presented as your search result.

This technique of matching the peaks of an audio fingerprint to their database allows them to take out most of the unwanted parts of an audio clip search, such as background noise and distortions caused by the device. Taking only the ‘peaks’ in the count makes the print size smaller, making it possible for Shazam to present you with a matched result from a huge database within a fraction of seconds.

Also Read: How to Create a Music Streaming App?

Must-have Features For An App Like Shazam

If you are looking to develop an app like Shazam, these features are mandatory to be included in your project. Being a song finder app, it’s apparent that it should be able to recognize songs. It is not complicated; you can try using the solutions that Gracenote or EchoNest API develops. 

Apart from recognition, your app should contain various other attractive features to entertain users that will make them stay on your app for a longer time. Finding a song usually takes around 25-38 seconds, and there should be something more than should compel users to open your app, not for the sole purpose of finding songs.

1. Visualization Of Searches

Design is the key to the success of an app like Shazam. It plays an essential role in attracting users to the app. All the similar apps within this domain have animation of a circle that makes the user visualize their search’s commencement. Be creative with your idea and add something unique to your project.

2. Social Ingredient

You can’t go wrong with making your project social. You can achieve that social aspect in your app by creating a news feed displaying the most popular songs in that particular country, top trending tracks, most searched songs, and some recent news related to the artists. If you could add a sharing feature that will be like a cherry on top, people love to share what they are doing.

3. Map Displaying Searches

This feature is not that important, but it will add stars to your project. Apps like Shazam and Soundhound use this feature that guides the users by an interactive map displaying what people are searching for at that moment across the globe.

4. Personal Account

Adding a personal touch is always better. This feature should be treated as mandatory in your app. This feature will allow users to make their account on the app that will save their previous searches and recommend them songs based on their preferences. Every single song that the user has searched for will be saved to their account and can be accessed from any device.

5. Details Of A Track

Your app should deliver the complete detail of a song apart from the name and artist. Earlier, an app like Shazam has only the information about the artist, title, and album to which the song belongs. Going with the wind has changed the way users used to search for songs on these apps.

Now, with extended features, users can view the song’s standard information along with the number of people who have searched for it. They can also watch related videos to the song, read the song’s lyrics, check the top tracks singed by that same artist, and follow them for their new songs. It would be best if you considered including this feature in your project.

6. Redirection To Other Services

Today’s you will hardly find an app that is not linked to other apps. Every single app is linked to other apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Your app should redirect users to these services either to share the song with their friends and families or to buy the song. This feature makes the user stay on the app for more than 40 seconds.

7. Offline Operations

Your app like Shazam should have a feature known as offline search that lets users record their search even being offline. That search is saved, and when the connection is renewed, the search starts processing and deliver the result. All the major sound-finder apps have this feature. These kinds of features enhance the trust of the users towards your project.

Also Read: How to Develop Apps Like Spotify?


Song-recognitions apps follow a very different strategy when it comes to making money. An app like Shazam has two versions of it. One is known as Shazam, and the other is named Shazam Encore. In the encore one, one advertisement is shown, and they charge a $7 fee for this ad-free experience.

To achieve the ultimate goal of building an app is to make a profit. You can reach there by following various strategies. Initially, it would be best if you considered launching the application for free to the users. It will act as a phase of testing and collecting feedback from the users. Remember, you can always hang a price tag on your project.

If it fits your budget, you can roll out another version of your app that should be ad-free and charge a fee on it. Everybody wants an excellent ad-free experience.

If not, you can always turn to in-app advertisements or make some of the features free and charge for some other features. This monetization model is tagged as freemium.

How Much Would It Cost?

Making a song-identifier app always has its challenges. Although the total cost would depend on the number of features embedded in the project. The calculation will include:

  • The number of features that are embedded in the project.
  • The complexity of the features.
  • Technologies used and the backend development.
  • Developing your own tools or using the existing tools.
  • Animation, design, and elements of UI/UX.
  • Charges of mobile app developers per hour.

Please keep in mind that these rates can vary according to the location. That is because the mobile app developers in different geographical regions charge a different amount.

After deciding your budget based on these factors, you can either hire a freelancer or hire a mobile app development company for the best outputs.


Making an app like Shazam is not that hard as you think. With careful planning and the right mobile app development partner, you can build your song-identification app with great ease. You can analyze that just like any other top application, Shazam’s success is nothing but a blend of efficient coding and planning.

You can try new features, subscription models, and a new approach. Remember, doing deep research will help you determine the basics of this industry, what the users have on their minds, what they want from a new song-identifier app, and your competitors.

Matellio can help you in developing an app like Shazam. Our team of competent mobile app developers has built and delivered numerous flawlessly engineered mobile apps. We can assist in building your dream mobile app. To discuss the details about your dream project, please contact us!!

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