RIM’s apology apps: Review #2 – Shazam!

Published: November 14th, 2011

Shazam! No, not the incredibly dubious action/adventure film starring basketball’s Shaquille O’Neal as a genie, but an app that first gained popularity on iOS. I’m sure you remember it’s debut, whether it registered with you or not. You’d be in a bar and some incredibly familiar but unplaceable song would come on and sure as the sun rises, some dude would have his arm in the air holding his iPhone aloft as if it were the new cub of the kingdom (and this was playing).

When I actually saw what Shazam! (the exclamation point is actually part of the name, I’m not as thrilled as my punctuation might suggest) did, I saw just how neat the idea behind it was. You could use the microphone on your phone to access the Shazam! database and, like magic, find out what you’re listening to, who made it and, best of all, locate it instantaneously in the iTunes store to buy it.

But this, my friends, is where the BB offering falters. Unlike it’s snazzy iOS cousin, which taps right in to the iTunes store – a wonderfully complete online archive of songs – Shazam! on BB doesn’t have that kind of access. In fact, it doesn’t even get along with BBM Music, RIMs streaming music software it’s constantly trying to hype.

So what do you get? A neat toy that can fairly deftly identify popular music, assuming it can hear it alright from the tinny bar speakers it’s being pumped through, but with no real tap into a consumer area for you to actually purchase or listen to at a later date. This makes it more than a bit disappointing, as it highlights the Blackberry’s shortcomings as an end user device and RIM’s shortsightedness for the consumer on a whole.

It’s free, however and it does work, even though you’ll still probably get laughed at for doing the Shazam! power stance every time you want to find a cool song.

I’ll give this one to RIM however, since it works, which is more than I can say for Bubble Bash 2. That makes it 1/2 so far RIM, so let's step it up.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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