1. Thunderrise
  2. Blog
  3. How to Make a Music Identification App like Shazam
How to Make a Music Identification App like Shazam

How to Make a Music Identification App like Shazam


Some people like to create and some prefer perceiving creations. Such an urge is stemmed from depths of our human nature, that’s why there are so many music and lyrics written as well as paints, poems and novels. Think for a bit, which group would you assign yourself to - creators or perceptors? Because this article will solely concentrate on the way to create a music identification app similar to Shazam to help perceptors find an accidentally heard masterpiece of music artwork they yearn for and never lose again. Pathos mode off, let’s begin our brief guide into music identification app development.

How to Make a Music Identification App like Shazam

Apps for identifying music

What do we know about music identification apps? Perhaps, about nothing, except that there are two major players Shazam, SoundHound and some others (TrackID, MusicID, musiXmatch, Genius)

Shazam is considered to be the best in the field music identification application. It contains a 13 billion tracks database and gathers 120 million people monthly. It raised $ 136 million of funding and claimed a value over $ 1 billion.

Seems to be nice to own an app like Shazam, doesn’t it? Thus, we proceed to basics of Shazam music recognition, switch to best features of mobile apps like Shazam and emerge them together into our own picture perfect application.

How Shazam works

If you like it rough, read here. If you’re not into 50 shades, stay with us.

To make it simple, Shazam algorithm is based on visual representation of frequencies in a song. Basically, there is a method to picture a sound by three parameters - time, frequency and intensity. A final sound image is called a spectrogram or voicerprint. Shazam converts the recorded music sample into an image and then searches through its huge spectrogram database for a match. And does it really quick - in maximum 20 seconds. Almost as quick as we explain things.

How to Make a Music Identification App like Shazam

Shazam-like application features

Shazam application accomplishes its core function of identifying artists, song titles and lyrics really fast, that particularly means that there is no point for a user to utilize an app for more than 20 seconds from time to time. That’s quite a problem for app visibility as well as for monetization issue. All this outlines a problem of user retention within music identifying app. That is why there is a stack of core features and additional ones to increase user retention rate. What are they?

Music identification. Well, duh! There are aspects that we need to mention. Of course, your developer can start inventing of a wheel all over again, but it’s wise enough to take a ready-made API and save some time, money and nerves with that.

There is technology that enables user to identify music from acapella singing or mere humming which makes it tenfold useful for a music identifier.

TV identification. It’s still raw and misses the point even with popular series, but the fact that it exists tells us that identification tech evolve and at least should be taken to account.

Off-line access. A user can’t stay online permanently just yet, so an app must have an option to make a sample right now and save it till Internet connection is renewed.

Smart search. Implementing artist and song title filters is too easy, make a hardrock search by lyrics as well. Also it’s a must to make a separate history list of saved search entries and identified tracks.

Integration. Almost every app out there has at least an integration with social networks such as Facebook and Instagram, nevermind other useful services, consider it too.

Account. It’s comfortable to have a constant easy data access from every iron around. With integration feature an effortless registration is simple to implement.

Make it social. Why not? We already have an account feature, add a thread and some music news and here we are in a brand new type of social network application. Shazam is exactly like that, it contains official profiles of more than a thousand artists that’s been followed by millions of users. It’s obvious that this option incredibly enhances user rate retention.

Detailed info. Provide as much details as possible to engage your user more and make him come back. It can be an ongoing lyrics, karaoke version of track, official video or recommendations of similar bands.

Data accessibility. Users would want to download separate tracks or albums, so make it easier, post links at least and a user will surely appreciate that.

Push notifications. Can be used as a reminder of user’s favourite band new album release or to keep user informed of specific news he could be interested in.

How to Make a Music Identification App like Shazam

Music live streaming has become a popular feature just recently. It’s a really labour and money consuming, but people consider it as an entertaining one and find different ways to utilize it at parties and other events.

Geolocation. With its help a user can map what other people around Shazam, implement a feature to add nearby people with the same music tastes or nearby music streaming channels.

Voice commands feature is all about being more comfortable and engaging. Shazam has it, so be a better Shazam.

Shazam-like app monetization

We’ve seen how good Shazam is and how to make it even better. The stack of possible features for music identifying apps approaches infinity. It’s an obvious conclusion that the price for a Shazam clone app will be exorbitant too. What to do in this case? A couple of advices:

  1. Make MVP and see if it’s going to do well
  2. Try crowdfunding for your app
  3. Use outsourcing to decrease the total expenditures
  4. Pick a suitable monetization model

For example, Shazam uses ads in its free app and a limited amount of built in features. This strategy makes sense and brings grist to the mill which is proved by Shazam.

If you still think about whether or not create a music identification app like Shazam and would it be a rational investment, just contact our managers and ask for details. Thunderrise Dev Team will surely help you achieve your goals!