Watch Shazam at work for the first time and you could be forgiven for thinking you were watching witchcraft. Shazam uses your BlackBerry's microphone to "listen" to music, then compares its audio snapshot with its eight million track database to tell you the name of the track and the artist.

It's unbelievably accurate - you'll never wonder what the name of that song playing in a coffee shop is again. Listening to a track takes about 15 seconds and producing a result roughly the same again. Once Shazam has named your track it also gives you the name of the artist and a link to follow to buy the track from Amazon.

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The complimentary version of Shazam allows you to 'tag' up to five tracks per month, but the application comes with a seven-day trial of the full version. This allows unlimited tagging, and gives you recommendations for similar tracks, plus biographies, discographies and reviews of the tracks and artists you're tagging.

Shazam is a bit hit and miss when it comes to identifying hummed or sang music, but there are other disappointments. For instance, the iPhone version of Shazam allows you to tag as many songs as you want, which makes the £5 premium on the BlackBerry version a little hard to swallow, although features such as biographies and similar tracks are missing from the iPhone.

We also found that clicking through to Amazon often produced 'Song not found' messages, making it hard to buy tracks.


If you're only going to use Shazam infrequently (likely once the wow factor has worn off) you won't notice the looming shadow of the premium version, and there's no arguing with Shazam's effectiveness - or the reaction of your friends when you demonstrate it for the first time.