May 15th, 2011

Music Machine

SoundHound vs. Shazam, (sort of) scientifically tested

I installed the latest versions of Shazam Encore and SoundHound Infinity on a Motorola Xoom.  I then selected 50 songs with varying degrees of obscurity, played them back one at a time and asked each app to identify it.  I tried to use the same segment of the song for each app, usually the very beginning.  If it couldn't identify the song from the beginning, I fast-forwarded to the chorus and tried from there.

Shazam properly identified 31 of the songs, claimed it could not identify 19 and made no incorrect guesses.
SoundHound properly identified 32 of the songs, claimed it could not identify 10, and made 8 incorrect guesses.

SoundHound was much faster when it was confident about a song, but slower if it wasn't sure.  SoundHound was able to identify the most obscure stuff more often than Shazam, but it also made a number of mistakes while Shazam made no errors.  SoundHound crashed once during the test; Shazam performed flawlessly.

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