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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.


For those who want more information about the songs used and the specific results I present this handy chart:

Song Title Artist Shazam? Soundhound?
       
Doctor Who BBC Radiophonic Workshop Yes WRONG
Improperium Bendictine Monks of Santo Domindo De Silos Yes WRONG
I See a Boat On The River Boney M. Yes Yes
Metric Conversion Bruce Haack No No
It Came Out Of The Sky Creedence Clearwater Revival Yes Yes
Corngrinding Songs Delphine Tsinajinnie No WRONG
Banzai Washout Dick Dale & His Del-Tones Yes Yes
America Sings Disneyland soundtrack No No
Cantina Band The Evil Genius Orchestra Yes WRONG
Dracula's Deuce The Ghouls No Yes
Everybody's Rich But Us Glenn Yarbrough No No
White Sandy Beach of Hawai'i Isreal Kamakawiwo'ole Yes Yes
Batman Jan & Dean Yes Yes
Lily of the Valley The Limeliters No No
Nitrous Burn Out Man or Astro-Man? No Yes
Her Lazer Light Eyes Nullsleep No WRONG
No Rewind The Orchestra No No
Flash To The Rescue Queen Yes Yes
August October Robin Gibb No Yes
Snoopy For President The Royal Guardsmen Yes Yes
People Mover Servotron Yes Yes
Brazillian Love Song Steel Drums of Trinidad No No
Am I In Sync Steve Taylor Yes Yes
Toast And Marmalade For Tea Tin Tin Yes Yes
Poisoning Pigeons In The Park Tom Lehrer No Yes
Love And Fury The Tornados Yes Yes
Livin' In The Sunlight, Lovin' In The Moonlight Tiny Tim Yes Yes
Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits Magnetic Fields Yes Yes
Squirrels The Beastly Boys No WRONG
The Little Green Men George Morgan Yes No
America, F**k Yeah! Team America Yes Yes
Say Man Bo Diddley Yes Yes
The Blob The Five Blobs Yes Yes
The Raccoon Song Jan Hobson & Her Bad Review No No
The Bertha Butt Boogie Jimmy Castor Bunch Yes Yes
Black Superman (Muhammed Ali) Johnny Wakelin Yes Yes
Beans In My Ears Serendipity Singers No Yes
Martian Hop The Ran-Dells Yes Yes
In The Franches Mountains Swiss Mountain Musicians No No
Syncopated Clock Leroy Anderson No No
Get Up, Action Digital Emotion Yes Yes
Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor (On the Bedpost Overnight) Lonnie Donegan Yes Yes
Purple People Eater Sheb Wooley Yes Yes
Star Trekkin' The Firm Yes Yes
Der Fuehrer's Face Spike Jones Yes WRONG
Mr. Custer Larry Verne Yes Yes
Dungeons and Dragons The Dead Alewives Yes Yes
Jingle Bells Singing Dogs No Yes
Banned From Argo Leslie Fish No Yes
A Nightmare On My Street DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince Yes WRONG



Comments

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nipper
May. 16th, 2011 07:34 am (UTC)
So, what was your conclusion? Which would you recommend and which do you use?
captpackrat
May. 16th, 2011 08:15 am (UTC)
They were close enough it would be hard for me to make a recommendation. If you can tolerate mistakes, SoundHound seemed to a better job at the really obscure stuff and most of the time it was several seconds faster. SoundHound also claims you can hum or sing a song to identify it, something I didn't test. And it handles tablets slightly better (it can run in portrait or landscape, Shazam is locked to portrait).

On the other hand, Shazam is about half the size, important if your storage is limited.
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