No matter how much our day-to-day lives might be shaped and changed by the culture that surrounds us–especially digital and web culture–one thing will always remain appreciated just the same: music. Enter Shazam, an online music discovery service that we’re going to show you how to log in with and use, free of charge.
Note that Shazam is a music discovery service, which is something quite different than those other big names in the digital streaming music scene that you’re probably already used to. Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and others are all excellent when you want music on demand, but each of them at least somewhat dependent upon you knowing what you’d like to listen to in the first place. Sure, you can browse playlists and stations in an effort to discover music that you like, but still, none of them do what Shazam does.
Many are thrown for a loop by this type of service simply because it’s not a commonplace offering. When was the last time that you were in a place where music was playing, and you’ve been stumped as to the title of a particular song, or even who was singing it? If you’re like me and enjoy learning the ins and outs of new artists and music, Shazam is for you. If you’re always hanging around the borders of new genres of music, hoping to catch something that will draw you in further, Shazam is for you.
Here’s how it works: simply turn on the microphone of the device that Shazam is installed on, and let the app listen to whatever music is playing. As long as it can get a clear trace on the music, it’ll match the song to the app’s access to a massive library of music, thereby identifying the track and artist for you! Think of it like a digital assistant, or your new app-based best friend that also happens to be an audiophile.
Rather than serving as an alternative to the music apps that you already use, Shazam is a perfect compliment to any other music service. Additionally, the fact that it’s free to use must lend a certain amount of appeal, especially when it’s stacked up next to other music-related services that charge a subscription fee for access to all of their features.
If the simplicity of Shazam’s offered service isn’t enough to draw you in, feature this: it’s available on practically any platform that you can imagine–Android, iOS, Mac, Windows PC, Apple Watch, and Android Wear. While some of these will require a certain amount of interactivity, and you won’t have much fun with Shazam on any device that doesn’t have a microphone, it’s widely available enough and provides a unique enough service that I can safely recommend it to anyone that fancies music, from audiophile to casual radio listener.
Below, we’ll go through the signup and login processes that you’ll run into on various mobile devices, providing ample instruction to get you rolling with Shazam.
Given that Shazam can install and run on practically any device, the actual list of requirements for you to be able to enjoy this service is rather short.
- Microphone: The entire foundation of Shazam is its music identification service, and it’s going to have an awfully difficult time of that without the means to hear that music in the first place. Android and iOS devices are guaranteed to have a built-in mic, but for PC and Mac users, you’ll often have to look to your computer’s monitor for microphone support. Most major manufacturers include at least basic mic function in their hardware.
- Email Address: If you’ve made it this far into the digital era without an email address, then we need to talk about the particulars of your hiding places. Since that’s likely not the case, just make sure that you have ready access to an email address that you regularly use. Signing up for Shazam is going to require it!
If you have these two things ready to rock and roll, then so too will you be! Even though Shazam can offer a fantastic service, it’s actually very simple to use. Once we finish with the installation and signup, you’re going to be left wondering where it’s been your entire life.
However, before we set off to installing Shazam on your particular device, I recommend signing up for the service through your browser, rather than through the app.
- From the primary Shazam web page, select “Sign Up.” You’ll be given the option to sign up through Facebook (that’s everywhere, isn’t it?) or to simply enter your name and email address.
- No matter which method you choose, you’ll have to verify your signup.
- As for passwords….wait. Where’s the password? There is none. Shazam is one of those few remaining services that actually carries none of your personal information and therefore isn’t going to require your password. Your email address will get you everywhere you need to go!
Once you’ve completed the signup process, you’ll have an easier time logging in from whichever platforms you choose to install Shazam on!
Since Shazam runs on so many different platforms, the installation process for each is going to be slightly different (but always relatively simple!) We’ll go through each, here, and nail out any of the nuances that might throw you off on particular devices.
PC and Mac
Windows PC and Mac users have it the easiest, but for my particular preference, Shazam service isn’t quite as fun on a stationary computer as it will be on your smartphone or tablet. Still, if you’re a commuter or a coffee house patron, there’s no reason not to include it in your regular software lineup.
You can find Shazam through two methods, but they’re all going to lead to the same place. Head on over to the “Apps” section of the Shazam website, and then scroll down to find your particular platform.
- Windows PC users will be taken to the Windows Store, where you’ll be able to download the Shazam app for free.
- Mac users will be taken to the Mac App Store, also for a free and easy download.
- Additionally, users of either service can just search for “Shazam” in their respective app and software stores.
The particulars of how you find your download matter less than the actual installation, but even that won’t differ greatly between platforms. Once you’ve found your way to the app store, installing Shazam will be as simple as a single click.
Properly installed, Shazam should now open up in its own window. Since you’ve already signed up for the service, signing in will be a cinch!
Android and iOS
As is becoming the trend, now, installing the Shazam app on your Android or iOS device isn’t all that different from installing it on your desktop computer.
- Android users need only search for “Shazam” in the Google Play store. You’ll likely find a free version, as well as “Shazam Encore,” which is a paid download. We’ll talk more about that, in a bit.
- iOS users will go to the Apple App Store and search for the same. As you would on Android, download the free “Shazam” app and leave “Shazam Encore” alone, for now.
Since Shazam is a free download, the rest of your setup will be easy peasy. Once the app has installed itself on your mobile device, open it up and take a look around the interface. Personally, I find the mobile version of Shazam to be the most intuitive, accessible and fun to use; there’s a good chance that no matter where you are, you’re going to have your smartphone in your pocket, which also makes this version the most useful!
From the home screen, you’ll see a large icon that says “Touch to Shazam.” You don’t even have to fully sign in to take advantage of this primary feature, but you won’t have full access until you do so.
- Tap on “My Shazam” on the bottom of the app screen.
- The small gear icon will take you to the Shazam settings menu, from which you’ll want to select “Sign Up or Log In.”
- Since you already have a Shazam profile, all you’ll need to do is enter your email address!
The first time that you use Shazam, you’re very likely going to be prompted to give the app access to your mobile device’s microphone. Remember that this essential if you want Shazam to be able to hear the ambient music that’s surrounding you.
Apple Watch and Android Wear
You might expect the setup process to get more complicated on a smartwatch, but you’d be wrong! It’s fairly simple here, too, but as with most applications, you’re going to need a corresponding smartphone or mobile device in order to do it. Apple Watch users are going to need an iPhone, and Android Wear devices are going to require accompanying Android hardware.
Hence, the setup and installation process for Android and iOS will also install all that you require for your wearable! Since our wearable, app-supporting technology hasn’t yet separated itself from the anchor of corresponding mobile devices, you’ll need to have your iOS or Android device handy while you activate the corresponding device.
- Android Wear: As long as your wearable is paired with your smartphone or tablet, you’ll automatically see Shazam updates on your Android wear device. You can always turn this off from your device’s settings, but Shazam is such a non-intrusive application that I fully expect you’ll welcome it if you’re a wearable user.
- Apple Watch: From the Watch iOS app, select “My Watch.” From there, scroll down until you find the list of installed apps on your Apple device that carries corresponding Apple Watch support. Once you find Shazam, give it a tap. Toggle the “Show App on Apple Watch” setting on, and you’ll be all set!
The convenience of using your wearable device for Shazam is immeasurable, but you’ll have to keep your smartphone or tablet nearby in order to use it. While an Android Wear device or Apple Watch works as a great, handy conduit, it’s the larger device that will be the actual workhorse for the app’s functionality.
If you’re a big enough fan of Shazam that you’d consider upgrading from the free version, this option is for you. The added functionality is highly specialized and certainly isn’t necessary for your full enjoyment of the app, but it’s there for you regardless! Here’s what you can do with Shazam Encore:
- Listen to the same music that your favorite celebrities are discovering, using Shazam.
- Enjoy all of the usual benefits of Shazam without the burden of advertisements.
Many users have become extremely averse to ad culture (I’m one of them!), so if you’re looking to ditch them in favor of a cleaner Shazam experience, Encore is the upgrade for you. Likewise, if you enjoy listening to the same music as your favorite famous personalities, you’ll find a lot to enjoy in this upgrade, also.
That wraps up our guide to getting started with the Shazam experience! It remains a fairly unique online service, and since it’s hosted on such a wide variety of devices, there’s little reason not to give it a try today! Using our guide above, you should have no trouble with installation, signup, or login, no matter where you’re using Shazam.