SoundTracking’s tagline is “share the soundtrack of your life,” and that’s exactly what this free Android app allows you to do. Like Shazam, SoundTracking lets users identify songs anywhere you can hear them, but adds a deep social networking element that lets users share, like, follow, and comment on each other’s music finds, or share them to Facebook, Twitter, Instragram (album art), and more. SoundTracking’s social emphasis may turn off those who’d rather use a more straightforward service, but it’s still a very solid music identification app that’s worth a download.
Getting Down with Tracking Sound
SoundTracking prompts you to sign into the service using your Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare credentials when you launch the app (you also have the option, thankfully, to create a dedicated SoundTracking account on the spot using an email address). Once you’re logged in, a prompt urges you to create a new post by tapping the musical note icon in the upper right. The icon, when pressed, reveals three additional icons that let you search for a song by title, search for music on your device, or launch the music identification feature. The purpose? Sharing music with others in a Twitter-like social networking stream.
I got started by searching for the Foo Fighters’ “Big Me,” which SoundTracking found in its catalog. The returned listing contained a brief 30-second song snippet, butif you’re a Rdio or Spotify subscriber, you can listen to full tracks. SoundTracking also has numerous options that let me hashtag my feelings toward the song (“#itrocks!”), add a photo (by snapping one myself, choosing one that already exists on my phone, finding one on Instagram, or plucking one from the SoundTracking artist photo database), add social networks that I also want to send the post to, and dedicate up to eight friends by tagging them to a track.
I tapped “Post” to, well, post to those services as well as my SoundTracking feed. Songs posted to a feed can be liked, loved, and commented on, though users can’t outright ban tracks. SoundTracking can also scan the songs in your Android device’s music library and return results based on those tracks. This let me quickly create posts without searching for songs. Posted songs include a link to a YouTube video when available.
Music Identification and Trending Songs
The optionhat really sells SoundTracking is music identification. Bringing a finger to the Music ID icon while a song plays in your environment causes SoundTracking to listen to the track and identify the song, artist, and album. I tested it by playing the same iTunes playlist that I used to challenge Shazam. SoundTracking recognized The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” The Dirtbombs’ “Ever Lovin’ Man,” Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” and even MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” despite the “Super Freak” sample. It also recognized Portishead’s “Sour Times,” a song that Shazam flubbed on its first attempt. Impressive. SoundTracking, however, lacks Shazam-like television show and movie identification abilities.
If you’re in the mood to explore new tunes, you can check what’s trending both nearby and worldwide by tapping the menu bar’s heart icon (it reveals hot songs in a scrollable, panel-driven interface). It’s a quick and easy way to find new acts. The same menu bar lets view your SoundTracking profile (which displays the number of people you follow, and the number of people who follow you), and popular and favorite posts.
It’s easy, and quite natural, to compare SoundTracking and Shazam, but the apps handle music identification in very different ways. SoundTracking excels at making music a very social experience—even more so than the issue-plagued Twitter #music. If you’re looking to chat about music, and share your discoveries with others, SoundTracking should be in your Android app library.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc