Apple might be adding a new music identification feature for devices running iOS, according to a Bloomberg report that cites unnamed sources familiar with the company’s plans.
The feature works by using the microphone on iPhones and iPads to “listen” to whatever song is currently playing within earshot of you. The recording is then matched up with a corresponding song and identified. The song ID feature will also integrate with Apple’s voice control tech, Siri, allowing users to ask “what song is playing?” and get a verbal response.
Apple is said to be partnering with Shazam on the feature, which makes sense considering that Shazam’s service is built around this type of identification tech (for music, TV shows, and commercials). That means you won’t need to download a separate Shazam app on iOS to get the functionality. (If this is the case, I’d imagine Shazam probably negotiated a deal to get a larger percentage of digital music sales that are referred by the song ID feature.)
If true, I’m guessing Apple wants a song ID feature to help boost music sales on iTunes as well as help drive interest in its streaming music service, iTunes Radio, which competes directly with Pandora and other smart radio services. Also, Shazam has 90 million monthly users, so its service is definitely popular enough to merit attention from Apple.
The song ID feature should be available in the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system (iOS 8), which Apple will debut at its developer conference in June.