UX revealed: Shazam (Android version)


Shazam was one of the firsts apps I downloaded one I bought my first smartphone. And for those who love music (like me), it will be really useful.

If you never used you’re gonna say: Why?

And the answer is just as simple as the app:

  • hear a music you like
  • wanna know who’s the artist
  • open Shazam app
  • tap right in the middle of they’re logo
  • in seconds, it retrieves the song’s artist, the album and many other features related to that.
screenshot_20160927-225728Tap the logo above to start Shazamming

(You) Oh my god, this is a miracle! It’s amazing!

(Me) Yeah, it’s crazy eh!?

(YOU) Bu… bu… but… How’s that possible?



A little bit of sound theory – physics:

Music is nothing more than vibration that is propagated through the air as mechanical waves of pressure and displacement in some determined frequencies.

When recording it in an analogical way, it’s converted into electrical continuous signals. When recording it into digital, however, these electrical signals are translated into a mathematical series of data (aka “discrete signal”) that can be stored as bits/bites in a digital media.



Shazam behind the scenes:

So, this is what happens when you tap the app to start capturing the music:

1) It creates a kind of “fingerprint” – or an algorithm – of the audio.

2) It connects to their huge database of millions of trakcs.

3)  The app searches in the database the perfect match for the algorithm captured.

4) It retrieves to you all the information related to that “fingerprint”.


Shazam in action

The best thing about Shazam is that it’s really really easy to use. All you need to do is tap it and the magic (literally) starts:

listenningWhile listening, the logo spins according to the song’s volume, waves, intensity.

After some seconds (no more than 20, though), you’ll get what you were looking for:

screenshot_20160927-230017After capturing your song, these are the data retrieved.


And there are some actions you can take after getting your song info:

Buy, listen and listen again.

  • You can listen to it in Google Play, if you sign it up (paid service);
  • If you really like it, you can buy that song right away in Google Play (for Android users) or AppStore (iOS users);
  • Listen to it in an online radio – also in Google Play;
  • Listen in other apps: Spotify, Deezer, Napster.


  •   you can share within your social media channels that you shazammed that song.

Watch videos

  • From youtube, but without leaving Shazam.
Song information, stats, listening, buying, sharing and watching features.

Read the Lyric

  • You don’t need to look for it on CD folders anymore.

See related content

  • Other top songs of the same artist
  • Recommended songs similar tou your track

Ads 😦

  • A fixed banner in the bottom of your screen
  • A huge Ad that takes almost the entire screen between some of the sections we mentioned above
Lyrics, Related content.


Usability wrap up (based on my impressions):


  • Very easy, fast and handy app.
  • I like the fact that the Shazam button is always visible, so you can shazam new songs while navigating through the app and make sure you don’t lose it (again).
  • You can set up the app to start capturing as soon as you open the app, which helps – it saves one click, at least.
  • If you’re not connected to a network, it captures the song and retrieve the result as soon as you get connected.
  • If you’re logged in, the shazammed songs are stored in “My Shazam”
  • You can explore what other people are shazamming around the world in “Charts”


  • If the volume is low or if there’s too much noise surrounding, it might not recognize the song you’re trying to catch – it should advise there’s something interfering in the capturing process.
  • Sometimes the song is not in their database. It’s very frustrating when it happens.
  • Opening the app sometimes takes time, especially when you’re not connected to a network – and you just lose it.
  • If you’re not a paid user, there are some huge ads that interfere in the navigation.
  • There are so many options for each shazammed song, that at some point you think you’ll scroll the page down forever.

(all images used in this post were captured by me)

Your turn

What about you? Is there anything else you like or dislike about Shazam? Do you think it has a good or bad usability? Why?


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