Shazam now can ID music on your headphones, but only on Android

Shazam announced a new update to its Android app that lets the software identify songs playing on a listener’s headphones. The feature is called Pop-Up Shazam, and it lets the app access other programs running on the phone or tablet in order to analyze the audio. In practice, that means if you are watching a YouTube video on your headphones during a bus ride and want to know what the background music is, now you can Shazam the track without unplugging your earbuds and irritating your fellow passengers.

The tech works by letting Shazam track the audio signals coming from other apps instead of only analyzing external sounds. The Shazam app uses a persistent notification to accomplish that task. TechCrunch picked up on the development, and successfully tested Pop-Up Shazam with YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

For now, the feature is limited to Android devices, which seems unusual for the Apple-owned Shazam. Apple’s iOS doesn’t support persistent notification, plus it tends to hold software on its App Store to stricter standards than Android. It’s possible that there are reasons why Apple hasn’t launched this feature within its own ecosystem. Given Shazam’s integration with Siri, it’s possible that the team will have a different approach to offering the same functionality at a later date.

Anna Washenko