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iPhone’s Listen App – Listens & Tells You What Song Is Playing


Launch Listen app, hold it near where you’ve got a song playing, and it’ll sample it, and come back and tell you what the track is

No more wondering what a song is on the radio, and having it be the one track all day that the DJs don’t name for you when it’s done playing. 

Here’s another iPhone app that will make you say ‘Wow’ and will be a great ‘Show Off App’ to let your friends see the magic of the iPhone.

The new Listen.app from Erica Sadun works like this:IMG_0386

Install it on your iPhone, get near music and run it. It will sample the music for 5 seconds and then attempt to contact the id server. If it succeeds, great, you’ll see the song, artist and album. If it fails, nothing happens. You just wait 30 seconds and if you haven’t gotten an ID, quit and restart the program.

I thought this was a joke when I was first reading about this app – but it works – I’ve tried around 10 different songs now, ranging from BB King and Miles Davis to Public Enemy, Crowded House and Pat Green, and it’s got every single one right! 

Erica points out that the inspiration for this app comes from a colleague of hers with the nick, GeeZuzz, but she’s done the hacking to get this going on the iPhone.  She also calls the app ‘very beta’ – and it feels that way  – it’s very basic in appearance – just gives you brief status messages and returns track info to you (but hey, that’s all you want) and it doesn’t have any error message when it fails to contact the id server, it just sits there.

None of the ‘beta feel’ will bother you in the slightest once you see Listen in action though.  And hopefully you’ll never be frustrated at not knowing a song title anymore, as long as you’ve got your iPhone nearby.

Listen is available on Installer now.

UPDATE: As of 1/14/08 – Erica’s site now has an R.I.P. Listen post up – apparently licensing fees for the server / connection end of this app are unrealistic, and the app is no longer being developed.

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  • hsep88

    Can’t get passed the “Finished recording. Contacting info server” page on any of the songs I tried it out on. I’ve seen a phone do this before and was amazed. This would be very impressive.

  • hsep – Erica’s site mentions that you should only give it around 30 secs to contact the server – then just close and restart the app – I’ve had some songs where it works after several tries. I’ve also had some luck with holding the phone a little farther away from the speakers (odd as that sounds) …

  • Any part of the song as far as I can tell – I played that Miles Davis track and had to try several times for Listen to contact the ID server, but I just left the song playing, didn’t restart it or anything like that …

  • deedee

    does this work for the itouch?

    • This app doesn't exist anymore – it hasn't for a long time. Shazam is free and in the App Store and does this well.