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Quick Look: MusicID for iPhone

MusicID is the new music recognition app on the block, but with its insanely low sale price and gorgeous interface, I think it stands a good shot at topping the Music charts on the App Store.

Canada vs US: Versions
One of the most notable things about this app is that lyrics for songs are only available in the US version. The Canadian and US apps both cost the same amount, but Canadians have to look up their own lyrics outside the confines of the app. Ugh, licensing issues.

I consider this to be a pretty big deal, since one of MusicID’s best features is its lyric-specific search. Searches can target song or artist names, but you can also simply write lyrics and the results with the exact lines you typed will show up in a great little results list. The presentation of the feature is what makes it such a winner, but it’s only presented to owners of the American version of the app as far as I know.

Identifying Music
The main feature of MusicID is (obviously) its music identification process, which works similarly to Shazam and SoundHound. Just tap the ID button, hold your iPhone up to the music, and wait a couple of seconds (usually 5-8s) for the app to do its thing.

Identification is a very flashy, animated process that is sure to impress all the young’uns (I count myself among the young’uns – I just want to use the word). It’s also pretty fast, to boot (five to eight seconds on average).
Once a song has been identified, you’ll see its album art, relevant YouTube videos, band biography, iTunes, as well as lyrics (if the Gracenote database has them) and an option to see similar songs. That all sounds quite cramped when mentioned in one sentence, but it’s actually the cleanest presentation I’ve seen in a music app.
The one notable feature missing in MusicID is a preview button to hear a sample the song, which is something that’s included in the full versions of the Shazam and SoundHound apps.This omission is likely due to licensing costs, since every preview tends to cost the app developers a certain amount of money.

The rest of the app is very pretty, but basic in terms of feature sets. MusicID can identify a song you’re playing on your iPod, save songs you’ve ID’ed for later action, mail the ID’s of songs to friends, and look at popular songs (though I’m not sure where their information comes from).

Conclusion
For users that want unlimited identification credits, MusicID’s current sale price ($0.99) absolutely cannot be beat. It might not be the most feature complete music app on the App Store, but it rivals (or beats?) SoundHound in the UI department, and all of the included features are implemented very well — all for the price of one song from iTunes. Not too shabby.
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MusicID (Canadian iTunes link here) is available for $2.99 on the App Store, although it’s currently on sale for just $0.99.
This app was bought by JAiB for review on the site. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.

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