capsule review

Midomi Music Identifier and Search for iPhone

Few things are as maddening as hearing a song on the radio and not being able to recall the name of the artist or the title of the track itself. Fortunately, the App Store has several options that put the answer to such nagging questions right in your pocket. One such app is the well-regarded Shazam, which can identify music tracks playing anywhere near your iPhone. Midomi Music Identifier and Search from Melodis pulls off the same feat, only with a few more tools than Shazam has at its disposal.

Sing a Song: Midomi can listen to a song an accurately identify it, whether it’s playing on the radio, or your humming it into your iPhone.

Midomi uses the Sound2Sound search engine to accurately identify music. It can listen to a song being played on the radio and recognize it, just like Shazam. But it can also identify songs that you sing or hum. In addition, you can also just speak a song’s title or an artist’s name into the iPhone’s built-in mic and Midomi will find it. (iPod touch users can tap into these features as well, provided they’ve got an external microphone on hand.) The app also includes a text field where you can type to search.

No Internet connection? No problem—your search will be saved and marked as pending under the history tab until you can connect with a network again. Midomi lets you bookmark your searches and share the songs you find through Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail.

Once Midomi has identified a song, it brings up a plethora of information. The song title and artist name appears at the top of the screen, along with a 30-second preview clip and a quick link to download it through iTunes on the fly. Just below that, you’ll find several links to YouTube, where you can watch music videos from within the app. Midomi’s results page also features a tab that will launch a Google search for the song’s lyrics—a great way to end arguments or just find out what the words to a song are.

If you’re still hungry for more info, there’s even artist and album info tabs. Tapping the artist info tab will bring up photos, top songs, a discography listing all of that artist’s albums, similar artists, and even a biography. The album info tab gives you access to an album review along with an ordered track list of all the songs on the album, complete with 30-second previews.

Midomi has a simple and attractive interface, making the app easy to use right out of the box. The accuracy with which it identifies songs is truly impressive. Even with relatively obscure songs, Midomi nailed it every time in my tests, even doing a fairly good job interpreting my horrible attempts at singing a song.

More than just a way to identify songs, Midomi puts a wealth of musical information at your fingertips. At $5, I wouldn’t say the app is inexpensive, but it’s definitely worth the price. Midomi has fast become an indispensable app for me and has helped to grow my music library substantially.

Midomi Music Identifier and Search is compatible with any iPhone and iPod touch running the iPhone 2.x software update.

[Tim Mercer is a technology enthusiast, graphic designer, and blogger, whose blog, digital-artist-toolbox.com, offers free resources to the digital artist and graphic designer.]

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