Shazam

What It Is:
Shazam is a mobile app that allows users to identify music and TV shows based solely on the audio.

What It Does:
Shazam uses the microphone on your smartphone or mobile device to listen in on a piece of audio that you direct it toward. It then compares that audio to its database and tells you what song or television show you’re hearing, often then providing a means for you to purchase that song or television show, if available, as well as the opportunity to listen to a song through Rdio or Spotify, or watch the video on YouTube.

Shazam can connect to many social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and more.

Shazam also has an “auto” function that can discover music/TV that you might like based on the data the app has gathered during your previous usage. Additionally, there is an interactive map feature so you can discover what music is popular in your area.

Would My Child Want It?:
Possibly, especially if they are music enthusiasts interested in hunting down the latest music or discovering what musical trends are happening around them.

Where Can It Be Used?:
Though there is a website, Shazam is primarily an app for mobile devices.

What Should I Watch Out For?:

  • Shazam is often used as a marketing platform to promote music releases.
  • “Auto” feature can discover music/TV that might be inappropriate.
  • Some advertising has become “Shazam-enabled,” encouraging users to “Shazam” the audio from the ad in order to get some discount or special content through the app.
  • Can be connected to social media (especially Facebook), thereby increasing engagement on/through social media.

What Are The Positives?:

  • Makes it easy to get an answer to the ever-popular question, “What song/show is playing right now?”
  • Also makes it easy to legally acquire that song/show.

What Are The Negatives?:

  • Potential exposure to unwanted or unsavory musical/televisual content.
  • Increased social media interaction.

What We Think:
If you’re comfortable with your children being exposed to some of the content found in popular music, then Shazam is probably going to be okay. As usual, before you let your child download any app, use it yourself first, and check up on them frequently to make sure they aren’t using it inappropriately.