updated 09:47 pm EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Song-identification technology may be enlisted for Siri, iTunes Radio
Citing unnamed sources "with knowledge of the product," Bloomberg is reporting that Apple may enter into a partnership with song-identifying app Shazam to bring the music-matching feature to iOS 8. Users could, for example, ask Siri "what song is playing?" as they listen to iTunes Radio or other streaming music services, with the voice assistant enlisting Shazam's services to return an answer after a short identifying pause. This in turn would produce a link to the song on iTunes.
Shazam already funds itself through a commission arrangement with music download services who then click a link to buy an identified song (usually from iTunes). The feature could also be used to "listen" to songs outside the user's computer, as Shazam works presently. The app uses algorithms to recognize music heard through the built-in mic on iPhones and iPads. Apple's iTunes currently has about 63 percent of the paid downloaded music market, and is the world's largest music distributor.
The program is remarkably popular, with some 20 percent of iPhones having the app on board and some 90 million users. It can usually identify a song in about 10-15 seconds, occasionally taking longer. Both the London-based Shazam and Apple declined to comment on the report. Apple is expected to preview iOS 8, the next major version of its mobile OS, in early June at the Worldwide Developers Conference.