Rating: ‘What song is this’ hidden away in Bing
We’re not quite sure why Microsoft hasn’t publicised it better but it turns out that there is a music recognition built into the W7 Mango Windows Phone OS. Microsoft’s answer to Shazam is integrated into the standard Bing search facility. An eagled-eyed reader spotted it and notified us of the relevant help page on the official Windows Phone site here. Naturally this being Microsoft, the whole facility is tied into Zune Marketplace. As with rival offerings this service only works with commercial music. If you’re trying to hum a tune which you can’t place, ‘What song is this?’ won’t help.GoMobile News decided to put the Bing music search to the test and to make the whole exercise a little bit more difficult we pointed it at the Chill digital radio site.
To our surprise, it immediately recognised the track as ’88′ by Dave Spoon. The obvious next move was to try to download the song.
The easiest way to do this was to acquire a Zune Music pass which is free for the first 14 days.
We were astonished to discover that signing up was easy because you can sign in via you Windows Live ID.
It was a bit worrying to find out that we’ve previously saved most of the details of our credit card on the system beforehand but on the other hand it did make the whole process simple and fast.
Once you’ve got your Zune Music pass you can download the tune to your W7 Mango smartphone. In our case – with our Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone, the track even appears in you Nokia Music play list.
We’re grateful to WPCentral here for the next tip which is how to download the track for free (instead of purchasing it) by holding you finger down until a menu appears. You then just select download.
We also noticed from the same WPCentral story that Zune is also integrated into Shazam as well.
If you look there’s a little Zune icon at the bottom of the screen when you’ve ‘tagged’ a tune.
Zune tracks are, of course, protected with DRM (Digital Rights Management) software so if you let you Music pass expire, you won’t be able to listen to them again.
We fired up the Zune application on our PC and when we synchronised our W7 Mango phone, it automatically added the tracks we’d download to our PC’s collection.
There’s another facility buried away in the Zune Music software which is something called ‘Smart DJ’. This creates a special mix for certain artists based on your existing music catalogue.
There’s more information on the Smart DJ facilities on the Zune web site here.
Why Microsoft hasn’t done more to publicise all of this is a mystery to us.