Shazam for Mac to recognise songs and TV shows automatically

You hear a song you like in a café. Desperate to find out what it is before it ends, you cast around for a member of staff to ask – but to no avail. And then, to the rescue: like a non-judgemental friend with an excellent ear, the popular music recognition app, Shazam, is subtly whipped out on your smartphone. You’re saved. And now it’s announced a desktop version for Mac which automatically detects songs and TV shows.

Much like the Auto Shazam which is already available on the smartphone app, the desktop version, which is also free, promises to run quietly in the background, automatically picking up sounds from your Mac and running them by a huge database of music, adverts and television series in an attempt to find a match. So if you’re streaming internet radio, TV or catching up on a show online, Shazam will trace and identify via the Mac’s speakers, allowing you to breathe easy while you browse your computer.

For songs, the app compiles them in a helpful playlist as it goes and offers you the option of learning more about what you’ve just heard: the lyrics, the artist, links to buy in iTunes. When Shazam detects TV shows, you’ll be presented with links to IMDB or Wikipedia.

The only catch is that it doesn’t work nearly as well when headphones are plugged in, but hopefully this is a teething problem which an can be sorted out with time.

You can download Shazam for Mac here.

Sadie Hale