Auto Shazam

The Shazam iPhone app has been updated to include Auto Shazam, a new feature users turn on so that the app will keep tagging audio while in the phone's background. (Shazam)

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Shazam has updated its iPhone app to tag songs, TV shows and more all on its own, no longer requiring  users to open the app and tap a button whenever they want to tag something.

The feature, called Auto Shazam, comes turned off by default, but users can turn it on by switching a toggle once they've downloaded the latest update for the app. Once turned on, Auto Shazam will remain on in the phone background and listen for audio that it can tag while users go about their day doing other things.

Any time the app tags a song or show with Auto Shazam, it will send users a notification with the name of the audio that it has tagged.

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“Shazam is already known as fast and easy, but we want to become effortless,” Shazam Chief Product Officer Daniel Danker told The Times. “The only thing easier than pressing a button is not having to press one at all.”

Auto Shazam is set to turn off after users don't interact with the app for two hours. This is built-in by Shazam so that the feature won't drain users' iPhone battery. Shazam recommends using the feature at bars and coffee shops where music constantly plays and also while watching TV.

For those concerned about privacy, Shazam assures users that they have nothing to worry about. The app doesn't record audio, it creates digital fingerprints that are sent back to Shazam's servers and matched with fingerprints that are stored there. Those digital fingerprints cannot be converted back into audio, so even though the Shazam iPhone app is always listening and tagging, it is never recording.

Those digital fingerprints also ensure that the app won't run up users' data use. Rather than matching large recorded audio files, which would take up multiple megabytes of data, Shazam's digital fingerprints use less data than the size of an average email, the company said.

Auto Shazam has been available for the iPad for several months now, but this is the first time the company brings the feature to a smartphone. Shazam said it would like to bring the feature to Android, but the company said the Google mobile platform has limitations when it comes to the microphone.

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