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Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Apple Shazam

Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google’s parent), Amazon and Facebook dominate the tech landscape. Their dominance is so broad they account for more than 20% of the S&P 500.

There are many things to admire about Apple’s hardware and software. Apple make great looking (albeit expensive) hardware. Over the years key successes include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and the MacBook Air. The company designs its own hardware and software. This gives them the power to make an operating system and suite of apps that are tailor-made and optimized for their hardware. Apple also operates the Apple Music and Apple TV media distribution platforms.

Mac OS X is Apple’s proprietary operating system for its line of Macintosh computers. Its interface, known as Aqua, is highly polished and built on top of a BSD derivative (Darwin). There’s a whole raft of proprietary applications that are developed by Apple for their operating software. This software is not available for Linux and there’s no prospect of that position changing.

In 2020, Apple began the Apple silicon transition, using self-designed, 64-bit ARM-based Apple M1 processors on new Mac computers. Maybe it’s the perfect time to move away from the proprietary world of Apple, and embrace the open source Linux scene.

Apple ShazamShazam is an app that identifies multimedia. The program stores a catalogue of audio fingerprints in a database.

Shazam works by analyzing the captured sound and seeking a match based on an acoustic fingerprint in a database of millions of songs. It generates a spectrogram (a time/frequency 2D graph of the sound, with amplitude at intersections) of the sound, and maps out the frequency peaks from it (which should match key points of the harmonics of voice or of certain instruments).

Shazam is a fantastic service for anyone who listens to music. There’s nothing more annoying than hearing a new song not knowing the identity of the artist. But it’s proprietary freeware and unavailable for Linux. What are the best free and open source alternatives?


1. SongRec

We consider that SongRec is a useful open source alternative for accessing the online Shazam API. The software’s interface is fairly basic but works well. There’s support for WAV, MP3, OGG and FLAC files.

SongRec
Click image for full size

SongRec is written in Rust and Python. Learn Rust with our recommended free books and free tutorials.


2. Music Radar

Like SongRec, Music Radar is a simple app. The software uses audd.io APIs to recognize music in recorded audio.

By default the program listens for 10 seconds and then identifies the song being played. It detects from music played over speakers or from a microphone.

Music Radar


3. Mousai

Mousai is also another small utility that’s very simple to use. Just click the listen button, and then wait a few seconds. It will magically return the title and artist of that song.

Features include:

  • Identify the title and artist of the song within seconds.
  • Use your microphone or audio from desktop.
  • Store the identified song including the album art in history.
  • Preview the identified song with the native player.
  • Browse the song in the web with the link.
  • Easy-to-use user interface.
  • User-friendly keyboard shortcuts.
  • Animation when playing a song.
  • Internationalization support.

Mousai

Mousai is written in Python. Learn Python with our recommended free books and free tutorials.


All articles in this series:

Alternatives to Apple's Products
Apple BonjourBonjour is an implementation of zero-configuration networking; technologies that includes service discovery, address assignment, and hostname resolution.
Apple Boot CampBoot Camp is a utility that comes with a Mac which lets users switch between macOS and Windows. The utility also guides users through non-destructive disk partitioning.
Apple CalendarCalendar is a personal calendar app supporting multiple accounts, colour code work, family and personal events, event support, as well as calendar invitations.
Apple ChessChess is a traditional chess game played on a well rendered board with a set of realistic 3-D pieces. It's actually a Unix-based chess program, Sjeng.
Apple CompressorCompressor is a video and audio media compression and encoding application with support for common formats.
Apple DictionaryDictionary is a small utility that lets users easily get definitions of words and phrases from a variety of sources.
Apple Disk UtilityDisk Utility is a system utility for performing disk and disk volume-related tasks on macOS.
Apple FaceTimeFaceTime is a videotelephony product for making video and audio calls. FaceTime forces many to stay locked into a proprietary world.
Apple FileMakerFileMaker is a relational database application with a graphical user interface and good security features.
Apple Final Cut ProFinal Cut Pro is a series of non-linear video editing software programs. Log and transfer video, edit, process the video, and output to a wide variety of formats.
Apple GarageBandGarageBand is a line of digital audio workstations for creating music and podcasts offering a complete sound library.
Apple NumbersKeyNote is a simple and elegant presentation software that's part of the iWork productivity suite.
Apple Logic ProLogic Pro is a Digital Audio Workstation and MIDI sequencer providing software instruments, audio effects and recording facilities for music synthesis.
Apple MailMail is a simple email client offering the ability to send, receive, and view email with good organizing capabilities.
Apple MainStageMainStage is a music application designed for use in live performance. This software lets you run a live rig. Transform your keyboard, guitar, or vocal performance with an enormous collection of plug-ins and sounds.
Apple MapsMaps is a web mapping service that's available in over 200 regions around the world offering curated guides.
Apple MessagesMessages is instant messaging software for sending messages, images, videos, and documents. There's location data and stickers.
Apple MotionMotion creates and edits motion graphics, titling for video production and film production, and 2D and 3D compositing for visual effects.
Apple NotesNotes is a notetaking app designed to jot down quick thoughts or to save longer notes filled with checklists, images, web links, scanned documents, handwritten notes, or sketches.
Apple NumbersNumbers is a spreadsheet application which uses a free-form “canvas” approach that demotes tables to one of many different media types placed on a page.
Apple PagesPages is a word processor that's part of the iWork productivity suite. It's marketed as an easy-to-use application that allows users to quickly create documents.
Apple Photo BoothPhoto Booth takes photos and videos with an iSight camera. iSight is a brand name used by Apple to refer to cameras on various devices.
Apple PhotosPhotos is a photo management and editing application. Organize your collection into albums, or keep your photos organized automatically with smart albums.
Apple PreviewPreview is more than just an image viewer. The software provides a full set of markup tools. And it's a PDF editor.
Apple RemindersReminders is a task management program that allows users to create lists and set notifications.
Apple SafariSafari is a graphical web browser which uses the WebKit and Nitro engines. It's the default web browser for Macintosh computers.
Apple ScreenshotScreenshot lets you take a screenshot of the entire screen, a portion of it, or an open window.
Apple ShazamShazam identifies music, movies, advertising, and television shows. There’s nothing more annoying than hearing a new song not knowing the identity of the artist.
Apple StickiesStickies is a small utility that lets users keep notes, lists and pictures in sticky notes on the desktop.
Apple StocksStocks lets you view stock quotes, interactive historical data charts and current breaking business news.
Apple System InformationSystem Information provides a system report containing detailed information about a Mac including its hardware specifications, networking interfaces, and installed software.
Apple TerminalTerminal provides a command line interface to control the UNIX-based operating system that lurks below macOS.
Apple VoiceOverVoiceOver is a screen-reader that tells you exactly what’s happening on your device.
XcodeXcode provides developers a unified workflow for user interface design, coding, testing, and debugging. It supports source code for many programming languages including Swift, C, C++, Python, Ruby and more.
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