SoundHound Mobile Icon
|Initial release||29 January 2009|
SoundHound (known as Midomi until December 2009) is a mobile device service that allows users to identify music by humming, singing or playing a recorded track. The service was launched by Melodis Corporation (now SoundHound Inc), under Chief Executive Keyvan Mohajer in 2007 and has received funding from Global Catalyst Partners, TransLink Capital and Walden Venture Capital.
SoundHound is a music search engine available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, and on June 5, 2013, was available on the BlackBerry 10 platform. It enables users to identify music recorded through their device's microphone. It is also possible to speak or type the name of the artist, composer, song and piece. Unlike competitor Shazam, SoundHound can recognise tracks from singing, humming, speaking, or typing, as well as from a recording. Sound matching is achieved through the company's 'Sound2Sound' technology, which can match even poorly-hummed performances to professional recordings.
The app then returns the lyrics (if any), links to videos on YouTube, links to iTunes, ringtones, the ability to launch Pandora Radio, as well as recommendations for other music. A feature called LiveLyrics displays a song's lyrics in time with the music, if they are available. Double-tapping on those lyrics moves the music to that point in the song. It is also possible for users to play music from their iPhone's iPod library through the app. If lyrics are available for a song, it will show them as it plays.
There are three versions of the app: SoundHound, SoundHound Infinity and Hound. SoundHound is free but has banner ads, while SoundHound Infinity (styled SoundHound ∞), priced at £4.99 in the UK or $6.99 in the US, is the premium offering and has the same functionality but without banner ads. Hound only allows users to search for artists or songs by speaking into it. Similar to the SoundHound app, Hound then returns a song preview, lyrics, album art and videos as well as artist bios and tour dates.
Midomi, renamed SoundHound in December 2009 with the launch of version 3.0 of the mobile app, was launched in beta in January 2007, as a website, with 2 million licensed tracks. The technology, dubbed Multimodal Adaptive Recognition System (MARS), considers pitch, tempo variation, speech content and pauses in order to recognise samples. The company behind the site, Melodis Corporation, was started in 2004 by Chief Executive Keyvan Mohajer, a PhD in sound-recognition from Stanford. Melodis changed its name to SoundHound Inc in May 2010.
The first version of the app was released on the Apple App Store in July 2008. At the launch of Windows Marketplace for Mobile in October 2009, Midomi was one of the apps included in the store and could be purchased for $4.99. It joined the Android app store in June 2010. On January 2013, the BlackBerry version of the app was then available in BlackBerry World following the announcement and launch of BlackBerry 10.
A free version of the app was released in April 2010, with all the functionality of the premium version, while limiting the number of searches to five per month, and adding banners ads. The premium version was now renamed SoundHound Infinity. A stripped-down version, Hound, was released in May 2011.
In June 2012, the firm announced that it had 80 million users while version 5.0 was released, with a new design and features that include an in-built player and integration with LiveLyrics.
In December 2013, the app passed 185 million users.
In December 2013, the app launches iTunes Radio integration.
In September 2013, the app enables 170 million global users to sync, save, and transfer music search & discovery history across multiple devices.
In January 2014, SoundHound and Hyundai Motor Group partnered to embed music search and discovery into select 2014 Hyundai & Kia models.
In January 2014, the app launched an "immersive second screen GRAMMYs experience".
In April 2014, the app passed 200 million users.
Melodis secured $7 million in a Series B funding round in October 2008, bringing total funds raised to $12 million. The round was led by TransLink Capital with the participation of JAIC America and Series A investor Global Catalyst Partners.
In 2009, Melodis attracted additional funding from Larry Marcus at Walden Venture Capital, who had previously invested in music startups Pandora and Snocap. The $4 million funding round was led by Walden Venture Capital VII, with the participation of an unnamed device manufacturer.
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- "SoundHound's music search app turns its focus to the Grammys with real-time updates and more". Engadget. January 24, 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
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