SoundHound is a music identification app that lets you discover the name of the song and artist you’re listening to on the radio, on TV, or in a club or other real world environment. Just fire up the mobile app, tap a button, and SoundHound will listen to the music and identify the track for you.
For the past few years the company has also provided song lyrics from Gracenote so that you can follow the words to the song as you hear it. Today SoundHound is launching a new version of its iOS app that goes a step further and actually scrolls through lyrics in real-time as a song plays.
The company calls the new feature LiveLyrics. Basically since SoundHound already had the lyrics for thousands of songs, the company was able to build technology in-house that matches the printed lyrics with their placement in a song. At launch, SoundHound 4.0 for iOS will be able to match LiveLyrics with about 500,000 songs. By the end of the year that number should be closer to a million.
While viewing lyrics for songs playing in the car, elevator, or cafeteria is all well and good, things get really interesting when you use the new LiveLyrics feature with songs already stored on your mobile device. Not only will SoundHound move through the lyrics as you listen, but you can scroll ahead or back and double-tap on a certain point in the song’s lyrics to jump to that part of the track.
SoundHound competitors Shazam recently added support for lyrics, but the app only includes lyrics for about 25,000 tracks. Shazam also lacks the ability to jump to a certain point in a song by double-tapping on a lyric.
SoundHound is available as a free download from the App Store. LiveLyrics are also available in the SoundHound Infinity app which offers an ad-free experience for $6.99. I asked the company whether we’d see the new feature in the Android app, but the response was that there are no announcements at this point.