Today I learned about Shazam’s Chrome extension, which seems to have been out for about a month and can help you identify music playing on the webpage you’re viewing. Having the app directly in Chrome could help you figure out what song is playing in an ad, trailer, or livestream without having to mess around with your phone. (Thanks to 9to5Google for finding and pointing out this nifty tool.)
The extension does everything I’d expect it to — you go to the tab where music is playing, press the Shazam button, and it’ll try to identify the song. If it succeeds, it’ll give you a link to the song in Apple Music (serving as your occasional reminder that Apple owns Shazam). It’ll also keep track of the songs you’ve identified in a running list and let you link your Apple Music account. Doing so will let you listen to the entire song in the extension instead of just a preview.
I had decent luck testing it out — it worked on YouTube, Twitch, SoundCloud, and even Wikipedia. Most of the time, it even got the song right, though that more so speaks to Shazam’s engine than the extension itself. I did occasionally notice that the actual audio coming out of my speakers would get a bit staticky or skip slightly while Shazam was doing its thing, but it didn’t happen every time and wasn’t unbearable when it did. It’s also worth noting that your mileage may vary here — 9to5Google and several reviews on the Chrome Web Store report that they weren’t able to get the app working.
I’ll probably keep this extension installed because it’s easy to imagine times when it’d be useful — some tech companies play pretty great music before their livestreams, and I’ve wasted more time than I’d care to admit in the comment sections of movie trailers trying to sus out the song playing in the background. Of course, most of the time, I could just ask Siri what song’s playing (or use Snapchat, which has Shazam built into it), but when my phone’s in another room or I’m using headphones, having an extension to do the same thing could come in handy.
Update January 10th, 3:44PM ET: Shortly after this article was published, the extension was made unavailable from the Chrome Web Store. The apps page on Shazam’s website still advertises the extension, but the link to it leads to a 404 error.
Update January 11th, 8:05AM ET: The extension is back.