Apple has finally completed its purchase of song spotting app Shazam. The U.K. based app lets users identify songs by pointing a smart phone at the audio source. Apple did not give a price for the acquisition, but earlier reports say the iPhone maker paid around $400 million, far short of the most recent $1 billion valuation for privately held Shazam. In 1999, a Stanford Ph.D. named Avery Wang co-founded, with Dhiraj Mukherjee, Chris Barton, Philip Inghelbrecht, a tech start-up called Shazem, to offer a high-tech solution to listeners' longtime agony over not recognizing music on the radio or in bars, letting users identify songs through their phones' microphones. Shazam, which is based in London, said last year that it had reached one billion downloads on smartphones.
Shazam brought its music-searching chops to the Mac over two years ago, but former NSA hacker and Mac security guru Patrick Wardle revealed this week that the app has a big flaw. With the version of the app for Apple desktops, the software continued listening even after it was turned off. That's right, the microphone on a Mac was still hot even after Shazam performed its duties and users flipped the switch. The company says it isn't saving anything extra, processing your conversations or storing what it overhears on its servers. According to Shazam's vice president of global communications James Pearson, this is a feature and not a bug.
As Spotify continues to inch towards a public listing, Apple is making a move of its own to step up its game in music services. Sources tell us that the company is close to acquiring Shazam, the popular app that lets people identify any song, TV show, film or advert in seconds, by listening to an audio clip or (in the case of, say, an ad) a visual fragment, and then takes you to content relevant to that search.