Something I Want To Be Able To Do

I love coming across a quote, a tweet, an image, a video, a link and being able to quickly share it with my friends on Facebook or my followers on Twitter and Tumblr. Its a big part of what I do on the web everyday.

I listen to a lot of music. In our car, in our home, in cafes and bars and restaurants. I want to be able to take out my phone, shazam the music to identify it, get the mp3, and post it to and possibly some or all of the social services I use. And I want to be able to do that as easily and quickly as it is to use Instagram.

I am in my car listening to SIRIUS XMU and I've heard three tracks in the past ten minutes I would do this with.

I know there are rights issues standing in the way of something like this. But more and more artists, particularly the emerging artists I hear for the first time when I am out and about, are posting their music to services like Soundcloud.

I don't know if Shazam and like services have APIs but I know that Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Soundcloud do. It might be possible to build this. If you do, I will be your first user (if you build it for Android).

And yes, I did write this blog post on my Android in my car listening to music waiting to pick up my son.

#My Music#Web/Tech

Comments (Archived):

  1. jptucker

    Would definitely use this service – but are there really rights issues with just sharing a track?

  2. Denis Knight

    If you access this information through RSS feeds you can use a gmail type account, with MobileRSS on your phone and I believe you should be able to post to multiple social networks at the tap of an icon; or yoono seems to give a pretty good array of sharing power, but I’m not sure if they have it for Android yet. Hope this information helps.

  3. Harry DeMott

    Have you tried Soundhound as opposed to Shazam? Not sure if they have the functionality – but I find it better at song recognition.

    1. RichardF

      Soundhound and Pandora have a common investor and director don’t they Harry? I’m surprised there isn’t tighter integration between the two

      1. Harry DeMott

        They do. Larry marcus of walden ventures.

        1. ShanaC

          Harry, you need to edit this so that the internet can’t see your number

          1. Harry DeMott

            yeah a problem with the iphone – if I reply via e-mail from there – I end upgetting my signature put on it.I’ll try and get that fixed before I start getting spammed on my phone.

    2. fredwilson

      i am going to try soundhound

      1. daryn

        soundhound looks pretty cool. I remember being impressed by midomi’s hum recognition back in the day and wondering what happened to it.Otherwise, I like Joe’s hack, but I think the finding a good mp3 to post is sadly the harder part than the song recognition.

  4. Tim

    twones tried this a bit… was in the end kind of difficult to be able to bookmark the music everywhere (like instagram) and then share the music everywhere..

  5. kidmercury

    IMHO more tightly integrated platforms are needed for this vision to become reality. this would mean apple’s approach or better governance agreements amongst worries boss, all a part of the governance layer. give it a year.

    1. David Noël

      You’re back!!

      1. kidmercury

        i got pulled in via a net neutrality post, which included a beef withprokofy. forgot how much fun fredland is. plus closing in on my 2000thcomment in fredland, so i want to reach the milestone. hopefully iwill get a badge.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Sadly 99% of your posts are just smiley faces, so I don’t see a badge in the making, unless it’s a smilie face. :PI tried to get away from Fredland too, it’s just too friendly though.

        2. ShanaC

          you are making me feel weird, I’m over 4000

        3. fredwilson

          maybe a guest postAVC goes kook for a day!

          1. kidmercury

            You know im always up for it!

  6. Roger Kemp

    I think it would be great if this was part of the actual audio device (read: future streaming media device). Where you could have voice-control, say: “share current song” and it would automatically share it to al your social accounts.

    1. Chris Phenner

      Voice-activated APIs within the Android SDK would more likely be the way this goes, whereas an Android device is the ‘remote control’ to handle this command. We at Thumbplay implemented voice-activated search in our latest build, activated by saying ‘listen to.’Just as Twitter its ‘official hashtags,’ so to will voice commands start to take on a common language, and if launched fast enough, beats the heck out of typing once you’re in the habit.

  7. Sander Bijlstra

    Spotify (for Europe) and Rdio (US) offer this. For more curated work there’s and 22tracks has an iphone app but is only Netherlands for now. Shuffler is doing well in us but no app as far as I know, probably due to the rights issues. Shuffler and Twones come from the same people; they have the ideas and even part of the toolset. But the rights issue is a nasty puzzle. (full disclosure: I’m working at an author rights society at the moment, but I haven’t solved the puzzle yet. We need a true overhaul)The closest you will probably get is the Rdio/twitter thing; if you’re subscribed you can play the whole thing, if not it’s just a preview. At least you can share the right track info.Best step would be first to share the correct info (i.e. tagging IPI codes and suchor gracenote like) which you can import to any platform that you happen to subscribe too and take your audio from your legit provider.Next step might be to convince majors et al to license you straight out, after you show your success

  8. Allen Smith

    Instead of trying to recognize the song through audio you could enter the Sirius channel number you are listening to. Someone has a Sirius radio connected to a server through a USB cable and is making what is currently playing available here:…I would bet the current Sirius channel is available on your cars ODB-II port. If you installed an ODB-II / bluetooth transceiver… you could capture the channel along with a myriad of other car stats

    1. bigshel99

      Now that’s pretty freakin’ cool…

    2. ErikSchwartz

      I’ve done a bit of OBD-II hacking (also a LOT of NMEA hacking) and I would be very surprised if satellite radio data is on the OBD bus. The car manufacturers don’t even do a good job of standardizing basic engine data.But if you start getting into the satellite radio box then you don’t need a data connection to ID the music because the meta data is encoded in the signal itself.

    3. fredwilson

      yup, but i want this to work everywhere so we need a shazam like service to do that

  9. adamwexler

    unfortunately, we’re still not there…yet. i know a lot of people currently switch back & forth from multiple music services to satisfy their needs.because of the current licensing involved, this shazam-combo-pack you described is not a reality. it makes perfect sense for shazam to do this, but i think they’ve intentionally stayed away from becoming a retailer/licensee.

  10. Mark Essel

    You want to share an awesome song you hear instantly with whoever follows you on service x,y and z. That means the process from hearing a song, to sharing it should be a single click. Identify happens without a click, sharing happens with the click to connected networks that you can choose for a particular song.Music creators, certainly up and coming ones, want the attention you can bring them on, your Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook streams. They understand that exposure can lead to music purchases either directly as mp3s from their site, through iTunes or the like, or through CDs (does anyone buy them anymore).I’d love to see an app that could do this, and some way to have an opt in (or out) for musicians and owners of content.

  11. Matt A. Myers

    I was hoping you would say you typed it up with both hands, while steering with your knees. But I’m rather glad you’re more responsible than that. :PAnd I concur. I would do the same, and this is the new free marketing via social sharing that can exist and will continue to grow in strength.

    1. Sander Bijlstra

      Dilemma is this: if with Free Marketing you give away your whole product, what should the customer pay for then. And keep in mind that a song typically has: a composer, a lyricist, a business partner (music company or other) and minimal one performer.It’s hard to device a good basic structure benefitting all of the above appropriately within current structures.I’d love to see instagram+Flipboard for audio/video but where’s the business model for the creators.(Yes I realize the same goes for a lot of journalists, bloggers etc. But the creation of a good piece of music is overall still quite costly apparently)

  12. KoraanJKenner

    @kinoma play did this for streaming media on windows mobile devices. hopefully, windows 7 will have a build of it…or maybe even android phones.

  13. aweissman

    David Pakman and I talk about this all the time. There needs to be a “music API”, kind of sorta similar to what musixmatch is doing with their lyrics API

    1. fredwilson


      1. Steve Jang

        We had created a simple music API (search, media) at imeem that hypemachine,, echonest, and other developers used. subsequently, it was shut down after myspace took control of imeem’s was less of a technology challenge and more of a business logic challenge. Labels and publishers saw API access to their catalogs as an “unpriceable” service and weren’t willing to make the long term commitment to figuring out the right business model with technology companies interested in provisioning such a platform. I still believe the best future for the music industry will be a search/media/data API with a fair and malleable economic model that allows for developers to start small, iterate and grow. There would be more Spotifys, Rdios, Tapulous, SMules, Guitar Heroes, and Rock Bands…and probably some cool stuff we’ll never even know about.However, it does sound like Soundcloud and Echonest are starting to make some headway in this second wave of music APIs.

        1. fredwilson

          That’s such a horrible story on so many levelsIt makes my blood boil

  14. William Mougayar

    This screams “plug in” for a browser or a built-in feature in the app itself. I’ve seen music listening apps with shares, but they were limited.Many new mobile news apps have one click Share functions. The RockMelt browser has a very useful built-in Share button where you can share anything from the page into Twitter and FB. There are similar plugins for FF and Chrome, but mobile is left out.What we need is a Universal Share button that can be installed anywhere and the user sets their share preferences settings and connections with their networks eg Twitter, FB, Tumblr, etc. A bit like ShareThis but lighter weight and certainly mobile.

    1. Mark Zohar

      Actually, ( offers something like this for the Web. A Chrome extension that identifies all Mp3’s on any webpage and allows for playback and sharing. I use it all the time.However, this is limited to web discovery not mobile discovery or satellite radio discovery and sharing as Fred desires.

      1. gzino

        The car use case needs mobile broadband and to know who is listening – wrote about this aspect this morning but missed Fred’s angle on it which is maybe more interesting:…Don’t know if there is 80/20 rule on the rights? For example if 80% of what Fred tags is already in your collection or openly available then solving for that 80% would be great starting point.

        1. ErikSchwartz

          If it’s satellite radio the metadata is encoded in the signal.

      2. ShanaC

        I love, but I can’t figure out how to pull the songs so I can buy them

    1. fredwilson

      cooli will check it out

  15. vruz

    Shazam’s heart is not quite there it seems…Andrew Fisher, Shazam’s CEO says:“If you’re a service provider in the music landscape, you can’t give the consumer everything they want”“We’ve identified the properties that people are downloading at volume, and making it easy to navigate into those applications from Shazam. It’s all about convenience, and the feedback has exceeded our expectations.”However, Shazam won’t be throwing its doors open with an API for everybody. “We have to be very careful about who we integrate with, and the quality of the experience,” he says.more:

  16. Rui Lopes

    TarPipe ( provides the base ground for a lot of the features you’re mentioning.You create a workflow of information (akin to yahoo pipes), which you can leverage to cross-post stuff into several SNs, blogs, etc.Give it a spin!

    1. fredwilson

      will do

  17. HowieG

    I give music away all the time. I have lots of friends who are DJ’s in LA that record their live sets and post on ITunes as Podcasts or on Soundcloud. I often burn CD’s and give them to random people I see when out and about in NYC to turn them on to great music they would never encounter. And I definitely support my friends on Twitter and Facebook. But I have concern over sharing fatigue. And the more we share increasing each person’s feed volumes it reduces the chance any specific post will get read or acted upon. I see this with Facebook as they cram more and more into the feed less and less is getting seen, which explains the Fan Page Failure for big brands.But I see a huge potential for a stand alone music sharing platform that people with the same tastes in music can follow each other and have this separated. I have over 90gigs of music and it is way more important to see that Song Fred Wilson just shared than someone’s post about their work day. Soundcloud has a bit of infrastructure for this but its most electronic music being posted and no commercial stuff with IP rights is there as far as I know.

    1. Prokofy

      Please be honest about how you ACTUALLY make your living.It is not by sharing.Down with Creative Communism.

      1. HowieG

        Actually its the Grateful Dead Marketing I do for my friends. They make money when someone comes to an event they DJ at. The more fans they have the more money they make. Everything I give away and share is because I am a music junkie and music junkies hang together. If you have ever been part of or experienced the underground music scene in a major world city you would know what I mean. So everything I give of my friends music they have given to me or posted on the web and can not be bought anywhere. So I am not giving away things that people should be buying.

  18. Karthik Setty

    This could be done in 2 steps. is similar to shazam, but it also adds it to your playlist in a number of services like grooveshark or last.fmYou can then use grooveshark to share it to tumblr.PS: Limili looks to be iOS only for now.

  19. Joe Lazarus

    I don’t know of a Shazam API, but I can picture a way to do this as a messy hack. Shazam has an option to send the track you tag to any email address. At least the iPhone version has that… I assume Android does to. You could set up a special email address that receives those emails from Shazam, parses the email for the artist / track info, searches for the song on Echonest or some other MP3 service, and then posts the tune to your Twitter account. It’s a dirty workaround, but could get the job done.

    1. fredwilson

      def a hack, but at least it gets the job donethe hack you did for tumblr is still one of my favorite music services

      1. Joe Lazarus

        I’m swamped this week and I leave on a 2 week vacation this weekend. Isuspect someone else will solve this for you before I’m back, but if not,I’ll take a look at the hack version. I’d use it myself.

  20. ShanaC

    I think this is what you want once they get out of beta: fingerprint songs that appear on their users computers, and then allow you to use your computer or companion mobile to buy that song.

    1. Jake D.

      Instinctiv’s is still in alpha, but the Android player on our site ( does already support many these features (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr posts), like you nicely point out and the beta that we’re releasing early next year will fully support them. Soundcloud is an interesting integration we haven’t explored yet but would like to. We’re going to be releasing the song ID API as a JSON web service early next year so anyone can build really powerful apps using our database of audio fingerprints and our own proprietary fingerprinting technology.Also worth mentioning, our alpha Instinctiv Player also automatically sync’s your entire music library across all your devices running the Instinctiv player — PC to Android, Android to Android and PC to PC… so when you do tag and download the song you have it on every other device you want it on automatically.

      1. ShanaC

        Still waiting for the Mac and/or Chromebook.You had a great presentation at the NYTM!

      2. fredwilson

        cooli’m getting instinctiv on my android

  21. Chris Phenner

    I think the service that is closest to offering this is A ReadWriteWeb article of recent talks to how is spanking iTunes Ping in terms of social mindshare.And to aweissman’s comment around a ‘music api,’ YouTube is effectively providing that to tons of early-stage firms who are arguably working ‘in the greys’ of licensing or cannot afford to license and offer more pristine music of their own — YouTube takes care of all payments to rights holders.I do think services could take this farther. Just as Hashable and GroupMe offer hashtag-based instruction sets via email/sms to write into their APIs, so could a music-focused play. So a post to with #addsong might add a track to a user’s playlist, which in turn could be streamed via DMCA-compliant means that keep royalties reasonable and be non-infringing.Twitter’s embedded partnership with Rdio (and presumably, others to follow) allow for in-the-page full-length streams to Rdio account holders — this should be an open program that lets services who have licensed tracks partake more widely and let user-created playlists stream in on-demand form.And I would argue there are ‘music apis’ out there, it’s just that they’re behind account creation and rules-based walls that I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect will open up anytime soon in the U.S.. A licensing regime like Europe’s and Spotify’s API would be an ex-US example where this exists.

    1. Grant Miller

      yeah, i would agree that is the closest offering currently available

  22. Chris Phenner

    Agree with Joe. Once a [track name] could be denoted via hashtag via email/SMS, it’s just a matter of an API-based service to read, render and deliver a stream, per my earlier comment.

  23. Jay Janney

    Hi Fred:I have a kindle, and their new software allows you to tweet passages or share them on facebook with others.

  24. Doug

    Fred – Per Jake D’s comment below, ‘s andriod app accomplishes what you’re asking — identify, listen and post (and ticketing). it also sync’s your libraries across devices. nice integration.

    1. fredwilson

      i will check it outthanks

  25. Austin Clements

    If there is one thing I took away from this post it’s that AVC has the smartest readers of any blog out there. My god the fact that there were about 10 viable approaches to solving the problem in about an hour is nothing short of impressive.

    1. fredwilson

      one or more of them will buld the thing

  26. Dan Vidakovich

    Just as Seth Godin is creating the domino project for books, there should something similar for music as well. http://www.thedominoproject

  27. Ken

    Fred, Midomi’s SoundHound for iOS and Android has sharing for twitter and facebook. I find it better than Shazam and awesome as an all-around music reference app.

    1. fredwilson

      putting it on my android right now!

  28. matthughes

    Have always wanted this feature as well, especially via Sirius XM.Partly to be able to share, partly to capture new music instantly.Seems like a relatively simple ‘one button’ solution on the hardware side in your car.Love this idea.

    1. fredwilson

      mind meld

  29. Rthuston

    Same goes for lectures on video and audio lectures in my car and on the internet. I wish I had a way to grab pieces of the material and send them to a blog, twitter, etc, or email to other people (customers, employees, etc.) Many of the lectures speak on emerging technolgies and practices that are relevant to customers I work with and employees..I need a way to conveniently capture portions of the material.

  30. Jacob Thomason

    Check out

  31. Mike

    Hi Fred,I’ve been thinking about an idea for a “Public Log”.I created the site at http://publiclog.comI call it “Keep A Public Log About What You’re Doing”.(The site is a very rough working prototype now, but it works).It’s kind of like “Twitter with dates”.Dates can be past, present or future.And if you click on a users name, you can see their whole history in the “Public Log”.It’s great for a history of your life!I haven’t add the “follow” feature yet, but that will be available soon.Thank You,Mike

  32. jukevox

    Do you scrobble Fred? What do your charts look like?

  33. BrianD

    Would it not make more sense for the broadcaster of the music to make the title of the track available ?Is it not a truth that when radio stations first began creating websites that the users biggest gripe was not being able to see the name of what was playing on air ?Was this not an error repeated when they began streaming online ?The solution should not be a 3rd party api… The solution should be for the broadcasters to supply the basic level of information the users want.

    1. fredwilson

      that woks when i am listening to radiobut not when i am in a bar, restaurant, cafe etc

      1. BrianD

        True, but I really needed to get it out of my system. No standardisation of track listing delivery has been gnawing at me for 10+ years.Sorry.

  34. paramendra

    An instagram for music. You find companies like them they found Planet Pluto. I know there’s got to be a planet somewhere around here.

  35. John Frankel

    Fred, good post, as always, but I find it strange that you refer to your phone as “my Android”, and wondered why. Android is the operating system that came free with the phone. Most people refer to consumer products by the type “my phone” or the manufacturer “my Nokia” or by the product “my Nexus S”. I would never refer to my car, TV, gaming system, set-top box, PC, Blackberry, iPhone etc. by the type of the operating system. Just strange. Also, there is no one Android, but many versions with slightly different capabilities whereas “my Android” would imply a singular identifiable experience, which is not the case. Perhaps I should start to refer to my iPhone as my iOS as it “runs” on ATT?

    1. fredwilson

      it’s what i like to call itwe used to call my wife’s car the bumblebeenot sure why it matters what i call it

      1. raycote

        Busted !

  36. Sasha Chh

    You realize you can do this on SoundHound right? It’s like a million times better than shazam in so many ways.

    1. RichardF

      You can’t do what Fred wants to do with the iPhone version of SoundHound (I don’t know about the Android version). He wants to post the actual mp3 to or another social service, not just a link.

    2. fredwilson

      i will check out soundhoundi hope it is available on an android

    3. kenberger

      Shazam is fairly great at tagging studio recorded tracks quickly.But Soundhound has the amazing ability to listen to you hum or sing a song phrase whose title you can’t remember and is driving you nuts. It also shines when tagging live versions– a limitation of Shazam.Both have killer apps on Android (just missing the key feature I mentioned in my other comment.

  37. Prokofy

    Yeah, there are rights issues standing in the way, and that’s a good thing, artists need to live, and this silly idea that just getting more traffic to their blogs to sell ads for somebody else will somehow put peas in their pot is one of the more destructive ideas you California Business Model folks have. We’ve been over that.Life isn’t always about sharing, Fred. Live in the moment! Or go on if you must but I warn you, that gets boring and stupid fast.On another subject — you had a video up of yourself talking at some conference, or maybe it was somebody else who posted it, but now I can’t find it anywhere. The premise of it was: “education is like content, the classroom is the theater, the student is the producer and consumer” or something like that.Can you elaborate?

    1. fredwilson

      i am all for artists making a livingit is criticalcheck out what i had to say about that in this talk (about 13:45 in)…

    2. kidmercury

      prokofy, there is this new thing called the 21st century, where artists have learned to profit in new ways. i suggest you get with the program. commoditization is a part of business cycles and disruptive theory, prokofy.something to think about, prokofy.oh, and still waiting for your views on spectrum ownership. if you’re scared to comment on that, though, no worries, i understand, prokofy.

      1. Prokofy

        kid kid,Obama supplied a certificate of live birth. That’s good enough for most people:…My views on spectrum ownership: views on Internet loaves and fishes replicating for free: they’re not Jesus.

        1. kidmercury

          lol, you cite snopes….you crack me up prokofy!soetoro needs to show a birth certificate signed by a doctor, the same kidn everyone else has and shows, not a certificate of live birth, which is different. why not just show it the way everyone else does instead of spending millions in lawsuits defending the issue?clearly you do not have a clear view of spectrum ownership. i suggest you study the matter, so you can stop being afraid to discuss it.thanks for the chuckles, prokofy.

  38. needcaffeine

    add onto that, I want to be able to share in-line; I don’t want the viewer to have to go to another site & listen to the music. does a good job integrating with Facebook, but posts a referring link(listen at on Tumblr(& other blog site).

    1. fredwilson

      totally agreethat’s why the soundcloud player is excitingthat’s what many bands are now using on FB

  39. zach shulman

    Fred, check out download the new player to your desktop and mobile. Enjoy

  40. Dave

    I found the Etsy taste test to be way too time consuming and stopped twice part way through. Very clunky. There seemed to be little learning as I found a few things I liked, then went page after page after page of nothing. Maybe the offerings are too eclectic to fit well into a recommendation engine.

  41. kenberger

    I find Shazam and Soundhound consistently among my top apps used. But even their premium apps have a gaping hole: the ability for me to log in and have my tag stream synched to the cloud. When I switch to a new gadget (extremely often in my case), I lose the history forever– there’s not even a way to back it up. And it tends to be a killer mix that I would pay for.This is so obvious a hole, that there must be a big reason it’s lacking. I’m just not sure what.

  42. Appdude3286

    SoundHound on iPhone has auto tweeting/facebook posting as of latest release. It’s very fast. You’ll love it. Android is app is incredible too.

  43. Joey Primiani

    Hey Fred – have you tried Cortex ( for sharing fast?

  44. Paige

    You should have your own radio show on! The site is unique in that it allows anyone to broadcast their favorite music (or ideas, news, jokes, etc.) through free-form radio show. Not only is it free, but it’s organized so site users can see what music is popular in a certain area based on the people who live in that area (i.e. DC area shows populate the live schedule & blog at; pulls top-hit content from all of It’s not as instant as Instagram but it supplies the platform for people to share the music on their own terms as well as showcase their individual taste.