How Long Does the Shazam App Store a Song?

Have you ever wondered how the music recognition app Shazam works its magic? When you hold your phone up to a song playing, Shazam can instantly tell you the song title and artist. But how does it identify songs so quickly and accurately?

One key factor is how long Shazam stores song data in its app. Understanding how long Shazam retains song information can shed light on how this music discovery app functions behind the scenes.

In this article, we’ll break down how long Shazam stores song data and why. Read on to unlock the secrets behind this clever song identification app!

An Overview of Shazam

For those unfamiliar, Shazam is a music recognition mobile app launched in 2002. It uses the microphone on your smartphone to capture a short sample of any music playing nearby.

Shazam then analyzes this sample and compares it against an extensive audio fingerprint database. If it finds a match, it will show you the song title, artist name, lyrics, and more.

Some key stats about Shazam:

  • Over 1 billion downloads worldwide
  • Recognizes over 40 million songs
  • Used over 20 million times per day

The ability to instantly identify music has made Shazam massively popular. But how does it work so quickly and accurately?

How Shazam Recognizes Music

When you tap the Shazam button, the app records a brief audio sample – usually about 5 to 10 seconds long.

It then creates an audio fingerprint of this sample – a compact digital summary of the audio, condensed down to key identifying characteristics.

This fingerprint is then compared to Shazam’s database of pre-computed audio fingerprints for millions of songs. By matching the fingerprints, Shazam can pull up the correct song title and artist in seconds.

The exact details of Shazam’s audio fingerprinting algorithm are proprietary. But in simple terms, it analyzes the spectral content of the sample, breaking it down into frequency components and looking for patterns and relationships between frequencies.

This allows it to create a fingerprint that contains enough detail to identify a song, while small enough to enable rapid searching.

How Long Does Shazam Store Song Data?

So how long does Shazam actually retain the audio fingerprints for songs in its database?

The short answer is: indefinitely.

Once a song is added to Shazam’s database, the audio fingerprint is stored permanently. This allows the song to be recognized in the future.

According to Shazam, their song database grows by over 15,000 tracks per day. Their catalog contains over 40 million songs from all genres dating back decades.

Some key facts about Shazam’s song storage:

  • Songs are never deleted or removed
  • The database is constantly growing as new music is added
  • Songs stay in the database forever unless removed by the publisher
  • Even obscure and older songs can be identified

Permanent song storage is vital to Shazam’s accuracy and speed. The larger their audio fingerprint catalog, the better chance of identifying any song. And having fingerprints stored indefinitely allows them to continue recognizing older songs.

Why Storing Songs Permanently Is Important

You might be wondering why Shazam stores every song permanently, instead of removing older tracks.

Here are some of the main reasons indefinite song storage is crucial:

Comprehensive Music Recognition

By keeping all fingerprints, Shazam can identify both the latest chart hits and older classic tracks. This allows it to build an extensive music encyclopedia. Users can Shazam songs old and new.

Speed and Performance

Storing more fingerprints means faster searching and better accuracy. Shazam has to match against millions of options. A larger database improves performance.

New and Remixed Music

Even if a song is old, new remixed or covered versions come out all the time. Keeping earlier tracks allows identification of remixed/re-released music.

User Expectations

People expect Shazam to know both old and new songs. Removing older content would degrade the user experience over time.

Low Storage Costs

With cheap modern storage, keeping decades of fingerprints is inexpensive for Shazam compared to the benefits.

In short, permanence is crucial to Shazam’s utility as a song identification service. The app would not work nearly as well if old songs were regularly purged from its database.

How Long Do My Shazams Stay in the App?

Whenever you Shazam a song, it gets added to your in-app music history. So how long do your past Shazams remain available in the app?

The default is that your Shazam history is stored indefinitely. All of your tagged songs will stay permanently in your in-app history unless you manually delete them.

You can view your full Shazam history under the “My Shazam” section of the app. This serves as an ongoing record of the songs you’ve discovered.

Of course, you can delete individual Shazams or clear your entire history if you wish. But otherwise, your personal Shazam library will be stored forever.

So feel free to liberally Shazam songs as you hear them – they’ll remain tagged in your app as a record of your musical discoveries.

Frequently Asked Questions About Shazam’s Song Storage

Here are answers to some common questions about how long Shazam stores song data:

Does Shazam ever remove old songs from its app?

No, Shazam stores all fingerprints permanently and does not routinely purge old songs. The only exception is if a publisher requests a song be removed.

How far back does Shazam’s music catalog go?

Shazam can recognize songs from the 1960s to today. Their database includes decades of music and grows every day.

Can Shazam identify remixes and cover versions of songs?

Yes, as long as the original is in the database, Shazam can usually recognize remixed and re-recorded versions.

How many songs are currently stored in Shazam’s app database?

Shazam’s catalog reportedly contains over 40 million song fingerprints and is constantly expanding.

Will my song history eventually be deleted by Shazam?

No, your personal Shazam history will be retained indefinitely unless you choose to clear it manually.


Part of what makes Shazam’s music recognition so robust is the permanence of its song database. By storing audio fingerprints indefinitely, Shazam can deliver accurate results for both new and old songs.

So if you’ve ever wondered how long Shazam retains song data, the answer is forever! This gives it an ever-expanding musical brain that lets you instantly identify music playing in your everyday life.

I hope this breakdown demystifies how long Shazam stores song information. Next time you use this clever app to identify a tune, you’ll know a bit about why it works so magically.

Try Shazaming songs old and new to build your own musical history!

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