Shazam, the firm behind the music identification app of the same name, today removed the limitations on how many songs users can ID for free when using its free iPod app.
Those paying for the Shazam Encore premium app have long been able to ID as many songs as they like, but free users were limited to five songs a month. Removing that limitation is one less reason to buy the Encore version. But only Encore users will still have access to things like LyricPlay, which streams lyrics to songs as they play, and don't get bombarded with ads.
The move comes amid a partnership with Capitol One Financial Corp. which is sponsoring the free tier. The company didn't say for how long this sponsorship will last. It's also promoting the limitless tagging feature with a contest. Anyone using Shazam to ID a song through Nov. 15 will be entered in a contest to win $25,000 and the chance to meet Kelly Clarkson.
Shazam is one of the largest music app success stories emerging since the introduction of the iPhone. The music ID app languished for years in relative obscurity, lost in the confusing morass of apps offered by individual carriers. Once the iPhone-and in particular the App Store-allowed Shazam to market directly to music fans, usage skyrocketed. It became a featured app in one of Apple's popular TV commercials, and won an undisclosed investment from Kleiner Perkins' iFund in late 2009.