Shazam is an incredibly useful app when it comes to identifying the name of a song or artist that's on the tip of your tongue or tunes you've never heard but immediately have a connection with. One of the few knocks against it, however, is that it isn't exactly lightning fast at identifying music (and yes, in today's instant gratification culture, that can be considered a shortcoming).

Fortunately, Shazam has addressed this concern and more with the release of a major update today.

In addition to the speedier audio identification (which Engadget says now takes just a few seconds - and at times, under a single second), the company has revamped its text search to help surface additional information about a song or artist.

Users will no doubt appreciate faster identifications but the bigger news here may be the improved search functions. With more robust search results, users are likely to stick around inside the app for longer periods of time (thus potentially exposing themselves to additional advertising, earning Shazam more money) versus backing out to look for more information via Google.

Shazam was founded by Chris Barton, Philip Inghelbrecht, Avery Wang and Dhiraj Mukherjee in 1999 although it didn't really take off until its debut on Apple's App Store in 2008. Today, the app is used by more than 120 million people each month and to date, it has processed more than 20 billion audio queries.

Image courtesy Engadget