SoundHound is largely thought of as a rival to other music recognition apps like Shazam but those that have been keeping tabs on the Santa Clara-based startup are well aware of the fact that they're capable of much more.

In March, the company launched a powerful standalone digital assistant app called Hound. According to The Verge, the voice-powered app is much faster and more capable than the big three - Google Now, Siri and Cortana. Now, that functionality has been baked directly into the primary SoundHound app.

The latest version of SoundHound is now able to listen for voice commands and take actions accordingly. To get started, simply say, "Ok, Hound," followed by whatever task you'd like the platform to perform.

You can ask the AI to play music from Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify and other streaming services, add songs to a Spotify playlist or play videos via YouTube. You can also delve into general music trivia and more, asking questions such as:

  • "OK Hound, what's this song?"
  • "OK Hound, please play 'Hello' by Adele"
  • "OK Hound, what's Justin Timberlake's latest song?"
  • "OK Hound, please add 'One Day Like This' to my Spotify playlist"
  • "OK Hound, how old is Paul McCartney?"
  • "OK Hound, please start a Jack Johnson station on Pandora"

The natural language assistant in the SoundHound app may indeed be speedier than the competition but its one major shortcoming still remains: it isn't built directly into the operating system like Cortana, Siri or Google Now. That means you still have to open the SoundHound app to interact with it, a fact that'll no doubt limit its reach and usefulness.

You can grab the latest version of SoundHound for Android and iOS from their respective app stores as of writing, free of charge.