When you absolutely, positively need to know the song that is playing on the background soundtrack at the restaurant or club, Shazam (free) is the go-to application. The app "listens" to music, queries a database, and responds with information including the song's title, artist, and sometimes even the lyrics. Shazam just got a lot better, with a bump to version 5.0 that should make every user of the app even happier.
As you can see from the update screen at right, Shazam (I use the $5.99 Encore version) has improved tagging and recognition speeds dramatically. One feature I was personally happy to see was improved startup time -- when you were trying to get Shazam to catch a few bars at the end of a song, it was annoying to have it take so long to start up that you missed it. The app now launches much faster -- the company says it's over a second quicker, but it feels faster than that.
If you like to tweet what you're listening to, you can now edit your tweets if you're using iOS 5. The synchronization of LyricPlay lyrics to the music is better; I found almost no lag between the music and lyrics, even over "4G".
The update to version 5.0 is a freebie and should appear in your App Store list of updates today.