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You Can Now Search for Songs via Google Just By Humming, Whistling or Singing a Tune

It solves a problem we've all experienced: getting a ditty stuck in your head, but having absolutely no idea what it is.
By Sarah Ward
October 18, 2020
By Sarah Ward
October 18, 2020

When Shazam first hit mobile devices in 2008, it helped iPhone users solve a minor but common and often frustrating problem. By listening to a snippet of a song, the app identifies exactly what the tune is — so if you hear some music on TV, the radio or in the background but don't know what it is, you can easily find out.

That's all well and good for songs that are playing somewhere around you, of course. But it doesn't help if you've got a ditty stuck in your head, have absolutely zero idea what it is and are becoming increasingly desperate to know what has wormed its way into your brain. We've all been there, and we've all been annoyed by it, too. Via a new addition to its search functions, however, Google has just announced a feature that resolves this very issue.

If you want to find out what a specific tune is called, now all you need to do is hum, whistle or sing it — and Google will listen, then tell you what it is. The feature is available via mobile devices, through the Google app, the Google Search widget and Google Assistant. On the app and in the widget, you need to say "what's this song?" or click the "search a song" button before you start busting out a melody. With Google Assistant, you'll say "hey Google, what's this song?" first.

It doesn't matter if you're not quite in tune (or nowhere near the right pitch), thankfully. After listening, Google will provide search responses that it thinks matches your song, so you can learn more about it, watch music videos, listen to the song itself, find the lyrics and more.

The function uses Google's machine learning algorithm, building on work the company has been doing with artificial intelligence and music recognition technology — and it's now available in English on iOS, and in over 20 languages on Android, with plans to expand to other languages in the future.

To use Google's new 'hum to search' feature, either visit the search engine on your mobile device or use Google Assistant. For further details, head to Google's blog.

Published on October 18, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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