Have you ever been in a situation where you happen to hear a song you like, but there is absolutely no way to figure out which song it is? I’m sure you have. It happens to all of us, and that nagging feeling of “what song is this?” just doesn’t seem to let go, does it? Well, if you’ve been in such a situation, or if you find yourself in this situation too often, we have your back. Here are the 10 mobile and web apps to identify songs playing around you. If you don’t remember a song, there is nothing to worry. You can simply hum the tune and advanced sound algorithms can find the song within seconds. So on that note, let’s go ahead and find the best song recognition app.
Identify Music Playing Around You (Updated September 2020)
Here are all the different methods that you can use to identify music playing around you. You can use voice assistants, music recognition apps, and online websites to quickly recognize songs. You can even find songs just by humming or singing a part of the song. So click on the links below and jump to your favorite song identifier app.
- Voice Assistants that Recognize Songs
- Music Recognition Apps to Find a Song
- Online Song Identifier
Voice Assistants that Recognize Songs
1. Google Assistant
For Android users, Google Assistant is one of the best ways to recognize songs on the go. Just say “Hey Google, what is this song” or “recognize/identify this song” and Google will start listening to the music. Within a few seconds, it will offer you the name of the song with playable links from a host of streaming services.
In my experience, it has picked music playing from a faraway room and has identified songs correctly. So from my side, Google Assistant is just better in terms of music recognition. Note that the song recognition feature on Google Assistant is not available on iOS.
Apart from that, if you don’t want to use Google Assistant and want a straightforward button to instantly identify a song then Google has you covered with a simple widget. Just tap and hold on your home screen and open “Widgets“. Now, scroll down to Google and you will find “Sound Search”.
Drag it and drop the widget on your home screen. Now onwards, whenever you want to identify a song, you can simply tap on the widget and it will start listening to the music. After that, Google will present you with all the song details. Easy peasy! This way, you will not need a separate app to identify music.
Finally, if you own a Pixel device then you don’t even have to ask Google to identify a song. New-gen Pixel devices (Pixel 2 and above) come with a built-in “Now Playing” feature that tracks music on the go even when you are offline.
You will automatically get a notification on your lock screen that tells you what song is playing. You can save the music or discard it then and there. You can enable the feature from Settings -> Sound -> Now Playing.
Siri is slowly (but surely) improving in its capabilities, and with the support for Shortcuts, it has become an amazing automation tool. One of the really cool things that you can do with Siri, is using it to recognize music and identify songs.
When you hear a song you want to identify, you can simply launch Siri, and say “What song is playing right now?“, or “Name that song“, or “Identify this song“. Siri will then listen to the song that is playing, and tell you the name of the song.
You can even tap on the result to view the song in Apple Music and play it if you’ve subscribed to the music streaming service. If you’re not an Apple Music subscriber, you will get the option to purchase the song or listen to a sample.
With iOS 14.2, Apple has fully integrated Shazam into iOS to bring a new Music Recognition feature. The Music Recognition feature now not only allows you to recognize ambient music, but also the music playing on your phone. So, you don’t need an extra device to identify songs that are playing on your iPhone. Not only that, it even works when you are using a headphone.
You can enable the new Music Recognition feature by going to Settings -> Control Center and enabling its toggle. For the step-by-step guide, you can click on the above link to read our guide.
If you want to identify music on PC then you can use Cortana, Microsoft’s voice assistant. Cortana is no slouch when it comes to identifying songs, and you can simply ask it “What song is playing?“, or a similar question, and it will identify the song for you.
Recently, Cortana went through many improvements and now it’s available as a separate app on Windows 10. Cortana is also available on Android and iOS (currently just limited to the US), but the song recognition feature does not work and it’s anyway going to be killed in early 2021.
Finally, we have Alexa, another popular voice assistant, but when it comes to song recognition it’s decent at best. Currently, it can recognize songs only when you are playing music from Amazon Music which actually defeats the purpose.
But if you are neck-deep into Amazon’s ecosystem and own a handful of Echo devices then Alexa can be helpful. Make sure to enable the Song ID feature by saying “Alexa, turn on song ID“. After that, you can ask Alexa to “what is this song” or “identify this music”.
Music Recognition Apps to Find a Song
If you are looking for an app to identify music then Shazam is one of the most popular apps out there that can correctly recognize songs without many failed attempts. The app is available on Android and iOS and it works very well. And as I mentioned above, even Siri uses the Shazam database to identify songs. With Shazam, you can easily identify music around you, find a song, and even get lyrics so you can sing along.
If you don’t want to use Siri, Google Assistant, or Cortana to find out what song is playing around you, Shazam is probably the best app that identifies songs in a jiffy. What’s more, Shazam even remembers the recognized songs, and it can even work when you’re offline. It will record the audio and when you are connected to the internet, it will show the song information.
In case, you want the “Now Playing” feature of Pixel devices on other smartphones then you can set up Auto Shazam from the Settings page. It shows a persistent notification with music info of the songs playing around you. But keep in mind, it does not work offline like Pixel devices.
Apart from that, what I love the most about Shazam is that you can even recognize songs that are playing on your smartphone. Shazam calls it “Pop Up Shazam” and it works on any app. This can be especially useful while browsing Instagram where you discover so many cool background music and songs. Lastly, if you have a low-powered device then go with Shazam Lite which is pretty lightweight and brings the same music recognition algorithm.
SoundHound is another great song identifier app that works like a charm. One area where SoundHound is much better than Shazam is that you can even hum tunes to find a song. The app works very well, even if you’re only humming a part of the song you want to recognize.
This is extremely helpful when you don’t remember the lyrics for the song, and it’s just a song you remember the tune to. Simply launch SoundHound, and hum the tune to it. Apart from that, SoundHound is as fast as Shazam is, when it comes to identifying songs, and is an awesome app to identify music.
What’s more, the app allows you to play music from multiple streaming services such as YouTube, Spotify, and more. It also provides lyrics for you to sing along. Not to mention, it keeps all your song discoveries in a clean UI. While the app is free for the most part, if you don’t want to see any ads then you can subscribe to the paid version.
- Download: Android / iOS / Windows (Free, ad-supported, with in-app purchases)
- Download: Android ($5.99) / iOS ($6.99)
7. Musixmatch Lyrics
Musixmatch Lyrics is an app that you can use to quickly identify music that is playing around you with in-line lyrics. The app is not just a music recognition app, but also a music player with lyrics support. If you want to use the app for song recognition, you can tap on the “Identify” menu at the bottom bar, and then tap on the Musixmatch button.
Musixmatch then tries to recognize the music that is playing, and find a song that matches the audio fingerprint. The song recognition in Musixmatch is powered by ACRCloud and works pretty well. What’s unique here is that Musixmatch tries to sync the music and lyrics in real-time which works quite often.
Other than that, it also offers translations of music lyrics to many global and regional languages. I would say, Musixmatch is a feature-packed app to identify songs and you must give it a shot.
Genius is our final app to identify music on this list. It’s pretty similar to Musixmatch with a focus on song lyrics. Simply open the app and tap on the music recognition button located at the bottom-right corner.
After that, the app identifies the music using ACRCloud’s service. In my testing, it worked all the time, but it was a bit slower in comparison to other apps. You can also play the recognized song through YouTube’s PiP window.
Besides that, the app shows a list of songs that are the most identified songs on Genius. You can tap on any of these songs, to see their lyrics, and to play them, if you want. The app also gives you the option to download the lyrics or share the song with someone else.
Other than that, you can tap on the hamburger menu, and tap on identify songs to figure out what song is playing. The app works well and also saves your past discoveries under “My Music” menu. To sum up, if you want a song recognition app with lyrics support then Genius is a decent pick.
Online Song Identifier
Midomi is a song detector website built by SoundHound that you can use to identify music simply by playing music on your computer. It can even recognize humming or whistling the tune into your laptop mic.
This can come in especially handy if you have a tune stuck in your head, but you can’t place a name to it. Simply launch the Midomi website, and hum the tune; the website will recognize the music and name that song. Further, you can play the song on Spotify or Apple Music as well.
10. AHA Music
AHA Music is our final entry on this list that you can use to recognize music playing around you. It uses the powerful database of ACRCloud and provides music results within a few seconds. The best part is that it also offers Chrome and Edge extension so you don’t have to open the website every single time.
Apart from that, it also supports music recognition through humming or singing which is just great. And all of these services are absolutely free to use. So go ahead and recognize songs on your web browser instantly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Which is the Best Music Recognition App?
If I have to pick the best music recognition app then I would surely go with Shazam. Its algorithms are quite advanced and can also detect music playing internally on smartphones. Apart from that, I would pick Google’s Sound Search widget.
Q. Is There an App that Can Identify a Song?
There are multiple apps such as Shazam, SoundHound, Google app that can help you identify a song. You can find more such apps from the above list.
Q. How Can I Find a Song by Humming?
SoundHound is one of the few services that support finding a song through humming. Apart from that, you can try AHA Music to identify songs by humming or singing.
Q. Can Google Listen to a Song and Tell Me What It Is?
Yes. If you are using an Android device then just say “Hey Google, what is this song” and Google will listen to the track and offer you all the music info. You can also use the Sound Search widget that comes with the Google app. Tap on the home screen -> Open Widgets -> Move to Google -> Drag and drop “Sound Search” on the home screen.
Q. Is SoundHound or Shazam Better?
Both are quite capable sound recognition apps, but I would pick Shazam over SoundHound. It’s because Shazam allows you to set up Auto Shazam to keep track of all background music. In addition, you can play music on your smartphone and Shazam can internally recognize the music.
Use these Methods to Identify Songs
You can use any of the 10 methods mentioned in this article to identify music playing around you. Even if you just have a tune stuck in your head, some of the song recognition apps mentioned are capable of identifying songs even if you just hum the tune.
Plus, if you use voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, or Cortana, you wouldn’t need any music recognition app on your phone, which is definitely a good thing. If you’d rather use online song recognition, websites like Midomi and AHA can easily recognize music for you.
As always, we’d like to know your thoughts about music recognition apps and song recognition websites for PC. Also, if you know of any other method to identify music, do let us know about them in the comments section below.