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 18 mobile and web apps to identify songs playing around you.
1. Use Google Assistant to Recognise Songs
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. What’s more, you can even hum, whistle, or sing songs yourself and Google can identify them for you. 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.
2. Identify Songs with Siri
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. Ever since Apple acquired Shazam in 2018, Siri has been even more efficient in identifying 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.
3. Use Bixby to Identify Music
Bixby, Samsung’s proprietary voice assistant has picked up quite a few tricks over the years to compete with the likes of Siri and Google Assistant and song recognization is one of them. If you’re using a Samsung smartphone, you can ask Bixby to identify songs for you. To do so, simply activate Bixby by pressing the side button or trigger the assistant by saying “Hi, Bixby”. Now, ask “What’s the name of this song?” or “What track is playing” or “Who is this singer?” and you will get the search results with song name .
Bixby’s song recognition feature is comparatively slower than Google Assistant and Siri, but it gets the job done ultimately. Also, you’d need active internet connection for music recognition feature to work.
4. Ask Alexa “What Song is this?”
Finally, we have Alexa, another popular voice assistant, which has been improved by leaps and bounds over the past couple of years. Though originally it could only recognise music playing in Amazon Music, Alexa can now identify songs from Spotify as well as other popular music streaming services.
Further, if you are neck-deep into Amazon’s ecosystem and own a handful of Echo devices then Alexa can be even more helpful. Make sure to enable the Song ID feature by saying “Alexa, turn on song ID“. After that, you can ask Alexa “what is this song” or “identify this music”.
5. Automatically Recognise Songs and Music Playing Around You
You’re probably aware that the Pixel phones come with a really useful song identification feature called ‘Now Playing’ which can automatically identify music playing in your surroundings. So if you’re using a Pixel phone, you can make use of this feature to easily find any songs that are playing in your vicinity.
Get Pixel’s Now Playing Feature on Any Smartphone
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.
Similarly, iPhones also offer a nifty feature to recognize songs without much hassle. Since Shazam is now owned by Apple, the tech giant has integrated Shazam’s song identification feature right into the control centre of iPhone. To add music recognition to your iPhone’s Control Centre, go to Settings> Control Centre and tap on the ‘Plus’ symbol against Music Recognition option.
Now, when you swipe down from your iPhone’s home screen to access the Control Centre, you will get the option right there.
6. Ask Smart Speakers “What’s This Song?”
If you’re listening to music on a smart speaker like the Google Home (Nest Home) or the Amazon Echo, and you hear a song you want to find the name of, you can use a simple command to do so. Just ask “What’s this song?” and Google Assistant (or Alexa) will name the song that’s playing right now.
You can also use this command on any smart speaker that has Google Assistant or Alexa built-in, so it will work with third party speakers like the ones from Marshall, Eufy, etc., as well.
Note: This feature doesn’t work if you’re listening to a radio station.
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.
What’s more, Shazam is fully integrated in iOS since iOS 14, which means you can easily use Shazam Music Recognition on iPhone without even installing the app. You can access it via the Control Center, and it even keeps track of all the songs it has recognised for you.
Apart from that, Shazam has recently been updated so that it supports recognising songs playing in any app on your smartphone. So, if you’re watching Instagram Reels, a video on YouTube, or anything else and you come across a song you don’t recognise, you can use Shazam to identify it for you!
Also, 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. You can simply use the command “Hey Soundhound, what is that song?” The app works very well, and can tell you what song is this even if you’re humming a part of it.
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)
9. 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.
MuiscID is another great music recognition app that you can use to instantly identify music online. In addition to identifying music, MusicID also offers an option to add a note about why and where you identified the music. The app features an intuitive user interface with extra details like biography of the artist and a similar song suggestion for the tune you have searched for on the app. However, there is one caveat, this app is only available for iOS devices.
Download: iOS (Free)
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.
11. Use Snapchat to Recognise Songs
If you’re a Snapchat user, you will be glad to know that you can recognise songs with Snapchat as well. Simply open Snapchat. In the camera screen (the default screen that opens up on launch), press and hold anywhere. You will see an animation on the screen, and after a few seconds Snapchat will show you which song is playing near you.
Note: Snapchat can identify a lot more than just songs. You can use it to solve maths problems, identify dog breeds, cars and plants, and even find health facts about food products by just pointing your camera at the subject and long pressing to scan.
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.
13. 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.
AudioTag is a free music recognition website that can identify songs easily by even using a short clip of sound. You can upload a sound clip in any format including MP3, WAV, FLV, AMR, MP4 and more. The website is so efficient that it can recognize multiple songs in a single clip. Although, the interface of the website might seem primitive at first glance but its sound recognition functionality is excellent. This is one of the best websites to identify songs on PC.
As evident from its name, this website is Wikipedia but for musicians. Sometimes, you only remember the tune of a song but not its lyrics. In that case, Musipedia could be a great resource to identify the song quickly. You can hum the tune into your computer or play the tune on a piano keyboard connected with your device and Musipedia will quickly find the song name for you. This is the best way to identify a song with just its tune.
Songsear.ch is a traditional song searching website where you can search for songs by simply typing in a part of the lyrics. If you happen to remember just a portion of lyrics of the song, this website is a good place to begin the search. The website offers search options like band/artists name, language or the year in which the song is released. At the time of writing, you can search from around 4,012,106 songs on this website.
Ask Other Music Lovers to Help Find the Song
17. Use WatZatSong to Crowdsource an Answer
If you’re unable to find which song is playing near you with any of the methods above, or if you’re looking for an obscure song that you suddenly remembered from your childhood days, try asking about it on a forum. WatZatSong is a forum full of music lovers who can help you identify songs and music.
Just post a snippet of the song (or music), or describe it as well as you can. You should soon start getting responses from people who can recognise the song for you.
18. Ask Reddit to Identify Music For You
You can also try asking around on Reddit, which has a much larger user base and a higher chance of a faster reply. Subreddits like NameThatSong (visit), WhatsThisSong (visit), and others can be helpful.
Pro-tip: If you’re looking for a much larger audience to try and help you, you should try your luck at r/TipOfMyTongue (visit), where people will help you figure out just about anything, including songs, movies, video games, and more that you might be having trouble recalling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How to Recognise Songs in Videos?
If you use Instagram a lot, chances are you’ve come across Reels that use an amazing new song, leaving you wondering “what song is this?”. Well, if you’re an iPhone user, you can simply use Shazam from your iPhone Control Center to easily recognise songs playing in Instagram Reels, or on a YouTube music video, and pretty much anywhere else.
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?
There are a few services that can tell you waht song is this by humming. Google Assistant and SoundHound are a couple of 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.
Q. Is it safe to use sound identification apps?
One of the primary worry that most people have with sound identification apps is the fact that they have mic access on your smartphone. While most of the renowned names such as SoundHound, Shazam, and others will undoubtedly not misuse this permission, there are chances that shady apps misuse your mic access. We would recommend that you only use trustworthy apps and websites to recognise music.