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Google can now identify that song stuck in your head

Have you ever gotten a tune stuck in your head but struggled to recall the name, artist or any of the lyrics? If the answer is yes, then Google’s latest search update will be music to your ears.

The search engine will now let you search for songs by humming, whistling or singing the melody (no perfect pitch required, thankfully).

The feature works by transforming your hums into a number-based sequence. Existing songs are also assigned unique sequences – or fingerprints – that identify them through their melodies, accompanying instruments, timbre and tone. Machine learning models then compare your melody’s sequence with that of existing tunes to produce a list of potential matches.

This update builds on the work of the Google AI Research team’s music recognition technology, which used deep neural networks to bring low-power music recognition to the Pixel 2 back in 2017.

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How to search for songs by humming in Google:

  • Open the Google app or the Google Search widget
  • Tap the mic icon and say “What’s this song?” or click on the “Search a song” button
  • Hum for 10-15 seconds

Then, all you need to do is explore Google’s best potential marches. Simply select any song to see more information on the song and artist, watch the music video, read the lyrics, view analysis and listen to the song on your chosen music app.

The feature is available in English on iOS and in more than 20 languages on Android, with more languages to come in the future.

You can also access the feature with your voice with Google Assistant. Say “Hey Google, what’s this song?” and start humming to see Google’s matches.

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You can see the feature in action below:

Google announced the update during its Search On livestream yesterday. Just open the Google app and get humming to try out the new feature right now.