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YouTube plays ‘name that tune’ with new hum to search feature

YouTube is testing a Shazam-like way to identify music by humming or recording a few seconds of songs.

The test, currently live on the Android version of YouTube, offers a nice way to search for music you’d like to hear within the app.

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After enabling the voice search functionality within the app, testers will be able to begin humming that track or, if they’re in a coffee shop when a song they wish to identify is playing, they’ll point the mic at the speaker. The recording needs to be for three or more seconds in order to be identified. Results could yield official music content, user-generated videos like covers or short videos featuring the song, Google says.

The feature could be really handy for regular YouTube users as an alternative to Apple-owned Shazam. While Shazam requires users to link to a music account in order to play those songs in full, YouTube users will be able to browse straight to the video after performing their search and, if they’re YouTube Music subscribers, they’ll be able to listen to the audio track.

The new features came to light in a Google support page this week, where Google explains the feature is in limited beta for the time being.

In the document (via The Verge), Google says: “We’re experimenting with the ability for folks to search for a song on YouTube by humming or recording a song that’s currently being played. If you’re in the experiment, you can toggle from YouTube voice search to the new song search feature, and hum or record the song you’re searching for for 3+ seconds in order for the song to be identified. Once the song is identified, you’ll be sent to relevant official music content, user- generated videos, and/or Shorts featuring the searched song in the YouTube app. This experiment is rolling out to a small percentage of people across the globe who watch YouTube on Android devices.”

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