It happens with all of us. You are driving to work or sitting in a restaurant with friends and there you hear a song you have never heard before. Often you don’t catch the lyrics and that frustrating feeling of “what song is this?” just doesn’t seem to let go, does it?
Well, relax! You are living in the modern era, where your smartphone can listen in with you and identify your song. All you need is a better song recognition app that can search through millions of songs to find out which one is playing near you. It’s much better than the old days of trying to Google the pieces of lyrics you remember.
We’ve compiled a great list of music recognition services (for all platforms) that can help you discover the song you are listening to, even if you don’t know the lyrics. Using the combination of two or more would give you an impeccable result. Make sure you are connected to the Internet while using these apps.
15. Music Identification
Not exactly pretty, but one of the fastest app you will find on the Internet. Music Identification is the perfect app for those who want to identify music and nothing else. It uses Gracenote’s database (containing 130 million songs) to find what’s playing around you.
The app will display you the name of the song, and artist along with some basic information in a few seconds. There is also a widget to identify songs quickly if needed.
Platform: Android and iOS
MusicID easily identifies music playing around you. There is the album art for your favorite artists, and you can add a note for yourself, so you can remember where and how you identified that amazing song. Once the app identifies what’s playing around you, it recommends you to see similar songs, movies, TV information and biographical data about the artist.
Platform: Android and iOS
There is a floating button in the bottom right of the app for recognizing songs. Just tap on it to know what music you are listening to. The homescreen contains a list of songs that are the most identified items on Genius. Tap on them to see their lyrics (or download them if you want), play music video or share the song.
Platform: Web app
Midomi is a song detector website used to identify unknown tracks. If you have a tune stuck in your head, just hum that tune for at least 10 seconds and it will tell you what song you are trying to sing. The website also works if you use it when the song is playing around you. It takes some time to recognize music, but it does work. For better results, keep the volume bar up and avoid background noise.
BeatLight can recognize as well as visualize songs that are playing around you. Press the lightning button and the app will throw a flashing strobe light effect in sync with the beat of the music. There is a history tab for all recognized songs, which you can preview or stream online on popular sites like YouTube, Spotify, and Deezer. However, the app doesn’t have a large catalog, so it will be quite difficult to discover less known artists.
10. Sound Search
Sound Search is a lightweight music identification widget developed by Google. After you have installed the widget, go to the widget picker and drag it onto your homescreen. To identify a song, simply tag on the play button on the widget and it will start the recognition process. The name of the song and the artist will be displayed inside the widget.
Platform: Web app
AudioTag is a free song recognition service that you might find useful if you have a short recorded portion of a song. It’s very simple to use – just upload an audio fragment (of about 15 seconds) and it will return you the information about the track title, artist name, and album title. It works with all audio formats as long as your audio is audible.
Musipedia is inspired by Wikipedia and works best at finding classical music. Here you can search for a song either by whistling it into the microphone or playing it on a virtual piano keyboard. Unlike other apps that only find exact matching music, Musipedia can identify music containing a particular melody that you’ve just recorded.
7. TrackCheck for SoundCloud
Platform: Chrome extension
SoundCloud currently possesses over 140 million songs to search through which made this platform so unique and must-have on our list. TrackCheck for SoundCloud is a key and tempo analyzer for audio tracks. It scans music and detects tempo and key. If the music is yours you can add the results to the SoundCloud database within a single click.
The extension uses sonicAPI.com web service, which brings a high-end music algorithm to the cloud. Moreover, it helps you to find other SoundCloud songs that are similar to your music with respect to tempo and key.
Platform: Android, iOS, and Windows
Musixmatch is the biggest lyrics platform where you can search and share lyrics from any track. It’s a music player app with song recognition feature, powered by ACRCloud. Just tap on the hamburger menu icon, following “Identify Lyrics”. It will discover the sound that is playing by matching the audio fingerprint against its database.
You can search your favorite song by title, artist or even using a single line of the song lyrics. Musixmatch displays the translation of the lyrics (in real-time with music). So fire up the song you like and learn a new language in a fun way.
Platform: Social music site
What if the computer fails to recognize the song you are looking for. It happens a lot, especially if you are searching for remixes. In that case, you can take the help of other humans, who may have an idea about that song.
WatZatSong is a social website where you can upload a short audio recording (or record it yourself by humming) and other members of the site will help you identify it. It’s like a forum – suggestions won’t come instantly, but most of the time it works. The more details you provide (like music language, must style, etc.), the more it will be helpful.
Platform: Android, iOS, and Windows
SoundHound allows you to discover more about your favorite music, albums, and artists while exploring today’s hottest new music. What’s even more exciting is, you can hum tunes to find a song. The app recognizes your humming voice very well, and identify what you are looking for, even if you are only humming a part of the song.
The app’s music player gives you full-length songs and videos with real-time lyrics. It also supports hands-free searches, all you need to say is “OK Hound… what’s that song?”.
TrackID is an audio search engine developed by Sony Mobile. It uses Gracenote’s music database to identify music, which was acquired by Sony in 2008. The recognition speed is quite impressive. You can even dive deeper into the music that interests you by exploring artist biographies, watching music videos and seeing who’s is on the top of the chart. What’s unique? It comes with a “Live” tab containing a live feed of the songs that people are identifying around the world.
The app is great for you, especially if you live in an area with poor network coverage or you’re trying to save data charges. It saves your recognitions and retrieves the results later when you are connected to the Internet.
Platform: Android, Mac, iOS, Apple Watch, and Android Wear
Shazam is currently the most popular application for music recognition. You can discover more about the music and TV you love. How does it work? The app creates a digital fingerprint of the audio and matches it to its own database containing millions of tracks and TV shows.
After successful identification, it gives you the name of the track, artist, other information such as lyrics, artist biography, video, concert tickets and recommended tracks.
Shazam also has visual recognition ability. Just tap the camera icon to Shazam magazines, posters and books, and use it anywhere where you see the Shazam camera logo. It also works as a QR code reader. In December 2017, Apple announced that it has successfully acquired Shazam in a $400 million deal.
1. Virtual Assistant
Platform: Android, Mac, iOS, and Windows
If you don’t want to install any app, you can use the inbuilt Virtual Assistant in your phone – Siri for iOS/Mac, Google Now for Android and Cortana for Windows.
Developers are increasing the capabilities of Virtual Assistants and integrating it with a lot of great third-party apps. One of the cool things you can do with Siri/Google Now/Cortana is, you can use it to identify what song you are currently listening to. Just launch the app and say “Name the song“, or “What song is this“, and it will tell you the name of the song.