If you’ve ever had a song in your head but didn’t know the words or the artist, you know that naming that melody can be an all consuming task.
It’s hard to look for when you just know that the chorus is something like “Hmmm, hmm, hmm-hmmm, thin …”. Yes, it is not searchable.
As of Thursday, Google added a humming feature to its mobile apps. At the Virtual Search On event, which highlighted search engine updates, Google managers demonstrated how a few seconds of hum or whistling can produce real results.
On an iOS or Android device, you can use the Google app, search widget, or Google Assistant and ask, “What kind of song is this?” And start humming. There is also a Find a Song button. Click on it and then start humming.
The Google app only recognizes the song by its melody – no lyrics or perfect vocals are required. I tried it with a Spice Girls hit on an iPhone via the Google app and it came back with the correct result:
Many years ago, song detection apps like SoundHound could also identify a song based on a few seconds of hum or out of tune singing. Nowadays, if you open Shazam or a similar audio recognition app and hum “Barbie Girl” by Aqua (it was a 1997 classic), for example, you won’t get any results.
The catchy tune is going nowhere with the new Google search function, but at least you know what is bothering you.
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