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Google: Identify a song

September 7, 2018

I don’t have a Google Home or Assistant device, nor do I have any music apps or subscribe to any music streaming services, but I do have an Android phone and tablet, and on them I can get Google to listen to a piece of music and identify the song, artist, when released etc. Pretty cool! (NOTE: I don’t own an ‘i’ anything, so I don’t know if this ‘listen to music’ trick works on iPhones, iPads etc. too — could one of my readers test and see if it works on an ‘i’ device? Just let me know in the comments.)

When do I use this cool feature the most? Nearly always when I’m watching TV and a piece of music comes on in the background that sounds like I might want to hear more, or to settle an argument a civilised discussion over what song and artist it is.

Here’s how you get Google to perform this wizardry (for free) and tell you what music is playing:

  1. First, make sure some music is playing, and that it’s loud enough for Google to hear.
  2. On the home screen of your device, tap the microphone icon in the Google quick search bar.
  3. Google starts listening for a voice command.

  4. If it doesn’t hear one, it suggests ‘What’s this song?’
  5. Tap on the musical note icon.
  6. Google starts listening… This can take several seconds, so be patient.
  7. If Google identifies the song, it displays the details about it in a search results screen.
  8. Now, collect the money you’re owed by your companion for the bet you made on which song/which artist. Sorry, that shouldn’t be there…

One comment

  1. […] with voice recognition in the past few years (think Google Home, Alexa, and the brilliant ‘listen to music‘ option that tells you what song is playing and who’s performing it—we use this a […]



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