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Got a song stuck in your head? Hum it to Google and it'll figure it out for you

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Posted at 9:45 AM, Oct 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-17 11:45:51-04

We've all been there. You have a song stuck in your head, but you only know the tune and before you know it, that becomes an annoying earworm you just can't get rid of.

Well, now Google wants to help you out by letting you hum, whistle, or sing a melody to search for it - no lyrics, artist names, or perfect pitch are required.

Here's how you do it:

  • On your mobile device, open the latest version of the Google app or find your Google Search widget.
  • Tap the mic icon and say “what's this song?” or click the “Search a song” button.
  • Start humming the song for 10-15 seconds.
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Courtesy: Google

You can also do it with a Google Assistant smart device by saying “Hey Google, what’s this song?” and then hum the tune.

This feature is available in English on iOS, and in more than 20 languages on Android.

After you’re finished humming, Google's machine learning algorithm helps identify potential song matches based on the tune.

You can select the best match and comb through information on the song and artist, as well as view any other music videos or listen to the song on your favorite music app.

You may be wondering how this works. Google says an easy way to explain it is that a song’s melody is like its fingerprint because each of them has its own unique identity.

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Courtesy: Google

Google says they built machine learning models that can match your hum, whistle, or singing to the right "fingerprint."

When you hum a melody into Search, their machine learning models transform the audio into a number-based sequence representing the song’s melody.

Their models are trained to identify songs based on a variety of sources, including humans singing, whistling, or humming, as well as studio recordings.

The algorithms also take away all the other details, like accompanying instruments and your voice's tone.

What they're left with is the song’s number-based sequence or the fingerprint.

Google then compares these sequences to thousands of songs from around the world and identifies potential matches in real-time.

So next time you can’t remember the name of a song you heard on the radio or that classic bop your friends love, just start humming it to Google.