We’ve all had that feeling, be it at a club, chilling at home or outside. There’s a song playing, maybe it’s on the street, even a live performance, but you don’t know the title. You ask a friend and they don’t know either. Maybe you’re remembering something from your childhood and you’re reminded the lyrics of a song. Or maybe you just remember the beat.
These are all familiar issues to every one of us, and as music is so prevalent in our lives these days, it is a true problem. That is why we’ve assembled a detailed list of ways and tools to deal with this issue. So without further ado, this is how to find the title of a song:
When you do know the lyrics:
1. Google it
Well, this seems kind of obvious, but when you know part of the lyrics to a song, google is the easiest way to get to it. Google also now owns YouTube, which lets it use content from there in helping your search for the song. It’ll usually put out a YouTube video of the song.
However that’s not all google offers, it also has an extensive “what’s this song” feature on mobile devices or the web, where you play the song, and it automatically detects what it is, similar to Shazam. It good old Google doesn’t cut it, maybe you’ll be able to find that song through one of these:
Lyricsworld is quite a simple website. It’s a search engine that lists multiple music-hosting websites, as well as lyrics hosting sites and indexes them. This means you can search for songs be it via artist, lyrics, song title or anything else. Its sleek design is quite a large plus.
However despite its simple design, it should not be underestimated, as it has one of the biggest song databases on the internet to pull from. As well as using Google’s own for its purposes.
Genius started as a way of showing rap lyrics, being named Rap Genius. Over the years, they’ve expanded to include more than hip-hop. Going over rock,metal,classic,opera etc. Through their success they’ve moved even past lyrics. They believe every song has a story, and some of the biggest name in music have written, or been interviewed by Genius.They’re the most extensive lyrics database on the internet with over 25 million indexed songs.
The creative team at Genius spotlights stories behind new and important music. They work with music makers, as well as the community to form insider knowledge videos, content about events, in depth features and breaking news coverage.
If you don’t know the lyrics:
Search engines like Google or Bing won’t be of much help unless you know a couple of words from the song lyrics or have some clue about the name of the artist or the band. How do you then identify the name of that lovely song?
Shazam is a mobile-exclusive app, you can use it to find song names from your mobile device, it even works on Windows mobile and Nokia phones. Hell, even the ipod touch supports Shazam. If you’re in the UK, you can even dial 2580 and just hold your phone to the music! It is by far the most popular music recognition app, and for good reason, Shazam offers a wonderful design, simple functionality and in general it just works.
The way its used is, after installation, you just hold your phone to the source of the music and press the tag button. Shazam will automatically identify the music playing, although this sounds great, it has some downsides. For one, Shazam only works with recordings, and not live performances. It is also not purely free, the free version will only allow you to identify 5 tracks a month.
The premium version, called Encore, offers unlimited song detection for 4.99$. If the music cannot be identified, you will not be charged.
An iPhone nigh exclusive. It’s quite similar to Shazam, in that it also only works with pre-recorded music. It’s a 3$ app available worldwide on the iphone, though if you’re an AT&T user, a Blackberry, Windows Mobile, or any Java phone works just fine with it. They’ve also got a US-Exclusive service wherein you write an SMS to a number, dial a code and hold up your phone to the music. The MusicID team will then send you a text with the outcome of the identification process.
Another interesting feature of it, is that it saves your history, so you can see the songs that have been playing around you for a while. It also works without directly pointing it in the direction of the speaker, so it’s quite good for a club or concert setting.
You can also use it to search music via artist or name of the song. So it incorporates some other features into its design as well. It’ll also give you access to the artist’s biography and download links!
If you have a song that’s stuck in your head, just grab a mic, hum that tune yourself and Midomi will be able tell you what that song is. If that’s not your deal, you can play a short recording of it and have Midomi realize its name.
Unlike the just mentioned two, Midomi in addition to being an app, offers a web interface where you’re able to hum for about 10 seconds and it’ll show you a list of songs that match your beat. For the best identification progress, try to keep the volume bar in the green and avoid any and all background noise.
Another pro of Midomi on the other two so far is that it is completely free, although it does sport advertisements. It’s an app for pretty much every platform of mobile device, in addition to being available on PC or mac.
If you’ve got a recording of a song on your PC or mobile decice, you could use the online music recognition capabilities of AutioTag to identify the exact name of the song. It’s similar to Midomi’s recording system, although a bit more complex.
You can upload a short audio snippet or even a recording of the whole song, using that, AudioTag will identify the title of the track by comparing it to the music in its own database. If you want the best possible results, you should either upload from the middle of the song, or its entirety so AudioTag can slice it at a random place by itself. This is especially useful when you can record a portion of the song on your mobile device when you’re offline, and then search for it when back online. This would have to be our pick for finding what music is playing at a nearby concert venue, club etc. because it doesn’t require an internet connection for you to find the song’s title later, and it works no matter at which point in the song you realize you’re into it.
Musipedia is more for those with an in-born musician’s ear. Or possibly for musicians themselves. You can search for a song by playing it on a digital piano, or even by whistling to the tune using your microphone.
Musipedia takes its inspiration from Wikipedia, and excels at finding classical pieces of music. Unlike eg. Shazam, which will only find songs that match the exact recording, Musipedia will find all songs containing a particular melody recorded through hummind or keyboard.
If you’re able to use a virtual keyboard, MelodyCatcher might be the perfect thing for you. Its got a simple, Java based interface, you just need to use your mouse to enter the melody, press search and MelodyCatcher will present you a list of matching songs from across the internet. like Musipedia, you don’t need to enter the whole thing, just the first 10 or so notes will usually be enough to find a melody.
SoundHound is by far Shazam’s biggest competitor and rival. The way they work is essentially the same, although the interfaces differ. SoundHound also has the humming a song feature, and offers speedy delivery of your chosen song. It’s sleek and quick design in our opinion edges out on Shazam’s. All in all, while they are quite similar, we’d say that either of them has their own niche. For example, another benefit of SoundHound is for example, listening to radio in the car, while you need to physically hold your phone for Shazam to work properly, SoundHound works by simply saying “Hound, what song is this” and leaving the phone where ever.
This one is for the true music nerds among us. WhoSampled, as opposed to competing with the likes of Shazam or SoundHound, decided to carve out its own niche. While the rest excel at identifying particular songs, WhoSampled is made for a much more underground audience. It’s got an extensive database of indie songs, remixes, summer jams and similar. The feature which enables the community to quickly add songs persists, and this makes it one of the best ways to find a song which is not by a world-famous artist.
If you need the help of another person:
Sometimes, no matter how many automated services you try, they just don’t cut it. Maybe the audio is too cluttered for a service to recognize, or maybe there’s too much background noise. Maybe it’s too underground to be indexed? Or maybe the song isn’t even available online? For those situations, you’ll need the help of other people, and that’s exactly what these platforms are for!
WatZatSong, despite it’s admittedly illiterate name. Is a social network where you can upload a short MP3 recording of the song, or even record yourself humming or whistling and other site members will help you guess the exact song. Oftentimes these will be the best sources when it comes to songs in other languages. Obviously this isn’t as quick as using an automated platform, however it does provide quite a few interesting features. For example, you don’t even need to know the song, you could provide the topic, the way it’s sung, or even the music style.
2.Name My Tune
First, you can sing or hum a short clip, then you enter the recording genre or the era that you think the song is from. Then they’ll forward this to other people on the site and e-mail you if people are able to recognize it.
Best platforms do discover new songs:
Sometimes you don’t want to find a certain song. Sometimes you just want to find a banger tune to listen to. And for that purpose, these are by far the best websites:
Spotify is continuing its reign on music streaming, and is implementing music discovery as one of its leading features. Going above its classical streaming services and weekly Discover playlist. They’ve added a personalized Release Radar that keeps you up to date with bands you follow, as well as the New Music Friday which comes with all the new hits from that week.
SoundCloud’s another streaming service for finding new music, though it can also help with finding song titles of songs you’ve already listened to. There’s so many different playlists on SoundCloud, and it’s a galore for indie artists, as anyone can post an MP3 on the site. This allows SoundCloud an otherwise impossible amount of indie content. In case you’re looking for a really, really underground song title. Soundcloud is the way to go, and as one of the leaders in the music streaming industry, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
So in the end, there are so many services to find a particular song, that it’s less about can technology help you identify it, and much more about using the correct platform. We hope this list has helped you realize some of those, and that it’ll come in handy whenever you need to find the name of a particular song and you just can’t think of it!
Student by day, tech writer by night! I’m passionate about all things tech, and working on my 2nd degree.