The official Google app for iOS and Android can now recognize a song when it hummed to it for 10-15 seconds. The service machine learning to identify the potential song matches for your humming pattern, and even suggests songs that are similar to it but not close enough matches.
Hum to Google to search for a song
This new feature was announced during its Search On event live stream, where Google also announced a bunch of other new features for its search engine like improved understanding of misspelled words, improvements to video search, and more.
A new update to the Google app for iOS and Android brings the capability to identify songs when a user hums it for 10 – 15 seconds via the smartphone mic. The search engine then tries to recognize it against songs in 20 languages from around the world and come up with matches. Users can then explore the closest matches and find out more information about the songs, and even find relevant artist and album information or watch videos.
If you are wondering how this feature actually works, Google has shared an explanation on its blog on how it uses machine learning and algorithms to detect a pattern in the humming, and match these against thousands of songs from around the world. All of this is done almost instantly.
When you hum a melody into Search, our machine learning models transform the audio into a number-based sequence representing the song’s melody. Our 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 the voice’s timbre and tone. What we’re left with is the song’s number-based sequence, or the fingerprint.
We compare these sequences to thousands of songs from around the world and identify potential matches in real time. For example, if you listen to Tones and I’s “Dance Monkey,” you’ll recognize the song whether it was sung, whistled, or hummed. Similarly, our machine learning models recognize the melody of the studio-recorded version of the song, which we can use to match it with a person’s hummed audio.
To use this new feature, simply ask “what’s this song” or tap on the mic in the Google app or widget on your smartphone, and tap on the ‘search a song’ button. Hum the tune that’s been stuck in your head for a short duration and Google will try its best to find what you couldn’t. You don’t have to sing or hum the song perfectly, just make sure you have the latest version of the app installed to use the feature.