How to Search a Song by Humming?

By Sunil Sonkar
8 Min Read
How to Search a Song by Humming? 1

YouTube has come up with a groundbreaking experiment on Android devices. It elevates the way we discover songs. The experiment aims to revolutionize song recognition by allowing users to determine a song by humming, singing or even recording a tune. This cool feature, ‘search a song by humming,’ seems even better than Apple’s famous song-identifying app, Shazam.


As outlined on YouTube’s support page, the experiment of search a song by humming is currently being tested on the Android version of the app. Users fortunate enough to have access to this feature can seamlessly transition from YouTube’s voice search to the new song search functionality. By humming, singing or recording a song for at least three seconds, the platform works its magic and successfully identifies the melody. Subsequently, it directs users to a selection of relevant YouTube videos that feature the searched song, which can range from the official music video to user-generated content or Shorts.

At the moment, only a few Android users can use this ‘search a song by humming’ feature on YouTube. But if it becomes more widely available, it could be a really handy tool. Many people turn to YouTube when they want to find a song they have heard in its massive collection of content.

Game-Changer in Song Recognition

YouTube’s latest innovation might ring a bell for some users who recall a similar feature from 2020. The parent company of YouTube, Google, first introduced this capability within the Google ecosystem. It allowed users to identify a song by humming, whistling or singing directly into the microphone icon on the Google app, Google Search widget or Google Assistant. However, one notable difference sets the platform’s experiment apart – it appears that Google’s feature requires users to hum or sing for a more extended period, typically 10 to 15 seconds, to identify the song.

Google’s technology is based on machine learning models designed to match a person’s hum or singing to a song’s unique “fingerprint” or signature melody. Interestingly, the new YouTube experiment harnesses the same technology, confirming that it is not just a trial but a promising advancement in song recognition.

The decision to expand this feature from Google to YouTube makes perfect sense. YouTube is not only one of the most visited websites globally but also a powerhouse for music. Many users turn to YouTube to listen to music, watch music videos or discover new songs. Given its vast music library, YouTube has naturally become a source for song identification.

This new feature simplifies the process. Users can now avoid the hassle of typing in vague descriptions of songs they can’t remember or name. They can now simply hum, sing or record a snippet of the song they are trying to search. It is a seamless way to use technology to our advantage. It demonstrates the innovative power of AI and machine learning in enhancing user experience.

Role of Music in YouTube’s Ecosystem

YouTube has long been a major player in the music industry. Artists from around the world upload their music videos to the platform to reach their followers or viewers. It is not just the established stars, but also independent musicians and aspiring artists who find their audience on the platform. And with the advent of Shorts, its short-form video platform, music is becoming an even more significant part of the ecosystem.

The ability to identify songs through humming or singing aligns perfectly with YouTube’s goals to make music even more accessible to its users. It bridges the gap between hearing a song and finding a song. It eliminates the frustration of those “tip-of-the-tongue” moments when we can’t remember the title or artist.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, where content is abundant and time is scarce, technology that simplifies our daily tasks and enriches our experiences is invaluable. YouTube’s foray into song recognition via humming or singing marks a significant advancement in music discovery.

Wider Impact on the Music Industry

The implications of this innovation extend beyond individual user convenience. It is a potential game-changer for the music industry. When users can effortlessly identify songs, they are more likely to engage with and explore new music. YouTube serves as a discovery platform for many artists, and by simplifying the way users can find and engage with songs, the platform may become an even more influential player in the music industry.

This innovation also benefits artists by increasing the discoverability of their work. It provides an additional avenue for artists to connect with their audience. If someone hears a catchy tune but can’t remember its name, they can now quickly find it by humming or singing a few notes. This means artists can gain more exposure and reach a broader audience.

Competition and Market Dynamics

While YouTube’s experiment has generated considerable excitement, it is not the only player in the field of song recognition. Shazam, now owned by Apple, has long been a go-to app for identifying songs by listening to a snippet of a track. However, YouTube’s experiment takes it a step further by allowing users to actively participate in the identification process.

Shazam and YouTube cater to slightly different use cases. Shazam is typically employed when you hear a song in a public place or on the radio and want to identify it quickly. YouTube’s feature is more about identifying songs in the context of its platform, where users may come across songs while watching videos or exploring music content.

Moreover, YouTube’s massive user base gives it a distinct advantage. With over 2 billion logged-in monthly users, YouTube is a hub for music enthusiasts. This new feature could become a go-to tool for music discovery for millions of users.

Other music recognition apps such as SoundHound and MusixMatch also offer similar functionality for identifying songs by singing or humming. However, they may not be as widely used or as popular as YouTube and Google. Nonetheless, these alternatives are worth exploring for music enthusiasts seeking efficient song recognition tools.

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