What Song Is This? 10 Ways to Identify a Song Quickly - Make Tech Easier (2023)

It happens to all of us, a song gets stuck in your head, and no matter how hard you think about it, you just can’t remember what the name of the song. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help you identify music that feels like it’s on the tip of your tongue. Between voice assistants, apps like Shazam and other methods, you will never have an issue identifying a song again.


  • 1. r/NameThatSong
  • 2. Ask Google By Humming, Whistling, or Singing
  • 3. Search the Lyrics
  • 4. Ask Alexa, "What song is this?"
  • 5. Ask Siri, "What song is this?"
  • 6. "Hey Google, what song is this?"
  • 7. Identifying Music with Shazam
  • 8. "Hey Soundhound, what's that song?"
  • 9. Check Your Music Streaming Service
  • 10. Search IMDB.com
  • Frequently Asked Questions

1. r/NameThatSong

If you remember the lyrics to a song, then most of the entries in this list will help you out, but what if you heard just a tiny segment of a song on some short video, remember the music video, or remember the general “theme” of the song while not being able to pin down the lyrics.

It could be time to ask Reddit.

What Song Is This? 10 Ways to Identify a Song Quickly - Make Tech Easier (1)

The NameThatSong subreddit is a community of 143,000 people who work together to try and identify a song based on the description, clips, even clips of humming uploaded by the poster. It’s kind of like having a giant detective agency working to find your song, with you engaging in a constant back-and-forth with the community to hone in on the right answer.

For a smaller subreddit group dedicated to the same thing (where your post is less likely to get drowned out by other people), check out r/WhatsThisSong/

2. Ask Google By Humming, Whistling, or Singing

One of the fastest ways to help identify a song is by using the Google app on your mobile device. Launch the app, tap on the microphone in the search bar and say “Search a song.” Follow this by humming, whistling or singing the melody. The results will show you the most likely songs and allow you to listen and verify whether it’s the one.

3. Search the Lyrics

This method isn’t super specific to Google alone, but if you know the lyrics to a song, type them into your favorite search engine.

(Video) How to Identify Music from Movies and TV Shows

What Song Is This? 10 Ways to Identify a Song Quickly - Make Tech Easier (2)

Trying “If you wanna run away with me, I know a galaxy” on Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo all showed the proper result of “Levitating” by Dua Lipa. Even Brave’s new search engine showed the results.

Google and Bing will take it an additional step by letting you watch the YouTube video directly in your search results as well as showing you the full set of lyrics, where to listen or buy the song and more.

4. Ask Alexa, “What song is this?”

What Song Is This? 10 Ways to Identify a Song Quickly - Make Tech Easier (3)

With Alexa, you need to be listening through a service like Amazon Music, Spotify or another streaming music service. All you need to do is say “Alexa, what song is this?” any time you are streaming music. Alexa will pause the music, announce the name and artist of the song and then return to your music.

5. Ask Siri, “What song is this?”

“Hey Siri, what is this song?” is the perfect way to get started with Apple’s voice assistant. Siri will respond with “Hang on, let me listen,” then identify the tune.

What Song Is This? 10 Ways to Identify a Song Quickly - Make Tech Easier (4)

Backed by Shazam’s outstanding ability to identify music, Siri is usually pretty spot on with its results, but singing, humming and whistling don’t work.

6. “Hey Google, what song is this?”

What Song Is This? 10 Ways to Identify a Song Quickly - Make Tech Easier (5)

Similar to how you ask within the Google app, Google Assistant requires you to say “Hey Google, what’s this song?” then start humming, whistling or singing for around 10 to 15 seconds. The best part is that Google provides you with a few different possibilities so that you can find the correct song.

(Video) How to Create a Spotify Song Code on Your Computer

7. Identifying Music with Shazam

What Song Is This? 10 Ways to Identify a Song Quickly - Make Tech Easier (6)

When it comes to identifying music through an app, Shazam is undoubtedly one of the first methods to come to mind. With Shazam available on both Android and iOS, just hold the phone up or near the source of the music.

Tap the giant Shazam logo inside the app to begin listening, and once identified, songs can be added to Apple Music playlists (Android and iOS). Shazam can handle music identification from pretty much anywhere out in the world: YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, sitting at your computer, watching a movie, etc. The app also works offline and identifies a song when you are back online.

What Song Is This? 10 Ways to Identify a Song Quickly - Make Tech Easier (7)

Mac and iOS users have one extra option with Shazam: identify music without the app installed, thanks to Apple’s purchase of Shazam in 2018. With iOS 14.2 and later, Shazam has been integrated directly into the Control Center.

To add to the Control Center, go to “Settings -> Control Center,” then tap the green “+” button next to “Music Recognition.”

Tap on the Shazam button in Control Center whenever you want to identify a song. The app works best with actual music, as humming and whistling don’t generally yield results.

8. “Hey Soundhound, what’s that song?”

If Shazam isn’t for you, Soundhound is the next best song identifier for both Android and iOS users. Unlike Shazam, which doesn’t allow for humming or singing, Soundhound allows both methods, often with pretty solid results. Just say, “Hey SoundHound” within the app and follow with “What’s that song?”

What Song Is This? 10 Ways to Identify a Song Quickly - Make Tech Easier (8)

Of course, you can also press the music discovery button, but it’s so much more fun with your voice. Once music is identified, you can add it to either Apple Music or Spotify or listen inside the app with the built-in YouTube player. For its part, Shazam tends to identify music a little faster, but it’s really not noticeable if you don’t use it that frequently.

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9. Check Your Music Streaming Service

You can also search directly with lyrics while in the Spotify and Apple Music apps. No matter which app you use, as long as you know at least some lyrics from a tune, begin typing it into the search function and wait for the results to pop up. For example, start typing “If you wanna run away with me,” and both apps should identify “Levitating” by Dua Lipa. Results are near-instant and often exactly what you are looking for.

What Song Is This? 10 Ways to Identify a Song Quickly - Make Tech Easier (9)

For its part, Deezer also adds a “What’s this song” button inside its search functionality. Like Shazam, it listens for any music playing and looks to identify the artist, song title and any associated artwork. It only works with music so no singing or humming is allowed.

10. Search IMDB.com

This won’t work for all music searches, but if you are trying to identify a song from a movie or TV show, IMDB.com can be super helpful.

What Song Is This? 10 Ways to Identify a Song Quickly - Make Tech Easier (10)

Let’s say you want to identify music from the recent “The Suicide Squad” movie. You would search for that movie in the IMDB search bar. Scroll through the search results, which include the cast and various movie details, until you locate an option for “Soundtracks.” Click on that to see a full list of music included within the movie.

There is no way to listen inside the website, but you can start typing song names into YouTube or your streaming music app of choice until you find the song that has been stuck in your head all day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will these apps or tools identify every song?

In all likelihood, these apps can identify millions of songs easily. It’s always possible lesser-known music may escape the database, but for all intents and purposes, you should rarely run into an instance where Shazam, Google, etc. can’t identify an artist or song title.

Do I need more than one song identification app?

There’s no harm in having multiple apps installed. For iPhone owners on iOS 14.2 and later, as Shazam is preinstalled through Control Center, another app certainly can’t hurt. Of course, you can always use Shazam alongside Apple Music or Spotify.

(Video) How to Create Spotify Song Codes on Mobile

Are there any privacy concerns with song identification?

No, searching for songs should have little impact on privacy. Apple Music and Spotify for instance already know your music interests, so the worst case is that they will start recommending songs you searched for. In the case of Google, Alexa, Siri, etc., it’s just another search.

Wrapping Up

At the end of the day, at least one of the above methods should identify any song you are looking to remember or discover. Whether you are humming, whistling, singing or typing in lyrics, we have covered all of the bases for music discovery. We even showed you a surprising way to search using a site like IMDB, and with that, you should never come up empty when trying to think of a song name again. Wondering how to identify a song while wearing your earbuds? Find the answer.

What Song Is This? 10 Ways to Identify a Song Quickly - Make Tech Easier (11)

Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

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Can you identify which song is this? ›

Ask Google Assistant to name a song

On your phone, touch and hold the Home button or say "Hey Google." Ask "What's this song?" Play a song or hum, whistle, or sing the melody of a song. Hum, whistle, or sing: Google Assistant will identify potential matches for the song.

How do I identify a song quickly? ›

Identifying Music with Shazam

With Shazam available on both Android and iOS, just hold the phone up or near the source of the music. Tap the giant Shazam logo inside the app to begin listening, and once identified, songs can be added to Apple Music playlists (Android and iOS).

How do I identify all songs? ›

On an Android device, you can tap and hold the Shazam app in the app drawer, then tap Shazam Now. If you want Shazam on in the background so it can continue to identify what is playing around you, you can turn on Auto Shazam by opening the app and touching and holding the Shazam button.

Can I hum to identify a song? ›

You can ask your Google Assistant to identify songs that play around you. You can play the song for Google Assistant to identify or you can hum, whistle, and sing the melody of a song. Important: This feature is available only on iPhone, not iPad.

Which music app can identify songs? ›

Shazam will identify any song in seconds. Discover artists, lyrics, videos & playlists, all for free. Over 1 billion installs and counting!

How do I identify a good song? ›


Not only does a good song need to have great chords, melodies, and lyrics, but also should create some sort of reaction, or evoke a specific emotion. A lot of songwriters craft their music from specific events or experiences that they have had, making it very relatable to others.

How fast can Shazam name a song? ›

One of the most popular music recognition apps is Shazam. If you capture 20 seconds of a song, no matter if it's intro, verse, or chorus, it will create a fingerprint for the recorded sample, consult the database, and use its music recognition algorithm to tell you exactly which song you are listening to.

How can Siri identify a song? ›

With music playing around you, say something like “Hey Siri, Shazam this song” or “Hey Siri, what's the name of this song?” The identified song appears in a notification and is saved to the Shazam app.

Can I hum a song to Siri? ›

Can Siri identify a song by humming? Siri can recognize a song that is playing, but it doesn't have the search for a song by humming features.

Can my phone identify music? ›

Your phone can identify a lot of music automatically. If there are tracks that it doesn't have, you can search for them manually on Google with music search. Important: This feature is only available for Pixel 4 and later. Open your phone's Settings app.

How do I use Shazam to identify a song? ›

Use Notification to identify music with a swipe and tap
  1. Swipe down to see Shazam in the notification bar.
  2. Tap Shazam to start identifying music.
  3. To close the notification, swipe to the Library in the Shazam app, tap the Settings button , then turn off “Shazam from notification bar.”
Aug 31, 2022

How many types of songs are there? ›

There are many genres of popular songs, including torch songs, ballads, novelty songs, anthems, rock, blues and soul songs as well as indie music. Other commercial genres include rapping. Folk songs include ballads, lullabies, love songs, mourning songs, dance songs, work songs, ritual songs and many more.

How many songs can Shazam identify? ›

The technology creates fingerprints for audio recordings, which is the secret sauce behind Shazam's awesome recognition skills. Shazam creates and stores audio fingerprints consisting of collections of numerical data for each over 15 billion songs.

What song is this iPhone? ›

Once you've done that, you can use your iPhone to identify a song by swiping down from the top-right of the screen to open Control Center and then tapping the Shazam button. Your phone will listen for a few seconds, then show the artist and title at the top of your screen.

Is there a website that can identify a song? ›

On shazam.com, you can identify music playing around you using your favorite web browser.

Why music sounds good? ›

Using magnetic resonance imaging they showed that people listening to pleasurable music had activated brain regions called the limbic and paralimbic areas, which are connected to euphoric reward responses, like those we experience from sex, good food and addictive drugs.

Can you use 7 seconds of a song? ›

This is one of the most common misconceptions. Unfortunately, this is not true and there is no bright line rule that says a use is an acceptable use as long as you only use 5, 15, or 30 seconds of a song. Any use of copyrighted material without permission is, according to U.S. copyright law, copyright infringement.

Can Shazam do humming? ›

Answer: You can use apps like Shazam or your phone's assistant like Google or Siri to find a song by its tune. You can play music, hum, or whistle the tune of the song to search for it.

What is the fastest song ever? ›

“Godzilla” (2020) by Eminem 78 words in 12 seconds (6.5 words per second) was the fastest hit single. Although Moby's "Thousand" was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for having the fastest tempo in beats per minute at approximately 1,015 BPM.

Can Siri identify voices? ›

Siri on HomePod mini and HomePod can recognize multiple voices, so everyone in your home can use HomePod to play music, send and read messages, make phone calls, and more.

How do I get Siri on my iPhone 13? ›

Activate Siri with a button

Do one of the following: On an iPhone with Face ID: Press and hold the side button. On an iPhone with a Home button: Press and hold the Home button. EarPods: Press and hold the center or call button.

Does Apple own Shazam? ›

That's why the Shazam app was invented in 2002, but it's only part of the reason Apple acquired the song recognition tech in 2017 for a reported $400 million. Now, it's celebrating 20 years of discoverability, creator monetization and adding new features.

How do I get cool voices for Siri? ›

Go to Settings > Siri & Search. Tap Siri Voice, then choose a different variety or voice.

How do you make Siri beatbox? ›

Drop the beat

Simply ask it to 'Give me a beat' and you'll be surprised by what emerges. Its choice of sounds can be a little off-putting at times, with our beat consisting of the words 'ince', 'Qatar', and 'butter' in various arrangements. But, Siri keeps decent time and absolutely will not stop unless you tell it to.

Is Siri music free? ›

If you don't subscribe to Apple Music, you can get a 7-day free preview of the Voice plan by asking Siri to play a song or artist on Apple Music. This one-time free preview will not renew. After 7 days, you can subscribe to the Voice plan in the Apple Music app and get a 1-month free trial.

Can Shazam hear your phone? ›

Shazam needs access to the microphone on your device to hear what you're listening to. On iPhone or iPad, open Settings, scroll down to the installed apps, tap Shazam, then turn on Microphone.

Can Alexa Shazam a song? ›

Your Alexa-enabled smart speaker can identify songs, but you'll need to say a specific phrase: "Alexa, what song is this?" If you're listening to music through Amazon Music, you can also turn on the Song ID feature, which will cause Alexa to announce the name of each song before it starts playing.

Can someone steal my song? ›

All you have to do is write your original song down on paper or record it, and you own the copyright. Then, you are protected by law and others cannot use your song without your permission.

Can you sing a melody to Shazam? ›

Once the app is listening, you can play a song or hum, whistle, or sing the melody of a song.

What are the top 10 best songs? ›

The 10 Best Songs of 2022
  • “Jack,” Hardy.
  • “Kind of Girl,” MUNA.
  • “Unholy,” Sam Smith ft. Kim Petras.
  • “Finesse,” Pheelz ft. BNXN.
  • “ChevyS10,” Sudan Archives.
  • “Bad Habit,” Steve Lacy.
  • “FNF,” Glorilla & Hitkidd.
  • 3. “ Part of the Band,” the 1975.
Nov 22, 2022

What are 3 parts of a song? ›

What Is Song Structure?
  • CHORUS: The chorus has the same melody AND the same lyric each time we hear it. ...
  • VERSE: The verses all have the same melody but different lyrics. ...
  • BRIDGE: The bridge has a different melody and lyric from any other section.

What are the 6 types of songs? ›

Author Levitin makes the case that six basic types of songs have existed throughout the course of human history, all over the world. Mankind, apparently, shares a soundtrack. The six broad categories of music are songs about friendship, joy, comfort, knowledge, religion and love.

Can Shazam recognize vinyl? ›

Shazam graduates to vinyl recognition

The new capability comes courtesy of a deal with electronic dance music retailer Juno, which also adds a further four million dance tracks to the existing Shazam database. Juno gets a buy link from within the Shazam app in return.

Can Shazam recognize movies? ›

Movies are a little tricker: There isn't really a 'Shazam for movies,' as it were, perhaps because it's less likely that you're going to be watching something that you don't know the title of.

Can I ask Siri to identify a song? ›

With music playing around you, say something like “Hey Siri, Shazam this song” or “Hey Siri, what's the name of this song?” The identified song appears in a notification and is saved to the Shazam app. Do one of the following: Tap the notification to open the song's track screen in Shazam.

Can Siri identify a song? ›

You can ask Siri what song is playing by saying something like “What's that song?” or “What's playing?”. To activate Siri, long-press the iPhone's Power button. Say “What's that song?”. If you have Hey Siri set up, you can also say “Hey Siri, what's that song?” without pressing any buttons.

How do I use Siri to identify a song? ›

On iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, HomePod, or Mac, say “Hey Siri,” then ask what the song is. On iPhone or iPad, add the Shazam widget to identify music in the Today View. Use Shazam on your Apple Watch. To identify music from the menu bar of your Mac, get Shazam for Mac from the Mac App Store.

Where do Siri Shazams go? ›

"Hey Siri, what's the name of this song?" Songs you identify using Siri on iOS 16 now sync to your Shazam App library and Music Recognition History View in Control Center.

Can Alexa identify songs by listening? ›

How to make Alexa identify songs automatically. If you're listening to music through Amazon Music, you can set Alexa to announce the name and artist of every song automatically. Simply say, "Alexa, turn on Song ID."

How do I use Siri on my iPhone 11? ›

How to use Siri on your iPhone
  1. If your iPhone has a Home button, press the Home button, then make your request.
  2. If your iPhone doesn't have a Home button, press the Side button, then make your request.
  3. To make a longer request, press and hold the Side or Home button until you're finished with your request.
Apr 14, 2022

Can you Shazam your own phone? ›

Use Auto Shazam

To have Shazam automatically identify what's playing around you, turn on Auto Shazam: Touch and hold the Shazam app in the app drawer, then tap Auto Shazam. Open the Shazam app on your device, then touch and hold the Shazam button .


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