How to identify any song using your phone

Music is everywhere. You might be in a cab or a coffee shop, or sitting on your couch, when a new song finds its way into your head and settles down. But the sweet pleasure of discovering a new favorite song can turn bitter in a moment when you can’t name that tune. Fortunately, you can get help. Here’s how to use your smartphone to identify a song.

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Google Assistant (Android or Iphone)
Photography: Simon Hill

Google has offered some form of song recognition for years now, but it has improved significantly over time. Even if the song you want stops playing, you can try to hum or sing along. Here’s how:

  1. On your Android device, say “Hey Google,” or touch and hold the Home button. On your iPhone, open the Google app and tap the microphone button.
  2. Ask, “What is this song?”
  3. If the song plays, Google Assistant will name it and give you a YouTube link. You can also buzz, beep, or sing, and Google will suggest potential matches.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work on Wear OS smartwatches, but you can try Shazam (see below) to get song recognition on your wrist.

Siri (iPhone)

You can use Siri to select a song on most Apple devices, including Apple Watch, but it must be the original. He won’t recognize your hum or your singing.

  1. Say, “Hey Siri,” or press and hold the power button on your iPhone or the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch.
  2. Ask, “What is this song?”
  3. If the song plays, Siri will name it and give you an Apple Music link.

Shazam (Android or iPhone)

Photography: Simon Hill

Shazam was the original music recognition service and it offers useful extras like synced lyrics and links to some files Best Music Streaming ServicesEasily share on social media. Shazam was acquired by Apple in 2018, but the app is still available for Android, Beside iOS. It also works on many of our picks for The best smart watches.

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