Now you can hum to search Google for songs you can’t remember, but can’t forget. If you’ve ever had a song stuck in your head but can’t remember enough lyrics to search for it, Google has a solution: hum to search.

Google unveiled a new search feature Thursday that lets users search for songs by humming a few bars, in an attempt to help you identify music. This is now part of Google’s mobile app and Google Assistant, where you can say “what’s this song?” (add a “Hey Google” first on Google Assistant) and then hum, whistle, or sing for 10 to 15 seconds. The results will include several probable songs, along with the search engine’s estimation of how likely it is that each is the one you’re looking for.

Google said the feature will be available first in English on Apple’s iOS and in over 20 languages on Google’s Android mobile platform. Users don’t need to have perfect pitch in order to get the feature to work, according to Google.

Hum-to-search isn’t a brand new idea, though it is new to Google. Like many of Google’s search offerings, the feature uses machine learning: Essentially, software analyzes the tune you hum (or sing or whistle), turning it into a sequence of digits that can then be compared with tons of digitized songs to find a few that appear similar. The company has been working on using artificial intelligence for music recognition for a number of years.

The feature may be in high demand:  Google’s vice president who introduced it during Google’s streamed event on Thursday, said people ask Google “what song is playing” nearly 100 million times each month.

“but you make me sing like a guitar humming…”

-neil diamond

Credit: Rachel Metz, CNN Business

72 responses »

  1. My kids and I discovered the Google camera search function the other day. Wandered round the house seeing what products matched items in our own home.

    The humming feature sounds brilliant. I’ve got a terrible earworm problem. Can derail a few hours of work easily. This will up productivity by a fair whack 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What a great idea! As a math nerd, I wonder what percentage of the time it comes up with the correct song. I also am curious if those who don’t like to sing are hummers.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the Google assistant. When my son-in-law read the lyrics to my granddaughter, he’s like to sing it also. He just ask Google to play it, he learned it and sang it to Autumn.

    I remember more classical tunes than the authors and titles. This feature is great.

    Liked by 2 people

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