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Google Introduces ‘Hum-to-Search’ Feature to Find Songs

Thursday, October 15, Google announced its newest feature “hum-to-search” to help users find songs by singing, humming, and whistling.

The new feature allows users to narrow down their hunt on the earworms they can’t quite remember. By humming, singing, or whistling a melody; Google can identify the song, even without the artist’s name, lyrics, or the perfect pitch.

The new feature is available in the Google app on both iOS and Android, or in Google Assistant — just ask Google “What’s the song” or tap the newly added “search a song” button, and then hum your earworm. Then it will show results based on how likely a match it thinks it is, after which you’ll be able to tap results to listen to it (just like you would any other song that you looked up in Google search).

Google says that the feature works by using its machine learning models to “transform the audio into a number-based sequence representing the song’s melody,” which it can then compare to existing songs.

Also, it trains these models on “a variety of sources, including humans, singing, whistling or humming, as well as studio recordings,” stripping away things like the instruments and vocal quality to focus just on that numeric sequence. Consequently, the hum to search feature should work whether you’re tone-deaf or have perfect pitch.

The new hum to search feature is available today in English on iOS and in more than 20 languages on Android, with plans to add more in the future.