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New Google App Feature Lets You Hum a Song to Search for It

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Google has added a new feature to its Search app that allows you to hum a song that’s stuck in your head, and then use the company’s machine learning algorithm to try and identify it.

In the Google app or using the Google Search widget, tap the mic icon and say “what’s this song?” or click the “Search a song” button. Then start humming the tune for 10-15 seconds. When you’re done, the Google app returns results showing the most likely options based on the tune.

Then you can select the best match and explore information on the song and artist, view any accompanying music videos or listen to the song on your favorite music app, find the lyrics, read analysis and check out other recordings of the song when available. 

You can also whistle or sing the tune, and the app will use its machine learning models to “transform the audio into a number-based sequence representing the song’s melody,” which it then compares to existing songs.

Google says it trains the models on sources including humans singing, whistling or humming, as well as audio recordings, ignoring things like instruments and vocal quality to zone in on the numeric sequence. You don’t need to use perfect pitch for it to work, and the results were impressively accurate in our tests, so if you have a frustrating brain worm that you just can’t identify, this is the easiest way to put you out of your misery.

The feature is currently only available in English on iOS, but Google says it hopes to expand it to more languages in the future.

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