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YouTube Music’s hum-to-search feature puts Shazam on notice

YouTube Music has launched a feature that can identify any tune you hum, whistle, or sing at the app, using machine learning technology, making it a great alternative to Shazam.

youtube music logo with blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

Tired of having a song stuck in your head and not being able to figure out what it is? YouTube Music’s got you covered.

According to The Verge, the Android app just rolled out a feature that can identify any tune you hum, whistle, or sing at the app. It’s like Shazam, but without needing to download a separate

To use the feature, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the search button in the top right corner of the YouTube Music app.
  2. Hit the new waveform icon next to the microphone.
  3. Start humming, whistling, or playing a few bars of the song.
  4. Let the app work its magic.
Smartphone interface showing music app search bar.
Image: The Verge

When I tested it out, I was impressed by how fast it could ID actual recordings. It’s definitely a solid replacement for Shazam.

But how’s its ear for a tune when all you can manage is a few warbled notes? I found it got most songs right, even when my singing was a little…creative.

This feature has actually been in the works for a while, and it uses some of the same machine learning tech as Google Search to figure out what song is stuck in your head.

And unlike Shazam, you don’t need to know any of the actual lyrics – just the tune is enough.

I’m curious to see how it stacks up against other music recognition apps like Soundhound. But for now, it’s a killer feature that makes YouTube Music a way more appealing option.

No more racking your brain or annoying your friends with “omg what’s that one song…” posts. Just hum a few bars, and let YouTube Music do the rest.

YouTube Music’s hum-to-search feature is now available on the Android app. Although an IOS version has been seen around for testing, news of a general release is still unclear.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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