We Tried out Google’s New ‘Hum To Search’ Feature for Songs and Here is What We Found


Google has added the ‘Hum to Search’ feature to its app. The new and exciting feature allows people to search for the title of a song by humming, whistling or singing parts of the song. The feature can be found on Google Assistant as well as the main Google app on both Android and iOS.

According to the tech giant, the feature uses machine learning models to strip the tune you hum into a number-based sequence that represents the song’s melody. The ML models then compare the number-based sequence to those of other songs around the world and identify the ones that match most.

Suggested Read: Google Assistant Now Allows You Operate Regular Apps With Shortcuts You Can Customize

The models can identify songs whether you sing them, whistle, hum or get studio recordings of them. Whatever source you give to the Google Assistant or to the app, the ML models take away all other details including accompanying instruments, voice timbre and tone and obtains just the number-based sequence of the melody. This is then compared to the sequence of other songs and a list of potential matches is generated.

I tried out this feature to test the accuracy of its results. Since I can access it from Google’s app as well as the Assistant, I tried both. The experience is similar on both platforms so this post will only focus on how to search with Google Assistant.

I launched my Assistant by saying ‘Hey Google’ and followed up with ‘What’s the song?’

Whether you say ‘What song’ or ‘What’s this song?’ or ‘What’s the song?’, as long as your sentence is not too far from ‘What’s this song’, the Assistant will get your gist and open up a page that prompts you to start singing.

I hummed a tune from Mary had a little lamb and after some seconds, a list of results was displayed and voila, my ‘Mary had a little lamb’ was identified with a 40% match.

Next, I hummed another tune from Hillsong Young and Free’s All of my best friends and the ML models were able to identify it as well. It was the second option on the list.

I hummed BTS’s Boy with Luv for the Search feature and it was able to identify the song for me as well. Lastly, I hummed a line from Nigerian singer, Tope Alabi’s Logan ti o de (this means The instant he arrives) and got a search result that matched her song with my hum.

The ‘hum to search’ feature is a handy one, and when next you have a song that is stuck in your head but you just can’t remember who sang it or what the title is, you can ask your Google Assistant ‘What’s this song?’

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