Google is adding a new “hum to search” feature to its search tools today that will allow you to mumble (or whistle, or sing) the annoying music that is stuck in your head and then use machine learning techniques to try to identify it.
The new feature is available today on the Google app for iOS and Android, or on the Google Assistant – just ask Google “What’s the song” or touch the newly added “search for a song” button and then hum. Google will then show the results based on the likelihood of a match it thinks it is, after which you can tap the results to hear them (as you would any other song you search for on Google search).
Google says the feature works by using its machine learning models to “turn the audio into a number-based sequence that represents the melody of the song”, which it can then compare to existing songs. The company says it trains these models in “a variety of sources, including humans singing, whistling or humming, as well as studio recordings”, removing things like instruments and vocal quality to focus only on that numerical sequence. Consequently, the buzz feature to search should work regardless of whether you have a sound or a perfect tone.
The new hum 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. Thus, it becomes much easier to resolve that concern about not being able to remember the name of a song.