With the help of a computer or cellphone, you can usually find a song title, be it via the lyrics, melody, or even a characteristic beat.
Below are five very different ways to find out the name of that song. These can be used on any OS, and most popular smart phones.
Find a Song By Its Lyrics On Google
If you managed to catch the lyrics, finding the song title is an easy chore. Just head over to Google (or your preferred search engine), and enter part of the text, suffixed with ‘lyrics’. If you’re not entirely sure of a sentence, try it without quotation marks. As you can see in the screenshot below, although I’ve mixed up two of the sentences, it’s still able to find the song!
If you’re confident of a lyric, or part of it, encapsule it in quotation marks ( “ ). Google will then look for that exact word combination.
This is where you head over to YouTube and check if you’ve got the right song. If you scroll down the page, you should also be able to spot any covers of the song by different performers.
Sing Or Hum The Tune On Midomi
Can’t remember the lyrics? Or, even worse, does your song not have any? Time to move on to the next step. Midomi is an online tool that allows you to sing or hum a song in your microphone. If you’re quick enough, you might even be able to capture a radio fragment with your computer.
Based on your vocal performance, Midomi will try to guess the title of your song and show all the possible performers.
Although the technology works most of the time, there might still be a few songs that Midomi doesn’t recognize. Don’t worry, you’ve got a few options left.
For more information and a complete walkthrough, Ryan did a ffull-fledged review of Midomi last year.
Search For Written Music, Rhythms & Contours with Musipedia
Musipedia is an Open Music Encyclopedia; in short, the Wikipedia of music. It offers a bunch of advanced tools that’ll help you find a song. Save the microphone input, these tools require a bit of musical knowledge to work.
Keyboard search allows you to ‘play’ part of your song on a virtual piano, shown in the screenshot above. My timing was a bit off, but Musipedia still managed to recognize the 9th symphony of Beethoven, albeit not among the first results. Other tools allow you to define the partiture’s contours, draw out notes, click to the beat, or find a specific rythm. Musipedia also allows you to use your microphone, similar to Midomi.
Use Your Mobile Phone To Recognize Songs With Shazam
The free version of Shazam is available on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Nokia Ovi.
Shazam allows you to instantly tag a song, by keeping your phone’s microphone close to the speaker and catching song fragments. On the other hand, song recognition is incredibly accurate, recognizing the most obscure foreign songs, and determining the correct artist, even among countless covers. Shazam doesn’t recognize songs you’ve sung or hummed yourself, though.
Once recognized, you’ll see an overview of song, artist, album, and a number of extra tag options, like the artist’s MySpace, Amazon MP3 and an instant YouTube search. Shazam also manages to keep track of all the songs you’ve tagged in the past, so you just have to look back at the application once you’re in the music store.
Do you know any other tips that might come in handy for recognizing a song? What do you usually do? Let us know in the comments below!