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What Song is This? Track Down that Tune with These Killer Apps and Websites

Ever listened to a great song and wanted to track down the name of it so that you can listen to it over and over again? I think we've all experienced this dilemma where we know the lyrics to a song but need to know the name to hunt it back down in the future. 

With modern technology you can always be able to find the names of a song based on melodies, lyrics, tunes, etc. A HUGE amount of websites and apps can be used to hunt down these tunes and identify the name of the song based on lyrics, but some are DEFINITELY better than others. 

In this article, I'm going to outline some of my top picks for apps and websites to identify songs based on playing them (or even singing them yourself!). Use some or all of them to find 100% of the songs that you just don't know the name to!

1. Shazam

Shazam might be the most well-known of all song-identifier apps – and there are a LOT of them out there. It even has a televised namesake gameshow in America, called “Beat Shazam”! And this app is technologically crafted to do its job and do it well.

Shazam can track down the song you’re looking for in seconds, giving you the answer to your question faster than some of the other find-that-song apps out there. As a bonus, it gives you the option to purchase the song if it really strikes your fancy.

This app is available for virtually every style of smartphone, and it can track down even the most obscure songs that are almost impossible to identify otherwise. It will save you a load of time and heartache. And while other apps identify songs just as well, Shazam is an excellent option if you’re looking for a song-finding app that’s not complicated.

Shazam is well-respected in the industry as one of the founding brands of this new frontier of technology. And even though its time on the market makes it more well-known than some of its competitors, there are plenty of other good options with unique features, too.

PROS

  • Allows you to play music videos for the song on YouTube.
  • Finds obscure songs that are otherwise challenging to track.
  • Quickly identifies music to save you time.

CONS

  • If you delete the app, you will lose the cookies and the memories you made through it.

2. SoundHound

This song-identifying app goes deeper into the rabbit hole of confusion than competing apps. While there are plenty of apps that can find the song you’re looking for quickly, SoundHound has the unique – and incredible – feature of being able to find a song that you’re humming.

So, next time you’re at a party and someone asks you, “Do you know what this song is called?” or “Who sings that song that goes…” followed by a serious of hums, you’ll have the winning answer at your fingertips!

I can’t oversell the value of this humming feature. It allows you to find a song that you don’t even have the information to Google. SoundHound also can identify popular songs. Simply play the song out loud, let it listen, and it will give you a quick response that typically is right on target.

These kinds of apps would blow the minds of previous generations, and today they’re available at the click of a button.

PROS

  • Capable of identifying songs you play.
  • Boasts one of the most robust programming features of any song-identifying app.
  • Can identify a song just by hearing you hum it.
  • Gives you updates on your preferred artists.

CONS

  • Has been known to play ads with some frequency.

3. MusixMatch

MusixMatch is another app that works on virtually any smartphone. This universal compatibility is an excellent feature, as some of the other best apps are only available for the iPhone or Android, respectively. This multi-platform service delivers lightning-fast results, thanks to its advanced algorithm. Many users speak highly of its feature that allows you to include playlists, too, and MusixMatch also allows you to play the song over and over as you wish.

The feature that sets MusixMatch apart from some of its competitors is that it also provides the lyrics after it finds your song. After all, if you’re interested enough in a song to look it up, you probably want to learn a little more about it, too. With MusixMatch, you’ll be able to jam out and belt it out for all to hear – or not.

Here’s the fun part: This app also gives you the option to remove the musician’s voice, so you can sing it as your own. This karaoke-style feature puts you in control of the aux cord, and you can impress your friends with your personal version of a favorite hit!

PROS

  • It is free.
  • Allows you to identify the song you're seeking quickly.
  • Shows lyrics so you can sing along.
  • Allows you to strip artist voices from the track so you can insert yourself into the experience, karaoke-style.

CONS

  • It can take up a lot of data on your phone.
  • Requires internet access to collect data, so it can remember your favorites and make proper playlists.

4. Google Assistant

Google has several platforms that fall under the category of song-identifying apps. Google Now is available as a built-in feature on Android and easily recognizes songs upon your request. All you have to do is say the right command, such as “Name this song,” and it will fill you in on the details. Unfortunately, that app isn’t going to do you much good if you’re on an Apple device. But the Google Assistant feature now is available on both platforms.

Google Assistant comprises an easy-to-use app for iPhone and Android that allows quickly identifies those pesky songs you can’t find. All you have to do is click the corresponding feature and let the app listen for a moment. Then, voila! You have your answer. This app comes with the advantage of having technology that is backed by Google, one of the foremost tech companies ever.

This Google voice assistant grew from Google Now, and you can use it not only to identify songs but to trigger other apps and devices, ask any question you want, plan your schedule, and even carry out some household tasks. It can search the internet for you, schedule alarms, and so much more!

Pros

  • Several Google products that can help with song identification, but it is most accessible in the Google Now iteration known as Google Assistant.
  • It is backed by high-level Google technology and programming.
  • Works quickly and understands a deep catalog of internet research topics.

Cons

  • Song identification is not Google Assistant’s sole function.
  • It doesn’t have as many unique song-finding features as some other apps.

5. TrackID

Sony has been a leader in the high-tech industry for decades, and this app is an excellent example of its latest and greatest creations. TrackID looks nice visually, and it’s easy to navigate directly to what you need. As soon as you activate the music-identification function and it identifies your desired song, this app will pull up a slew of information about both the song and the artist. Before you know it, you’ve crawled down a rabbit hole of related information and spent an entire afternoon exploring exciting, new music and musicians. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon!

TrackID allows you to save your past searches, so you never lose track of that great song you heard last week or last month. You can pick up right where you left off and share your music finds at your next gathering with friends. Unlike some other apps, this Sony version even lets you share your findings directly with your friends via social media, so you can all celebrate your discovery together in real-time.

PROS

  • It’s able to identify songs quickly.
  • You can share your newly discovered tracks on Facebook.
  • It has a simplistic design.

CONS

Although Sony says the app will work offline, it currently is unable to do so.

6. MusicID

MusicID is one of the fastest-working music-discovery apps on the market today. In just a few seconds, you’ll get your answer about the song your seeking. In fact, the app boasts that it will find your song within five seconds. Like some others on this list, it has a deep selection of songs in its database, including some rather obscure options.

When you ask MusicID about a song, it also shows you some cool information about the artist and the song so you can explore further, and it’s an excellent way to expand your musical palate. It gives you a prime opportunity to find the song of your lifetime by following your interests as far as you want to go. The main draw to MusicID is its ability to find your song so quick, which can come in handy when you hear only a single line of a song or got a fleeting glimpse of it on video. Skip the digging searches on YouTube and Google and get your answer with a single click.

PROS

  • Works in fewer than five seconds.
  • Allows you to search by voice.
  • Allows you to pull up music videos, too, giving you an excellent visual representation of your new tune.

CONS

  • The app is not ad-free, and, as you know, those ads can get annoying.

7. Genius

Genius is perhaps the most advanced app on my list. Among other perks, it displays the lyrics to your song of choice, so you can really nail it the next time you want to belt it out. You simply point your phone at the song that’s playing, and you quickly get an answer. Many regard this app as one of the most accurate services on the market today.

Many users say they prefer the Genius app over some of the knockoff brands because they know that so many people trust it. The app was created using a highly advanced rubric so it can find virtually any song for you. Whether the song is from a movie, commercial, or even if it’s playing on the radio for a second, there’s a good chance this app can find it for you. Genius is even built into certain devices so it can be used across the board. It is available across all of the leading smartphone platforms and never plays ads or ties up a lot of your data.

PROS

  • Displays lyrics so you can sing along.
  • Made with advanced programming and algorithms.
  • Can find virtually any song you play for it.
  • Quick reaction time.
  • Compatible with many popular streaming services, including SoundCloud and Pandora.
  • It is built into many programs, so it is well-respected.

CONS

  • Cannot play music.
  • Does not play music videos.
  • Is not suggested for young children.

8. Midomi

Every app can’t be right every single time, but some users say Midomi misses the mark more often than others. Still, it shouldn’t set you back too much in the long run. This app works a little differently than other services, as it has you record your desired song, then it delivers your results from that recording. If the app doesn’t find your song, you’re almost guaranteed to find it in the suggestions it sends back to you. These suggestions can also be fun because they introduce you to new music entirely by chance. If you like the sound of one genre, it could lead you to a new artist you will enjoy.

Midomi also can identify songs you only know by humming. If you don’t know the words, some apps make it impossible to find the song you’re looking for. But with this app, all you have to do is hum a bit of the melody. Midomi even lets you listen to how other users hummed the same song! You can watch other people who probably feel as foolish as you do humming to your phone! But I know you’ll do just about anything to find that latest tune that rocked your world.

This app also allows you to pull up accompanying music videos for the song by searching YouTube, and it even gives you the option to purchase the song from iTunes. It is available across multiple platforms, so you can pull it up on whatever device you’re using at the time. It is an excellent music-finding song with some fun perks, and at my favorite price – free!

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • Completely free to use.
  • Contains an advanced algorithm that can find even the most obscure songs.
  • Allows you to search YouTube for accompanying videos.
  • Allows you to purchase the song on iTunes.

Cons

  • App is known to miss a song or two from time to time.
  • Some users report that it can crash your iPhone if your software isn’t up-to-date.

Which App is Best at Identifying Songs?

Based on my tests... Shazam, Genius and MusixMatch are the best overall song identifying apps/websites to use. I would say that if you download all 3 you'll never have a song go unidentified. 

So I would definitely recommend that you get the first 3 apps on this list. This should make it to where you're always able to identify those lyrics stuck in your head! 

If I had to choose just one app, it would be Shazam - Overall it's the best in the market at what it does and I rarely have issues with it.

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