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When you come across a song you don’t know, you can usually use Shazam or SoundHound to find its name. But if the song is stuck in your head, these music identifying apps can’t work. That’s when you need something different.
You have multiple options, all of which we’ll tackle here. There are sites that let you hum the tune or tap the beat on the keyboard, and the site will try to guess based on that. Or you can go to certain forums to ask others. Here are your best options.
Wat Zat Song (Web): Sing a Sample for People to Identify
The easiest way to express that tune stuck in your head is to sing it out loud. Wat Zat Song is a web app made to let you post a quick recording, which others can then comment on.
You’ll need to sign up to get started. Click the “Post a Sample” button, and wait for it to prompt you to record your voice. Lean in to your microphone and belt out the best rendition you can of the tune you want to know. Turn it into a post and wait for the community to weigh in.
While you wait, you can help others who are similarly stuck. Click “Listen” on any post to hear the audio, and then answer it if you can. You can also “follow” any post so that you’ll get a notification when there are any updates on it.
Name That Song (Reddit): Reddit’s Song Identification Community
Of course, there is an entire subreddit dedicated to naming songs that you can’t identify. In fact, there are two, but we’ll get to the other one later. For now, head over to r/NameThatSong to figure out that tune.
As with most Reddit communities, there are some rules on how to format your posts, so read those first. Plus, adhere to the age-old rules of what not to do on Reddit. You can usually make a text post, but don’t be afraid to upload a quick video of yourself singing that tune.
While Name That Song is all about music, you can also try your luck at r/TipOfMyTongue. This one isn’t limited to music alone, and also helps you find books without authors, or movies without actors, or just about anything else. It’s a much larger community that Name That Song, so you might have better luck there.
Identification of Music Group (Facebook): The Best in the Business
Big love for the identification of music group, Shazam is out of business ? pic.twitter.com/Kd3kerOGu5
— EFK (@erin_fk) April 29, 2018
The Identification of Music Group (IoMG) is about three years old now and is one of the best Facebook groups you can follow. It has over 95,000 members and gets about 50,000 posts every month. The entire group has one purpose: to help you figure out what that tune is.
Like with the Reddit group, you can ask the question in various ways. You could write it as a question and give context, or use a homemade recording of yourself singing, humming, or recreating the tune in any way.
The group has a few rules that you should familiarize yourself with first. They want you to do a few basic steps before you post, like trying to find the tune on Shazam, search old posts, and generally be respectful and helpful. Do that and the whole group will rally around you to help you identify that tune.
Find Music By Lyrics (Web): When You Only Know a Few Words
With some songs, you have a few words in your head, but not all the lyrics. And if the words are too common, you need to prime Google search with operators. Find Music By Lyrics (FMBL) makes the process easy.
You can type an artist’s name, a song, or a few words of the lyrics to get a match in seconds. FMBL has a bunch of Google operators already clubbed in, making it easier to use than Google itself.
For example, try searching for the phrase “look who’s crawling lyrics” in Google. You’ll get a bunch of links to Linkin Park’s song, Crawling. But do the same search in FMBL and you’ll get results for that phrase from different songs, like Still Tippin’ by Mike Jones, Boris The Spider by The Who, and Wedding Dress by Melee.
Musipedia (Web): Tap a Beat or Play a Virtual Piano
If you need to know the answer immediately, you can’t wait for a reply on these forums. Musipedia uses AI and some innovative methods to search for your song. Here are the various ways:
- You can tap the beat of the song on your computer’s keyboard, and hope to identify it based on that.
- You can sing into your microphone.
- You can use a virtual piano to play notes on it. You can also use your mouse to “compose” a tune on the piano, which is easier than playing it.
- The “music contour search” is the most complicated, and you should only use that if you’ve exhausted all the other options.
Musipedia isn’t new, and we’ve talked about it before, but it still remains the best app for this kind of internet magic.
The Best Music Identification App?
These apps are only going to be useful when you can’t play that song again and it’s only stuck in your head. But when the song is playing, you should use something like Shazam.
Image Credit: SIphotography/Depositphotos