Google Unveils ‘Hum to Search’ Feature

The new “Hum to Search” feature from Google has finally completed the rainbow of search engine capabilities. Music fans can finally search for songs without knowing the lyrics. Following in the footsteps of apps like SoundHound and Shazam, Hum to Search identifies songs based on the vocalizations of the user. That means any humming, singing, or even whistling.

How It Works

To find a song, go into the Google app and tap the microphone icon. Users will have two search options. Either say “what’s this song,” or click the icon that reads “Search a Song.” Those using the Google Assistant can simply say, “Hey Google, what’s this song.” Google advises users to sing, hum, or whistle for approximately 10-15 seconds.

Much like all of Google’s endeavors, algorithms remain the key to functionality. Google refers to the searched aspect of an individual song as a “fingerprint.” In musical terms, the most closely associated term would be the melody. The sequences searched focus in on the melody, over the use of instruments or any vocal distortions. This allows for a more pure filtering search process.

The method of identification draws from a windfall of songs from a centralized Google database. Matches will reveal information about the track itself, the artist, and even music videos. Google has lauded its Hum to Search feature as being available in more than 20 languages on Android. Of course, the feature is also available on iOs, but reportedly only in English. Google hopes to add more languages in the future.

Who Can Use It

Users do not have to match a song’s original tone or pitch. Meaning, those who lack natural singing ability can still utilize the feature. Hum to Search marks a new high in the capabilities of searching online, as now, even lyrics themselves are no longer necessary as a foundation to search with.