YouTube Tests Hum-to-Search Feature for Android: Identify Songs with a Hum

YouTube is conducting trials for a novel feature on its Android app that enables users to identify songs by humming, as reported by TechCrunch. This advancement outpaces Apple’s Shazam app in music recognition capabilities.

In a bid to enhance music discovery, YouTube has initiated testing of a song search feature on its Android app. According to information provided by Google’s support page, users can identify songs on YouTube by humming, singing, or recording a snippet of the song.

Participants in the trial can transition from standard voice search to the song search feature. By humming, singing, or recording a segment of the song lasting three seconds or more, users can prompt the platform to identify the melody. Once identified, YouTube offers users links to related content, including official music videos, user-generated videos, or Shorts.

“This experiment is rolling out to a small percentage of people across the globe who watch YouTube on Android devices,” YouTube stated.

This development comes three years after Google, YouTube’s parent company, introduced a similar functionality to its Google app, Google Search widget, and Google Assistant. However, this previous version required humming for 10 to 15 seconds to successfully identify songs.

In contrast, popular apps like Apple’s Shazam and Siri are unable to recognize sung or hummed tunes, relying on users recording portions of the song.

When Google launched the hum-to-search feature in 2020, it utilized machine-learning models capable of matching users’ hums, whistles, or singing with the correct “fingerprint” of the song’s melody. Google’s models were trained on a variety of sources, including human vocals, studio recordings, and more.

Notably, Google recently introduced an AI tool called MusicLM, capable of generating high-fidelity music from text prompts and humming. This tool can create songs based on user-provided prompts and hummed tunes.

YouTube has been actively testing various new features for its platform in recent months. This includes experimenting with AI-generated video summaries for easier content consumption and the ability for users to create podcasts from existing playlists within Studio.

Alphabet, YouTube’s parent company, reported a 4.4% YoY increase in revenue from YouTube ads to $7.665 billion in Q2 2023. This partnership with Universal Music Group is aimed at developing AI music tools, signaling YouTube’s ongoing commitment to innovation in the music realm.

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