Google has shown a feature at its own digital event Search On to recognize a song when a user hums.
Google Search by Humming, October 2020
The Box of Yes Yes Vegetables? No, Google, it was this song
If users on Android shout that command, Google can use the hum to find a match without the user needing to know any part of the text, title, or performing artist, the search giant said . On iOS, the function currently only works in English.
The function works by making a ‘fingerprint’ of the melody without regard to instruments and intonation of the singing voice. According to the company, this leaves only the melody. Google converts that into a numeric string that it puts into a database containing the strings of ‘thousands of songs from all over the world’.
When a user enters the command, Google converts that input into the same numeric string, after which the search result shows three options of songs with which the input shows the most matches.
During a short test, the system did not perform flawlessly. With some of the humming input, the system came up with three totally wrong matches, including classics like Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life by Monty Python and Hey Jude by The Beatles. With Hallo Vriendjes van Bassie and Adriaan, Google simply gave up. Other songs also went without any problems: Google recognized for example Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley without any problem.