Google Can Understand Hums, So Users Can 'Hum To Search' For Songs

Google - what is this song?

A song may sound like “da daaaa da da daaaa na naa naa ooohh yeah”, and may start with “da na na naa”.

People can be good at remembering tunes, but unfortunately, many are not that good in remembering lyrics or artist names. This can be frustrating sometimes, and Google knows that. This is why the company announced an AI for that.

With that Google calls the "Hum to Search", users can literally make Google to listen to their hum, whistle or melody, so the search engine can solve their earworm.

On mobile devices, users can open the Google app or the Google Search widget, tap on the microphone icon, say “what's this song?” or click the 'Search a song' button, to then start humming for 10-15 seconds.

Users can also do this on Google Assistant, by saying “Hey Google, what’s this song?” and then start humming the tune.

Initially made available in English language for iOS users, and in more than 20 languages on Android, this feature uses machine learning technology to help "identify potential song matches."

Hum to search

Explaining how it works, Google on its blog post, said that:

"An easy way to explain it is that a song’s melody is like its fingerprint: They each have their own unique identity. We've built machine learning models that can match your hum, whistle or singing to the right 'fingerprint.'"

"When you hum a melody into Search, our machine learning models transform the audio into a number-based sequence representing the song’s melody. Our models are trained to identify songs based on a variety of sources, including humans singing, whistling or humming, as well as studio recordings. The algorithms also take away all the other details, like accompanying instruments and the voice's timbre and tone. What we’re left with is the song’s number-based sequence, or the fingerprint."

"We compare these sequences to thousands of songs from around the world and identify potential matches in real time."

Best of all, users don't need to have perfect pitch to use this feature.

Just hum. Without at least being totally tone-deaf, would be just fine.

Hum to search

This feature has been built on Google's previous work at its AI Research team’s music recognition technology.

The project began back in 2017, when Google launched Now Playing on its Pixel 2 phones. This feature uses AI to being low-power music recognition. Then in 2018, Google brought the same technology to the SoundSearch feature in the Google app and expanded the reach to a catalog of millions of songs.

And this humming capability, took things a step further.

"Because now we can recognize songs without the lyrics or original song. All we need is a hum," Google said.

The feature comes as part of a slew of updates introduced to the Search On 2020 collection.

Previously before this, Google created an AI capable of turning people's hums into sounds of musical instruments.