How to Find The Name of the Song Playing in the Background

We all have been in a situation where music is playing in the background, and you really want to know what song it is or who sang it. Now there are many ways which you can use to identify the music playing in the background like remembering the lyrics and later searching on google, or asking a friend that if he or she has heard about the song which sounds like “hmmm ola ya aame” xD.

Jokes aside, here we will show you how you can identify the song which is playing on the background or your surroundings. To recognize a song playing in the background, we can use something called “song identification/recognition services“.

These services pick up the song, or you humming the song in the background and give you the song name and other details like the album, singer etc. based of that.

We will show the complete process for phones (Android/iOS) and also for computers (Windows/Mac). Stick till the end of the post to get some recommendations and tips.

Jump to:


Find a song which is playing in the background on your phones. (Android/iOS)

1. Shazam

Shazam is one of the popular apps for searching for songs playing in the background. Using it is very easy and simple. Just install the app from play store or app store in case of an iOS device and you are done. Now, whenever you need to get the name of a song, launch Shazam, hit the button and the app will give you the info about the song playing in the background.

Shazam also comes with other ‘features’ like Shazam code scanner and some recommendations for new music. If you just want the music recognition feature and you are on Android, you can try the Shazam lite. It is a barebone version of Shazam with only the song recognition feature.


2. SoundHound

Soundhound works exactly as Shazam does; it records audio, processes the audio and present you with the result. After finding the song, soundhound can also play them directly from youtube and also provides you with the lyrics.

It is a little ‘heavy’ in terms of size but does its job quite well. Just like Shazam, You also get some recommendations and search history and stuff on Soundhound. As for availability, you can get their app on iOS and Android.¬† It is a good Shazam alternative if you don’t like Shazam or its interface.

3. BeatFind

Simple and easy to use, BeatFind is an Android app which can detect the music playing in your surroundings. Simple install the app, open it, click the search icon and voila! After a few seconds listening to the song, it will give you the song and album name. Beatfind also provides you with a little audio clipping which you can play to verify the song.

This app uses ACRCloud to provide you with the results for your song recordings so you can also use it as an ACRCloud alternative for the phone. Unlike ACRCloud website, there is no search limit on this app, and it is available for free.

Now coming to PCs, To be able to identify a song, your computer needs to record background audio, therefore, needs to be equipped with a microphone. You can buy an external mic if you want, but if you own a Laptop PC or MacBook, then the chances are that it already comes equipped with one.

Once you have verified that your system has a mic, you can continue the tutorial.

There are two main ways by which you can identify the song in the background on PC. First is to use online services like ARCCloud or Midomi and the second is to install some apps which can do the same.

If you only want to use the song identifiers once or twice and feel the need that you are not going to need them again, then using the web song identification services is recommended as they are easy to use and require no download or setup at all.

There are a dozen of websites on the internet which are offering services like this, but we have sorted out the popular, simple, and ‘functional‘ ones out of them and have listed them here.


Identify a song in the background on PCs. (Windows/Mac)


1. ACRCloud

Hands down one of the best music recognition  site out there right now. We tested it on different songs of different languages and origins, and it provided correct info for 8 of the 10 songs that we played in the BG.

No need to create an account or anything like that, visit the website, click on the record button and within ~15 seconds, they will present you with the information of the song which is playing in the background. The interface is simple to use, and the UI is responsive. Their service is free to use and they allow up to 10 Searches/day for a single user.

We also tested this website on a mobile phone (Android on Chrome browser) and worked like a charm. It will be a perfect solution for you if you can’t or don’t want to install an app on your device.


2. Midomi

Midomi is another popular website to find a song by singing or by the audio playing in the background. While they say that you should ‘hummn’ or sing the song yourself, Midomi does a really nice job of picking the songs playing in your background or surroundings.

The website is available in a couple of different languages works well on both PCs and mobile devices. While the site is not optimised for mobile phones, it did work fine when we tested it. They also have an app (SoundHound) that you can install on your iOS or Android device to do get your answer to “what song is this?” on the go.


3. Wat Zat Song

WatZatSong is unlike any app or site which we have featured.  You can record a song or can also record your voice singing the song. After you upload the song, it will get listed on the website (WatZatSong) for people to listen.

Once one of the users recognizes the song, they will give you the title and album info about the song. And if you are up for a challenge, you can also try answering the ‘what is this song’ questions is. As the site is community-driven, you are helping the community while getting to know to about new, never heard songs.


4. Lyrster

Lyrister is one of the largest lyrics websites on the planet. You can enter lyrics of a song in their search bar and the site will present you with all the matching results. They fetch lyrics from over 450 websites and sync them with their service to give you more accurate results than other sites out there.

Overall, their service works really well and comes handy when you are trying to find the name of the song and only remember a small portion of it.

The only downside of lyrster is that when you enter lyrics in languages other than English, lyrster sometimes doesn’t give the proper result for the song that you want to find. Other than that it works pretty well as long as you remember the correct lyrics for even a part of a song.


These were the websites. They not only work for PCs, but some sites like acrcloud are also optimized for smartphones and tablets.

As for the apps, If you are using a PC and have windows 10 installed, then you can easily install Shazam or SoundHound from the Windows store. You can do the same for mac and because of the recent acquisition of Shazam by Apple INC, we will soon get to see more ‘integrated sound identification features’ in the Apple ecosystem.


Speaking of integrated, Google Assistant and Siri already come with a song recognition feature. To use this feature, activate your virtual assistant and ask something like” what song is this” or “tell me the song name” or something similar.

Your phone will now pick up the song that playing or singing and provide you will appropriate results. One thing to note is that Siri or google assistant may not work as well the dedicated apps or websites.

Our recommendation?

If you ask us, we would highly recommend the ACRCloud website if you are on a PC or Mac. For Android device, Shazam lite is a perfect choice. It is lightweight, has no ‘extra‘ features, no ads or anything like that and to top it off, is available for free on the play store. For iOS, the regular version of Shazam will do the trick.


Related: Best Music Players for Android


This concludes our post on Music recognition/identification on PCs and Mobile. We hope that you found what you were looking for. Music recognition is not quite there yet, do some services will work for you while some apps or sites will just simply fail to recognize the song. If you are really into this ‘hobby‘, we would highly recommend that you test all of the websites and apps that we have listed to find the best-suited service for you.

If you have any question or queries regarding this topic, feel free to comment down below to let us and everyone know.


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