Apps that make our lives easier – we live for them. Song identifiers & music recognition sites are among them, making it easier for everyone to identify music we hear, love, and want to know more about. Remember the days when we could only find and track down a song if we heard the musician and/or song title on the radio? I can hear you moan “what is the name of this song?”. Perhaps we’d have to sing the lyrics to our best friend or family member to see if they could identify the song?

Let’s spare ourselves the embarrassment and delve into the wonderful world of technology, where mobile devices, smartphones, TVs, PCs, and apps make our lives profoundly simpler and spare us the headache of attempting to find and discover the music, artists, and bands we’re desperately looking for. We now have the capability to reverse song search and find out what song is playing either on the radio or TV using music recognition applications and websites.

Lucky for us, we’ve got plenty of options to choose from – including apps that recognize songs from our humming and whistling. Here you’ll find out what branded audio recognition apps’ capabilities are, what add-ons and perks some of the top apps that identify songs have over others, and which ones are free.

About Music & Audio Apps that Identify Music

Song recognition applications can not only identify music, but TV shows and movies too. They recognize the sound waves floating about you and search their large database of audio files which only takes a few moments to complete. Once found, the app notifies you of the song, TV show, or movie, as well as the composer/artist/director.

How Do I Use an App to Identify Music?

Easy! Download the app (you can choose from the list below based on what you’re looking for and what price you can afford), open it up, and hit the “listen” or “record” or “identify” button as you’re listening to the song or audio you wish to identify. Some apps allow you to hum/whistle the tune, or sing the lyrics to it. Websites that identify music will ask for you to either play the song into your mic, type in a few lyrics, or use a virtual keyboard to key in notes from the song you remember.

Where Do I Get a Song Identifier App?

Every smartphone comes with an application store, whether it’s Blackberry, Android, iPhone, Google Play, etc. The best way to grab a song recognition app is to buy it from your phone’s preferred app store on the mobile phone itself which will often offer you several options to choose from. You can also download the app to your computer by visiting the brand’s app store on the web (websites listed by brand below).

The Top 10 Song Identifier Apps

1. Shazam

– Identifying the first five songs in a month’s time is all the free use you’ll get from Shazam, but it’s ranked one of the best audio identifiers available. If you’re a huge music fan, you’ll enjoy the added features the app has such as showing you the identified artist’s biography and discography and connecting you to Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, and Spotify if you want to share the song or create a new radio station. It also tags songs and keeps them saved for you. After your free five songs have been identified, a monthly subscription costs $4.99. Shazam is ready for download on all Blackberry, Android, Nokia, and Windows Mobile phones. They’ve even got apps for the Apple Watch and Android Wear.

Shazam can also identify TV series if you’re curious about a show and can’t wait for commercial. While this feature isn’t as attuned as its music identifier, it’s a great novelty.

Download Shazam Here.

2. SoundHound (Free)

– An unique feature this music recognition app has is you can hum or sing the lyrics to a song and it still has the capability of identifying the song. To identify music, you don’t need the music itself – just a great memory. Of course, you’ll have to be quite accurate in your lyrics or tune. It’s completely free, but doesn’t harness the power of Shazam, meaning its audio database isn’t as fully developed. Like Shazam, it can tag songs and store them for you so you can look them up later. It’s also available for Blackberry.

Download SoundHound Here.

3. Spotsearch

– This awesome lyric finder app is closely linked to Spotify, the alternative radio many of us use instead of Pandora to discover new tunes associated with our favorite genres. All you need are a few words or a line of lyrics from the song you’re after and this app will identify it quickly and easily. Once the song is identified, it will link you to the song on Spotify and/or YouTube so you can watch the music video that goes along with the tune. Many popular songs recognized by Spotsearch will require you to have Spotsearch Premium to listen to it directly, which is why it will often send you to YouTube instead if you have the free version of the app.

Download Spotsearch Here.

4. MusiXmatch (Free)

– Available for mobile, tablets, and desktop, Musixmatch is a great app to discover songs using a lyrics search. Lyrics are some of the most searched for items on Google, and this app takes this info to a whole new level. The app is compatible with a majority of third party players, allowing you to both read the lyrics and listen to the song you’ve searched for at the same time. MusiXmatch is perferct for the song-getters that love learning lyrics. They also provide you with the top lyrics searched for; the most popular ones sought after.

Download MusiXmatch Here. They’ll even e-mail you their download link.

5. Hound (Beta – Free)

– A voice-enabled search engine, Hound dishes out information to you Siri-style acting as your personal assistant. Not only can you identify music with Hound, you can ask it whatever is on your mind – just like Siri or Cortana. It combines word recognition with language understanding, so you can get specific about what you’re looking for. When used as a song identifier, the app will load not only what song is playing, but the name of the artist, bios, tour dates, top songs, Facebook updates, tweets, as well as similar artists. Unfortunately, the app is not yet available for iOS and is still on its Beta program.

Download Hound Beta Here.

6. NightTag (Free)

– Known as the “Social Music App”, this awesome application allows you to share what you’re listening to and where you’re at with your friends on Facebook. You can share not only the song that’s playing and your location, but your photo and what friends you’re with at the moment. All the info will pop up in your Facebook Ticker updates so you can show off the amazing time you’re having. Other features include giving you nightclub listings and live radio streams based on your preferences.

Download NightTag Here.

7. FolkTuneFinder (Free)

– Know a few lyrics or a few notes of a popular folk tune you’d like to learn more about? FolkTuneFinder software makes it easier for you find folk tunes, and even has a keyboard on its website for you to enter at least eight notes. From those eight notes, it will search its music database giving you highly accurate results and allowing you to bookmark the tune for later (don’t worry, it doesn’t matter what key the song is in, it’s search engine will find it). One great thing about this software is that you can browse popular tunes, other’s favorites, or click on ‘random’ to hear a random folk tune.

Use FolkTuneFinder Here.

8. Midomi (Free)

– This music search application is unique in that you can either have it listen to the song you want to identify or you can sing it, hum it, or whistle it and it provides you with very accurate results. Midomi will connect you directly with a music community that shares your same musical interests too, so you can learn and chat with others to discover new music in the same genres you enjoy. Their site lists top tracks & artists, keeping you up to date with the latest trends in searches.

Use Midomi Here.

9. Musipedia (Free)

– Also known as the Open Music Encyclopedia, Musipedia helps you search for songs via the song’s melody. This music app was inspired by Wikipedia, but isn’t affiliated with it. They’re currently building a music data base that is searchable, editable, and expandable so that the collection they carry consistently evolves. You can identify songs through Musipedia by whistling, using a Flash-based piano, a JavaScript-based piano, or by dragging your mouse to carry out the tune on their website. These features are all available on their website.

Use Musipedia Here.

10. Tunatic (Free)

– This music recognition software is downloadable for free on PCs and Macs, but you’ll still need internet connection to access their musical database. With this software, you’ll need to allow the song you’re searching for play into a mic for the program to hear it. When the song is identified, it also loads some interesting artist details to help you become more knowledgeable about your favorite songs and artists.

Use Tunatic Here.

11. WatZatSong (Free)

– When all else fails, this creative little app helps you find the song information you’re looking for by connecting you to others that can help. All you have to do is load an mp3 to the site, be it a loosely recorded sample, a well recorded sample, or even a sample of yourself singing the tune! Once it’s uploaded, you place it in the music category/genre you believe it fits in and it posts to the site where others can freely listen to it and post messages telling you what song they think it is. You can ask any question you want about the song, and other music patrons will help you out in any way they can. WatZatSong will even cross post your question or request on social media like Facebook and Twitter so your friends can help you out too.

Use WatZatSong Here.

12. MetroLyrics (Free)

– Claiming to be one of the most popular lyrics websites worldwide, MetroLyrics is a great place online to find the song your after via lyrics, as well as videos and artists you’re curious about. They also provide a Top 100 most searched for list, cluing you into the songs others have also been curious about! There’s also a “Top 500 of All Time” list and the site gives you the option to submit lyrics and songs to the site so you can be a personal contributor. If you’re truly into a specific artist, MetroLyrics provides full albums of lyrics within their database you can access.

Use MetroLyrics Here.

13. MusicID2 (Free)

– This music recognition app is available for iOS and Android, but has yet to fully flourish as a great and notable song identifier. While it will successfully identify many popular songs, does take a bit longer than the other listed apps, though it has a lovely screen layout if you’re curious enough to download it. When a song is searched for, it will also provide lyrics and bios of the artists. Currently, MusicID is re-vamping itself, now popular as MusicID2.

Download MusicID2 Here.

Best of the Best

In conclusion, Shazam is the best song identifier available on mobile devices, providing you with the most accurate, quickest search results as well as the most information about the song, album, and artist. It tags the songs you’ve searched for, making it easy for you to go back and look up what you’ve already been curious about finding. SoundHound comes in second, recognizing songs just as quick as Shazam, and allowing you to hum or sing the tune into your phone’s mic to be identified.

As far as web and online software for PCs and Macs, the best song identifier is Midomi with its incredible speed and ability to share your searched songs to social media.

Now you’ve got the info you need to make a choice in which app or site to use to identify music! Find any song you want, any time, and get the latest scoop on artists, albums, bios, and lyrics. You’ll never have to worry about finding your favorite songs again!