YouTube Music’s new feature for Android users allows them to identify songs simply by humming, singing, or playing the melody.

Currently available in version 7.02 of the app, this new tool aims to streamline search efficiency by helping users find songs stuck in their heads, even if they don’t know the lyrics or title.

Find that pesky melody stuck in your head

YouTube Music’s new search feature is accessible via the search button in the upper right corner of the app. Then, sitting next to the microphone icon, you will find the new waveform icon that you need to tap before humming or singing a few bars of the song you’re looking for.

The app listens through the device’s microphone and attempts to match the input to a song in its vast database. After it finds a match, the app displays the results on a fullscreen page with the name of the song, artist, album, release year, and cover art.

This feature builds on Google’s existing AI technology, which has been part of the Google Assistant’s “hum to search” function since 2020. The underlying technology matches the hummed or sung input to the original recording, offering a swift song search and identification process.

The Verge reports that the feature is particularly effective, often identifying songs with impressive speed and accuracy and making for an adequate Shazam replacement. Therefore, this improvement could make YouTube Music a preferred choice for users looking for a comprehensive music discovery tool.

Although new to YouTube Music, the feature isn’t all that groundbreaking in the broader tech landscape. Google Search introduced a similar capability in 2020, and other platforms like Deezer have offered “hum to search” tools since 2022. However, integrating this functionality into YouTube Music does, of course, enhance the app’s utility and convenience for its users.

The rollout of this feature is part of a server-side update, meaning you need to have the latest version of the app installed but do not need to perform any additional downloads or updates. Currently, the feature is available only to select Android users and, although it is expected to arrive soon, there is no specific timeline for when it will be available on iOS.

YouTube Music’s new tool highlights the increasing role of artificial intelligence in enhancing user experiences on digital platforms. By making it easier to find music through simple vocal inputs, YouTube Music is tapping into a natural, intuitive way for people to connect with their favourite tunes.

The feature is being gradually rolled out for now and only a subset of YouTube Music’s global user base numbering over 100 million has immediate access.