Google’s Expands Sound Search Technology to Android Smartphones

When you hear a new song you like playing the radio, there are a few ways to identify the name of it and who sings it. For example, you can wait to see if the radio station’s host reveals this information during a commercial break, or you can try searching for an excerpt of the lyrics online. Perhaps the easiest way to identify a song, however, is to use Google’s Sound Search technology.

Originally launched on the Google Search app and Google Assistant, Sound Search is a feature that searches for the name of a song using a sample of its music. Users can speak the command, “What song is this?” at which point Sound Search will analyze the song and attempt to identify it. The feature is reportedly able to identify tens of millions of songs.

Some Android smartphones, including the Google-branded Pixel 2, have a different song recognition feature: Now Playing. Integrated directly into the Android settings, it works in a similar way by analyzing song samples to identify their name. Now Playing isn’t as accurate as Google’s newer and better optimized Sound Search technology, however. But rather than retiring Now Playing altogether, Google has updated the feature so that it’s powered by Sound Search technology.

According to CNET, Google’s Now Playing feature now identifies songs using the company’s Sound Search technology. This means that Pixel 2 users, as well as other Android device users, can take advantage of Google’s cutting-edge song recognition technology using Now Playing. In the past, Now Playing was largely useless as it suffered from a low accuracy rate. With Google integrating Sound Search technology into Now Playing, though, this is no longer the case.

When discussing Sound Search on its blog, Google explained that the feature creates a digital fingerprint for each unique song. When someone uses this feature to search for a song, Sound Search cross references the sample with Google’s massive database of digital fingerprints. If there’s a match, Sound Search reveals the name of the song.


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