With many shows boasting high production values, everything including the soundtrack is impressive. While many people are watching their favorite show, their ears perk up, thanks to the soundtrack. Great music-identifier apps like TuneFind and Shazam do the job better than ever, but there are many ways to identify your favorite songs! If you’ve always wanted help identifying the earworms you’ve heard on TV and in movies, don’t fret, as your phone is here to help.
Most likely you have heard of IMDb. The Internet Movie Database is home to information about virtually every movie and TV show ever produced. IMDb is truly a treasure trove for pop culture junkies. It includes full cast and crew information, critic reviews, user-made listicles, ratings from around the world, mistakes and goofs, trivia, the latest news and more.
In addition to all of this, each title on IMDb has a comprehensive soundtrack section that lists all of the music that appears in that title. In addition to telling you the name of the song and who performed it, IMDb also lists the writers of the song and copyright information.
Instead of going to an app store to find an app that will identify a song that’s playing at that moment, there’s a much quicker way to learn the name of a song you heard in a show. Android users that use Google Assistant need only to say “OK Google. What is this song?” Android users who don’t use Google Assistant can type “what’s this song” into the Google app to launch the same function. Your Android device will now start listening. It will take about 15 seconds for Google to fetch results.
If you’re on an iPhone, all you need to say is “Hey Siri, what is this song?” Your device will start listening to the track being played. The results are pretty accurate, as Siri actually uses Shazam integration. If Siri is off on your iPhone, you can use our guide to learn how to turn Siri off and on.
TuneFind is a website that catalogs all of the songs that appear in television shows, movies and even video games. It provides an easy-to-use searchable database that is comprised of over 100,000 TV shows, movies and video games. TuneFind relies on its community of users to identify the songs present in media. If approved, the song appears on the page for that particular TV show, movie or video game. The rest of the TuneFind community can then vote on the song’s accuracy.
The ability to recommend songs and vote on their accuracy will require registration. Furthermore, song samples can be played directly within the TuneFind website, allowing users to easily identify the song they are looking for. In addition to listing songs that appear, TuneFind also provides links to purchase or stream each individual song.
Similar to TuneFind, WhatSong is a website that indexes the songs that appear in television shows and movies. Unfortunately, WhatSong does not include video games in their database, so if you’re a gamer, you’ll probably want to stick with TuneFind. That being said, there is an option to “Add a Game” if you are a registered user, so it’s possible that WhatSong may add videogame music to its database in the future.
WhatSong tends to skew toward more recent mainstream titles. As a result, you’re going to have a harder time finding more obscure or older titles. Like TuneFind, WhatSong does have links to purchase or stream the tracks. Furthermore, WhatSong features YouTube integration, which allows users to play the entire song from YouTube without having to leave the WhatSong website.
Shazam has been a must-have app for music lovers for a number of years. The app allows users to discover new music literally wherever they go. Whenever you hear an unknown song – whether it’s on the radio, playing in a bar, or featured on a TV show or movie – Shazam can quickly and easily identify it. In addition to accurately identifying all of the songs you come across, the Shazam app integrates a number of other useful features.
After identifying a song, Shazam will provide users with links to purchase or stream the track. It also provides artist information, lyrics and other related information, such as any upcoming concerts in your area. Furthermore, Shazam offers recommendations of other songs you may like based on your previous Shazams. Shazam is a free app that is available for virtually every device, including Android, iOS, Apple Watch, Android Wear and macOS.
If you already have the photo-centric social networking app Snapchat installed on your Android or iOS device, you don’t have to download Shazam. That’s because Shazam is integrated into Snapchat. To use Shazam to identify a song, simply open the SnapChat camera. While the song in question is playing, press and hold the screen.
When Shazam identifies the song, you will be presented with the track info. In addition, you have the ability to share your latest music discovery with your friends via a Snap. While Shazam from within SnapChat seems to take a tiny bit longer to identify songs, it’s still just as accurate.
Similar to Shazam, SoundHound is another app that “listens” to music and identifies the track information. Performance is on par with Shazam, as SoundHound is able to accurately identify song info in a matter of seconds. What sets SoundHound apart from Shazam is its ability to identify songs based on users’ singing or humming. Results can be spotty, but it is a useful feature when you have a tune stuck in your head and it’s driving you up a wall.
SoundHound has free and premium versions for both Android and iOS devices. The premium version, called SoundHound Infinity, will run you $6.99 at the time of this writing. The free version offers the same functionality; however, it is ad-supported. Unfortunately, this makes the interface cluttered and somewhat difficult to navigate.
Don’t let the admittedly outdated design of this website fool you. Soundtrack.net is one of the most comprehensive databases of music featured in film and TV. Launched way back in 1997, Soundtrack.net, users can search by movie title and browse TV shows by specific season and individual episodes. It does have a few tricks up its sleeve that set it apart from similar sites.
First off, users can find music that is explicitly in trailers and teasers. Furthermore, it also catalogs the music found on the officially released movie/TV show soundtrack. In addition, users can even search by musical artist, allowing them to see which of that artist’s songs have been used in various media. To top it all off, Soundtrack.net even has listings for TV shows and movies that haven’t been released yet. Despite its clunky appearance, Soundtrack.net is definitely worth a visit.
All of the previous entries on this list will help you identify songs you’ve heard in movies and TV shows. But what about ones you’ve heard in commercials? This is where AdTunes steps in. AdTunes is a community driven forum with the sole purpose of identifying the music heard in TV commercials, movie trailers and videogame ads. The site itself is essentially a forum, akin to a Reddit page. Users ask about a specific ad, and other users try to identify it.
The user-generated results are pretty accurate; however, there is one major downside. Unfortunately, the search function on the website is pretty basic. You can really only search for the name of the product (in the case of a commercial). The results curated will consist of every post that includes your search term. As human memories can be spotty at best, you’ll spend some time sifting through responses, and even then you may not find what you’re looking for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can any of these apps identify a song if I hum the tune?
Soundhound can ID a song that is hummed or sung, provided you can somewhat hold a tune. Results can vary significantly, so we only recommend resorting to this method if you have no other choice. The hit or miss results could be the reason other song ID services like Shazam and Siri don’t support humming.
How can I identify a song that I know the lyrics to?
If you know a snippet of lyrics from the earworm you can’t shake, simply type it into Google. The search engine will not only identify the song for you but will provide you with the full lyrics, any relevant YouTube clips (like music videos), links to platforms that stream the song and other information, such as the date of release and what album the song appears on.
What's the difference between Shazam and SoundHound?
Both music apps use unique identifiers within each song to find a match in their extensive database of music. Shazam is better suited to those who just want to ID a song. SoundHound will also identify a song but goes a bit further. The app provides more in-depth information related to each song identified. Essentially, both apps will identify songs, but SoundHound provides users with a bit more info for music buffs.
Image credit: Pexels All screenshots by Ryan Lynch
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