Google’s Voice Assistant can identify songs

Google's Voice Assistant
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The feature, earlier available only on Pixel phones, is being rolled out across all Android devices

Now, musicophiles will no longer need to download the Shazam app to help them track every piece of music they come across. Nor do you need to splurge on a Pixel 2 to get access to a built-in song identifier. Google Assistant, available by default on Android 6 and above, now has that superpower — music recognition.

This means, if you hear a song playing around you, all you have to do is say “Ok Google. What song is this?”. And the Assistant will serve you up with complete information about the song, including title, artist, lyrics, through Google Play Music, YouTube links, and any third party apps installed on your device — the works.

After summoning Google Assistant, you can ask “what song is this?” or “what song is playing?,” and the Assistant will pull up a card for you with the name of the song, the artist, lyrics, and YouTube, Google Play Music (of course), and Spotify streaming links.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have the ability to passively listen in to music around you and identify the song on the screen, but that song identification only kicks in after about a minute of listening and only works on popular songs. Though that feature remains Pixel-only, today’s update adds the ability to identify songs on-demand for everyone with access to the Google Assistant.

This feature will work similar to the popular app Shazam, which uses built-in microphone to gather a brief sample of the media playing and compares it against a central database for the match. When we tested this feature, Google Assistant was able to read the lyrics of the song playing in the background and fetch a card with lyrics and other details. But when we specifically asked Google Assistant – ‘What song is this’, it came up with a standard response of ‘I don’t have this information’. While the feature is not yet live in India, some of the international media reports claim the feature was made available with the update released today.

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