Google wants its new version of Sound Search to name that tune in under 10 seconds

The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are both equipped with the Now Playing feature, which provides an always on music recognition service to owners of these phones. In building the system, which requires a small "fingerprint" of a tune to allow the technology to find the name of a song, Google used "deep neural networks." Now Playing is designed to work on-device, even without an internet connection.

When launched in 2017 along with the second-generation of Pixel handsets, Now Playing was far superior to Google's then server-side music discovery feature Sound Search. So Google decided to use some of the same technology it employs for Now Playing to power a new and improved Sound Search. So if you want to find out the name of a song that is playing near you, and you don't own the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, just activate the Google Search app or Google Assistant and you'll see a suggestion that reads "What’s this song?" Press the button to find out. Or, you can just say, "Hey Google, what's this song?" You can also put a shortcut on your phone by going to the widgets page and moving the Google Sound widget to a open location on your home screen (see the GIF at the bottom of this article).

The technology in Now Playing is designed to create a small, unique fingerprint from a small portion of a song and match it to an on-device database of tens of thousands of songs. The database is updated often to remove older tunes and add new releases. Google does this because the on-device nature of Now Playing requires it to have a small database. On the other hand, the server-side Sound Search looks for matches in a much larger database that contains around 1,000 times more tunes than Now Playing. Sound Search also uses a neural network that is four times the size of the one used for Now Playing, and it fingerprints the audio being named in .5 second intervals as compared to the one second intervals used with the system found on the Pixel 2 models.

Google says that it thinks Sound Search has room for improvement, and can be made to respond even faster. That's something for Android toting music fans to look forward to.

source: Google

Related phones

Pixel 2
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2700 mAh
Pixel 2 XL
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2880 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3520 mAh



1. MarvzIsFallen

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

Competing apple’s shazam

2. cmdacos

Posts: 4099; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Currently better because it doesn't need a separate app.

3. worldpeace

Posts: 3127; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

And it work offline too (still limited to Pixels IIRC)

4. iushnt

Posts: 3086; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

You don’t need to install shazam, Siri can do the work for you.

9. cmdacos

Posts: 4099; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

People use Siri? Why?

5. bucknassty

Posts: 1325; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

still suspicious to me... i know there was an article written about how the mics arent on listening to conversations, but it's hard for me to believe when someone talks about their hobby of creating signs off pintrest and then somehow i end up getting ads about creative material from pintrest...

7. lyndon420

Posts: 6734; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

If your phone hears you say "Hey Siri" or "Hey Google".... ....the mics on all our phones are listening 24/7

8. actorno1

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 23, 2018

same. me and a friend were talking about French language that he was learning, after sometime i opened Youtube and the first ad is got was French...

10. bucknassty

Posts: 1325; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

i would understand that... but its not like we were saying... "hey google the sign vinyl material i used for the 4 foot board was 20 bucks..." so on and so forth... i just dont trust the report

6. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

My wife has a text notification sound that is from the movie Trolls where all their watches chime in tune to a song, and whenever I'm near here and she gets a text message, my phone shows that the song from that movie is playing, and the sound sample from her text message is much shorter than 5 seconds, it's amusing and impressive that it can identify the song with only a few short notes.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.