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Google is adding a new 'hum to search' feature to its search tools from today that will allow you to outline the basic tune of a song in the hope that the search engine will be able to identify what it is.
Truly, this could be the end of the days of having a ridiculously catchy tune stuck in your head and no idea what it is.
If that's true, this could be the biggest scientific leap forward since the flushing indoor toilet.
The new feature should be available to use today on the Google app for both iOS and Android, or - if you're that sort of person - through simply asking the Google Assistant.
To use it, you've just got to ask Google 'what's the song?' or tap a new button that reads 'search a song' and then hum the basic tune.
As long as you're not completely incapable of holding a tune together, there's a chance that the service will be able to figure it out from that.
Google will then present you with a number of results that it deems the most likely answer to the hummed question, at which point it becomes basically like every other search you've ever done and you'll be able to click the answers to see if that's the tune.
Quite how the software company has managed to pip Shazam to this particular innovation is remarkable. You'd have to imagine that Shazam would have boffins working around the clock to corner the market on this sort of technology.
Anyway, it's probably the fact that Google is a gigantic company with a whole heap of cash sitting around for exactly this kind of eccentric innovation.
So, how does this all work then?
The short answer is, it's very complicated.
The long answer is, it uses machine learning to 'transform the audio into a number-based sequence representing the song's melody' that it then compares to existing songs, in roughly the same time as it takes for us to blink an eye... give or take.
The models the company uses are trained on 'a variety of sources, including humans singing, whistling or humming, as well as studio recordings', and strip away things such as instruments and vocal quality to focus on the numeric sequence that it has determined.
So, it should work even if you're not the most attuned to pitch.
The new feature is available today in English on iOS, and in more than 20 languages on Android. It'll be adding more and more as it goes along.
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