How does Midomi Soundhound work

Shazam, SoundHound and Co: This is how you recognize songs in seconds

I like to start articles in such a way that I tell a funny story from my youth. In this case, “youth” usually means: sometime in the 80s. While my classmates were doing so unimportant stuff like “meeting real friends” or playing soccer, I tended to hang out in my parents' living room and listen to the radio (because initially, outrageously, I didn't have my own system).

The important thing is that I am there at sitting in my parents' living room and not about With my parents, because at the beginning of the 80s it should become clear that our musical tastes differed significantly. Thanks to RTL, which I was able to receive more badly than right on medium wave, I got to know bands like Depeche Mode, Yazoo, The Human League, Tears for Fears, Soft Cell and countless others who played a decisive role in shaping my musical path and their music Has grown dear to my heart to this day.

The charts were played up and down and “chart music” had a completely different connotation back then - perhaps it has to be explained today - because it was not commercial-bred dance stuff that determined the hit parades, but the comrades listed above. Even today I imagine that I noticed quite a lot back then, when it came to new bands, new songs and also new styles of music, so that today I can still recognize and sing along with almost every 80s sampler every song after two seconds.

Sometimes it got bad when they didn't say the title of the song on the radio - or I had simply missed it because I was not in the room at the wrong time or when a few seconds of noise prevented the name from being recognized. Then you had this catchy tune, in some cases maybe even a few seconds on tape - but you didn't really know what to do next. Going into a record store armed with a Walkman and that cassette would definitely have been too embarrassing for me. Asking parents was - at least in such a case - not very effective and humming a melody to classmates was in very few cases crowned with success (see above - the scoundrels preferred to play football and cultivate social contacts instead of learning charts by heart).

This is the point at which I dare to transition from childhood and youth memories to the present day: If I had been able to play a song to a piece of software back then, it would most likely have the right one from an immensely large database Song recognizes: I would probably have been about as excited as - well, as excited as I was a few years ago when I first heard about Shazam and tested the app.

If I hear a song that I like today - on the radio, in advertising, or in the disco, which is actually only called “Club” today - then Shazam usually helps me out and I'll say: In four of In five cases, the app also throws out the actual title of the song, along with a few more options that let me listen to the song on Spotify, for example, or buy it somewhere on the net.

In addition, there are a few more options to find an unknown title in no time at all. I want to introduce you to a few ways that also lead to the goal in this search. Some apps work exactly like Shazam does, but there are a few completely different approaches. As always with such listings, let me know if you know of any other options.


Shazam is not only the app with which I personally recognize my music, but also generally the best-known representative of its craft and the classic among song recognition apps. A tap of the finger is all it takes and a song that is currently playing is usually recognized quite confidently - even if someone talks about it or there are other disturbing sounds in the area.

I probably don't have to tell you much more about Shazam, after all we have about the app, which is now available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, but also for Android Wear, the Apple Watch and for the Mac, reported often enough. Since the early days, the range of functions has increased significantly, so that you can also recognize TV shows, get lyrics displayed and much more. Logically, you can not only briefly listen to the song from the search result, but also listen to it in its entirety on Deezer, Rdio, Google Play Music or Spotify or buy the song, if necessary also watch the video.

Unfortunately, one tries again and again at features that do not help me at all. I don't need country charts to find out which songs about Shazam were most popular in other nations, and I don't need notifications that artist XY has been featured on Shazam. At least for my taste, less would really be more. Nevertheless, I use Shazam regularly and still celebrate the possibility of being able to recognize songs offline. In that case you won't get a result immediately, but as soon as you are back online, Shazam will immediately send you the recognized song!

Developer: Shazam Entertainment Ltd
Price: code required


The SoundHound is a very similar number to Shazam: start the app, press the button - in this case an orange instead of a blue one - and a few seconds later you will also get the desired song on the SoundHound fairly reliably. In comparison, I couldn't say which of the two apps works better with - I think they're pretty much on par. In addition to versions for Android and iOS, there is also a Windows Phone app and one for BlackBerry.

Here, too, you have supporting services such as Spotify and Rdio, through which you can listen to the song, there are videos and information about the artist and the lyrics are also displayed in a live or karaoke mode. You can also take a look at maps here - but I find it as useful with SoundHound as with Shazam;)

Personally, I think that the app looks a bit more attractive than Shazam, and you can also come up with a feature that Shazam does not have to offer: You can also sing or hum melodies! Of course, that doesn't work as reliably as listening to an original song, but my “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode, which I whispered into my smartphone, was recognized as well as “With or without you” by U2. More about this feature later when we talk about midomi - the tool that SoundHound housed to convert the hum of songs into search results and originally the name of this app before it was renamed SoundHound. SoundHound is also available in a free as well as a premium version.


midomi could be your weapon if you are sitting at your computer and are not currently able to use one of the above apps on your smartphone. Easy surf and then search in the browser. If you are listening to music, one click is enough (you have to allow the built-in microphone of your notebook to be used) and you will be shown the respective song a short time later.

If you ask me, the site looks real, like it's been through many years, but as long as the results are correct, it will probably be manageable. As already mentioned above with SoundHound, there is another way to get to the desired track: By simply singing or humming a song into the previously approved microphone! Whether this is due to my singing skills or whether the database is simply much more manageable, I can not say with one hundred percent certainty, but you will rarely get the correct song displayed. My chosen Depeche titles like the “Somebody” shown below and the obligatory “With or without you” from U2 also worked very well in this web version. (As a special service of the author you are spared the sound files with his buzzing and singing ^^)

As you can see in the screenshot above, you can also search for songs in the classic way by entering text. So if you have picked up a text fragment, you enter it in the search bar and midomi throws you tons of results. But that's the problem - if you don't know the artist or the exact song title, it will be difficult to find the one you want. In this case you are probably much better off with Google or Bing if you want to determine a title based on text excerpts.

Incidentally, the tool continues TuneBot on a very similar strategy to midomi: recognize ugly pages and songs by humming, singing or whistling But since I've tried a lot of songs and TuneBot reliably informed me every time that you can't recognize the song, I recommend you to use midomi from the outset - that's an offended singer's soul.


Singing along or humming along is already overwhelming and you just don't have the song yourself? Then there is another way to get the desired result - via the beat! At SongTapper the beat tapped on the keyboard should be enough to recognize a song - the video shows you how to do it:

Sounds great in practice and I've also found articles on the net by people who have it worked for - but I myself drummed a wolf on the space key of my notebook and said “Thank you, please wait a moment while we search ”didn't get out. Maybe I'm just drumming badly, but maybe it's also due to the fact that the site already has a decade under its belt. Let me know in the comments if you've been more successful.


musipedia wants to offer exactly the same as the SongTapper and my first attempt right away - the now really easy to recognize Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple was in fact recognized quickly. There was then a link to buy the song on Amazon, YouTube results, and more. All other attempts, however, also failed here - I always got several results displayed, but the songs I hammered into the keyboard were not included. Here, too, it may have been due to the author's manageable musical skills.


As already mentioned above: If you know any other services on how to get to unknown songs, please let me know in the comments so that I can add to this manageable list. Incidentally, I deliberately left out the lyrics pages. You can find out song titles very reliably on the web via pages like these or via lines of text that you can remember, but for the most part I don't go to a page with lyrics, but to Google - and you probably need instructions for Google rather not, right? ;)