How to Identify Songs on an iPhone


Figuring out what that catchy song is called needn't be a chore -- your iPhone is capable of analyzing music through its microphone and identifying it for you. If your iPhone is running iOS 8 or newer, you can use Siri to identify music, thanks to its integration with the Shazam service; otherwise, you will need to install a separate app.

Using Siri

  • Press and hold the "Home" button on your iPhone to activate Siri and then ask it to identify the song that's currently playing. Because Siri is programmed to understand natural speech, you can say things like "name that tune" or "what's that song?" to get an answer. Siri will listen to the song through the iPhone's microphone for a few seconds in attempt to recognize it; for best results, aim the microphone directly at the source of the music. Once Siri identifies the song, your iPhone will display the title of the song, along with a link to purchase it on the iTunes store if it's available. You do not need to have the standalone Shazam app installed to identify a song using Siri; if you do have it, though, you can tap the Shazam logo under the song title to open the result of the search in the app and see a history of all songs you've identified in the past.

Using Standalone Apps

  • If your iPhone is running a version of iOS older than 8, you need to install a standalone app for music identification, such as Shazam or SoundHound. Both of these apps offer basic free versions as well as paid upgrades with more features; in addition to identifying music that's playing around you, SoundHound also allows you to sing or hum into your iPhone's microphone. To identify a song, simply open the app and follow the on-screen instructions.

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