Free Online Services That Can Name Unknown Songs

A list of free online services that use various methods to identify songs

Man lying down listening to music
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Popular music identification apps such as Shazam and SoundHound are useful tools to keep on your mobile device so you can quickly name unknown songs as they play.

But, what if you want to do the same thing retrospectively? That is, name a song that's not even playing?

One way is to use an online service. These work in a similar way to a Music ID app in that they use an online database as a reference to try and match your query. But, the way they do it can vary drastically. Some take the normal 'audio' route by capturing your voice via a microphone. However, some take an alternative route, such as identifying a song from the lyrics​ or analyze an uploaded audio file that you've managed to record.

In this article, we've listed some great free websites (in no particular order) that can identify songs in different ways.

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Midomi Website
Melodis Corporation

Not only is Midomi useful for identifying unknown songs, but it's also a community-driven website where users can connect with each other. The service also has a digital music store with over 2 million tracks.

However, the purpose of this article is music identification, so how does Midomi work?

The service uses voice sampling. This can be useful when you need to identify a song that has already played, but it's still fresh in your mind. To use Midomi, all you need is a microphone. This can be a built-in one, or an external device attached to a computer for example.

Midomi's website is easy to use and you can either sing, hum, or even whistle (if you're good at it). For times when you can't use a music ID app to sample a song in real-time, the Midomi website can come in very useful.

Screenshot of the website.

The website allows you to upload audio files in order to try and identify songs. This is useful if you have recorded a song from the Internet or an old cassette tape for instance and don't have any metadata information.

You can upload a 15-second music sample or a complete track, but the website suggests somewhere between 15-45 seconds is optimal. also supports a good range of audio formats. At the time of writing you can upload files as: MP3, WAV, OGG Vorbis, FLAC, AMR, FLV, and MP4.

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Screenshot of the Lyrster website.

If you can't remember how a song goes, but know a few words then this may be all that's needed to get a result using Lyrster. As you've probably guessed, this service works by matching lyrics rather than analyzing actual audio.

The big advantage in using Lyrster is that it searches over 450 lyrics websites. So, in theory you are more likely to get better results using this search engine.

The website is easy to use and gives good results, even though its music news feature hasn't been updated in a long time.

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Screenshot of the WatZatSong website.

If all else fails you could always ask someone to name that tune, couldn't you? If you've tried singing, humming, whistling, uploading samples, and typing in lyrics to no avail, then WatZatSong could be you only hope.

Rather than relying on a robot it's sometimes better to ask real people on the Net, and that's exactly how WatZatSong works. The website is community based and all you have to do is post a sample for other users to listen to.

The service works very well and you'll normally get an answer quite quickly — unless it's very obscure or inaudible.