8 Apps to Instantly Identify Music Playing Near You

default image

Do you ever hear a catchy song playing in a store or restaurant and desperately try to Shazam it before it ends? We‘ve all been there. Lucky for us, there are now tons of music recognition apps that can identify songs in just seconds.

In this post, we‘ll cover the top 8 song identifier apps available for iOS and Android. Whether you want to discover song names, artists, lyrics, or add tunes to playlists, these apps have you covered.

What is Music Recognition Technology?

Before diving into the apps, let‘s briefly go over how music recognition technology works.

These apps use audio fingerprinting to identify songs. When you record a song sample, the app creates a unique audio fingerprint based on qualities like frequency, tempo, rhythm, etc. It compares this fingerprint to a huge database of song fingerprints to find a match.

So in just seconds, you can satisfy your curiosity and find any song‘s name and artist – like magic!

Music recognition technology first emerged in the early 2000s. In 2002, an app called MusicHound was one of the first to demonstrate this concept.

But it wasn‘t until Shazam launched in 2008 that music recognition really took off. Shazam achieved massive popularity, identifying over 1 billion songs in its first year. Ever since, music recognition has become a standard feature in many apps.

Now let‘s check out the top options available today.

1. Shazam

Shazam is by far the most popular music recognition app, with over 1 billion downloads to date. It identifies songs with incredible accuracy in just seconds.

Shazam app identifying song

Once Shazam detects a song, you can view the title, artist, lyrics, albums it‘s on, and streaming links. You can easily save songs to Spotify playlists or share them with friends.

Shazam also has handy features like:

  • Identifying songs playing from your phone‘s speakers
  • Recognizing music from short video clips
  • Pop-up song recognition from anywhere on your device
  • Discovering trending and recommended songs

Originally launched as an independent app, Shazam was acquired by Apple in 2018 for $400 million. Now it‘s pre-installed on iOS by default and integrated with Siri.

But Shazam is still available as a standalone Android app too. Both versions are free to use with ads.


  • iOS
  • Android

2. SoundHound

SoundHound is another highly capable music recognition app with over 100 million downloads. It can identify music, movies, TV shows, and more.

One unique feature is that SoundHound can recognize songs even when there‘s background noise like talking or loud environments. This makes it handy for noisy places like bars, restaurants, and parties.

When SoundHound identifies a track, you can view lyrics, add songs to Spotify or Apple Music, watch music videos on YouTube, and more.

Some other useful capabilities include:

  • Singing or humming to find a song
  • Getting instant song translations in over 50 languages
  • Creating playlists and sharing music
  • Music discovery and top song charts

SoundHound has free versions for iOS and Android with ads. You can pay to remove ads and unlock additional features like offline recognition.


  • iOS
  • Android

3. Song Finder

Song Finder is a newer iOS-exclusive app released in 2022. But it has already earned top ratings for its seamless music recognition.

Song Finder app

It instantly identifies songs and lets you view details like lyrics, album art, release dates, genres, popularity stats, and more. You can also translate lyrics into over 50 languages.

Song Finder makes it easy to save music to your Apple Music or Spotify library. And you can access a worldwide music chart to discover top trending hits.

Some other handy features include:

  • Offline recognition when no internet
  • Identifying music from short audio clips
  • Sharing songs, albums, and lyrics
  • Following favorite artists

Song Finder delivers accurate and fast song recognition in a slick interface. And it‘s free to download on the App Store.


  • iOS

4. Music Identifier

As the name implies, Music Identifier provides quick and simple song recognition. It‘s another iOS-only app that integrates directly with your Apple Music collection.

Music Identifier app

When Music Identifier recognizes a song, you can instantly save it to your Apple Music library or playlist. It also fetches useful song details like:

  • Album title and album art
  • Release year
  • Record label
  • Song length
  • Genre

One handy and unique feature is the ability to import a video from your camera roll and identify any music playing in the video.

While Music Identifier doesn‘t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Shazam, it nails the core music recognition functionality. And it presents song information in a clean and simple interface.


  • iOS

5. Musixmatch

While Musixmatch is better known for its lyrics search engine, it also has excellent music recognition capabilities.

In addition to identifying songs in seconds, Musixmatch provides full lyrics, translations, music videos, and more. You can follow artists, get notifications about new song releases, and share lyrics to social media.

Musixmatch gives you multiple options for saving, playing, and sharing detected songs. You can create playlists on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and more.

The app is free on iOS and Android, but the premium version unlocks extra features like:

  • Ad-free experience
  • Offline lyrics
  • Party mode with synced lyrics
  • Lyrics for locally stored music

Overall, Musixmatch combines smooth music recognition with a ton of ways to view lyrics and interact with your favorite songs.


  • iOS
  • Android

6. Song Finder & Identifier

For Android users, Song Finder & Identifier is a top-rated music recognition app. As soon as it detects a song, you‘ll see the title, artist name, album details, release year, and more.

Song Finder & Identifier app

Your song search history is saved so you can re-find tunes easily. And Song Finder makes it simple to build playlists on Spotify, YouTube Music, Deezer, and other streaming platforms.

Handy features include:

  • Fast and accurate song recognition
  • Automatic lyric fetch
  • Music video results
  • Stream songs directly within the app
  • Share songs on social media and messaging apps

Song Finder & Identifier delivers solid music ID functionality completely free. It‘s a top choice for Android.


  • Android

7. Song Finder – Song Identifier

Here‘s another Android song recognition app with an almost identical name as the previous one, but still worth mentioning.

Song Finder – Song Identifier app

Song Finder – Song Identifier not only identifies music, but can fetch the music videos as well. When you Shazam a song, it brings up info like:

  • Genre
  • Release year
  • Record label
  • Official music video
  • Other popular songs and albums by the artist

It also allows syncing your discovered songs to cloud storage services like Google Drive. And you can easily share songs through messaging apps and social media.

The clean interface makes this a great choice for Android users wanting fast music recognition along with access to music videos and cloud syncing.


  • Android

8. WhoSampled

Last but not least, WhoSampled leverages an extensive music database to identify songs swiftly and accurately.

In addition to standard music recognition features, WhoSampled specializes in detecting song samples, covers, and remixes. It can scan your Spotify library or personal song collection to uncover hidden samples and mixes.

The app provides detailed info on song origins and connections between music. You can dive into the sampling history of rap songs, discover which genres a track borrows from, learn about influential artists behind the samples, and more.

WhoSampled is a unique music discovery app praised by Rolling Stone, NPR, and Entertainment Weekly. It‘s available on both iOS and Android.


  • iOS
  • Android

Which is the Best Music Identifier App?

Based on popularity and accuracy, Shazam is likely the top contender for best song recognition app overall. It offers super quick detection along with handy features like identifying songs from videos, finding lyrics, and integrating with your streaming library.

But apps like SoundHound and Musixmatch are excellent alternatives, especially if you want additional capabilities like lyric search, offline recognition, and language translations.

And iOS-only apps like Song Finder provide beautifully designed interfaces tailored for Apple users. While Android options like Song Identifier cater specifically to that user base.

At the end of the day, all of these music scanner apps will get the job done. The best music identifier app for you depends on your operating system and any special features you want.

Discover Songs Anywhere with Music Recognition Apps

Life is full of random, catchy tunes all around us. With music recognition apps, you‘ll never have to let a mystery song go unsolved again.

Just tap a button and these intelligent apps will instantly figure out any song‘s name and artist in seconds. Whether it‘s discovering new music at a cafe or identifying tunes from YouTube videos, song identifier apps have you covered.

Next time you desperately wonder "what song is this?!" as it fades out, you‘ll be relieved to have one of these music scanner apps on hand. Give them a download and enjoy unlocking tunes anywhere life takes you. Happy music discovering!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.