Identify songs used in YouTube videos

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 30, 2012
Music and Video, Youtube

YouTube is a great place for music discovery. I sometimes type in an artist that I know to look at the related searches and suggestions that YouTube displays in the search results. Then I just click on a couple videos to see if I can find music that I like. Sometimes, I stumble upon a great song on YouTube that I can't identify immediately.

If the title and description do not reveal information about the song, then it becomes a tad harder to identify it. It is not impossible though and there are multiple options to do so.

How to identify songs on YouTube

Here are a couple of options that you can use to identify music you stumble upon on YouTube. Not all may work all the time, but if you try them all one by one, you likely end up with the information you need.

1. Read the comments

I know, YouTube comments are evil and often completely useless. Sometimes though they may help in the song identification, especially if another user asked for the name of the song and the uploader or another YouTube user replied to that.

2. Ask for the song's name in the comments or private message

If the comment section is no help, you may post a comment yourself if you have a YouTube account asking for the song name and artist. You can alternatively send a private message to the uploader to get the information this way.

3.  YouTube Data

Youtube song name artist

Look at the section right below the view count of the video. If song and artist have been identified by YouTube during upload, you may find the artist and song name listed here.

4. Search for lyrics you understand

This may work or not depending on how well you understand the song lyrics, provided that there are any. It is usually best to search for a refrain or catchy phrase that is repeated throughout the video instead of single lines.

I suggest you start by enclosing the search term with "term" before you use the broader search variant without them.

5. Search for the video url

identify music google

twitter identify music

You can copy and paste the video url into a search engine like YouTube or on sites like Twitter to see if links containing additional information have been posted on a site or social network.

6. Use a music identification application

Shazam, Midomi or SoundHound are just three services that you can use to identify a song. If you are using Shazam for instance, you only need to start the application on your mobile, play the YouTube song you want to identify, to see if it is recognized by the application.

If you do not have a compatible smartphone, you can use Midomi instead where you can sing or hum the song and hope for the best.


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