Google Hum to Search Review: You’ll find 20 songs in 20 languages


The “20 languages” experiment


The English songs made the experiment more versatile because I know the lyrics of some of the songs tested, which freed up my creativity! I thought I should not only hum or whistle, but also try to hit the box, play an instrument, etc .:

  • Blinding lights (The Weeknd) – This was too easy. I didn’t have to sing. Google got the main melody.
  • Eliselle (Saint Motel) – not as popular as the first. I thought to sing a little. Success.
  • Humble (Kendrick Lamar) – I’m very involved with the keyboard that creates the rhythm of the song, so I tried to emulate it … with my voice. I did my best, but Google couldn’t figure it out. Some of the “raps” helped.
  • I’m spying (Mikhael Paskalev) – I tried to play the harmonica part of one of my favorite songs by Mikhael Paskalev – “Spying”… on the harmonica. It wasn’t a huge surprise that Google didn’t get it. However, it was more surprising when I played a recording of an artist who played the harmonica and Google couldn’t get it again. I gave it one last try. I played (my own) recorded harmonica part, sang the lyrics on it and … bingo! Takkand Blagodarya, Google! (Mikhael is half Norwegian, half Bulgarian).

  • Drop like it’s hot (Snoop Dogg) – I couldn’t miss this iconic Pharrell beat. Beat, because I tried beatboxing so that all the popping sounds in my mouth and everything goes into it … Nothing.
  • East side by Benny Blanco, Halsey & Khalid – I chose this because it has a very simple, popular and recognizable string instrument. Yes, I played ukulele – no singing, humming or anything else. Sure enough, it was a cake for Google! I have to mention that I don’t know the chords, and I’m pretty bad at playing ukulele, but the software shone nonetheless. Impressive because I didn’t help it by making any other sound (or maybe it helped ?!)

  • For the latter, I was curious to see if Google could recognize the song and then link it to the song podcast it comes (theme song). The song was We become friends by The White Stripes, a song from Conan O’Brien’s Needs a Friend. The song was identified (singing), but Google didn’t come up with a podcast. Maybe I asked too many, but this might be a great addition to future versions of Hum To Search.


So … At first I tried to outsource the work to a friend from China. He said he was embarrassed to send me a recording of his hum – later it turned out that he was still willing to do it, but at this point it was too late. I tried to mute it, but it didn’t work. I had to sneak in a few mandarin words in, and voila! I was able to find “Tian Mi Mi by Teresa Teng. Thank you,Google!


This was very easy. I already knew which song I was trying to try because it had been stuck in my head for a while. I had accidentally found a snippet (remix) of it while fishing for sound design samples, probably about six months ago. The original song is “Jeena Jeena” by Asif Aslam. Google passed the Flying Colors test. Jee shukriya, Google!


Today, Spanish is almost as popular as English in terms of music. I went “La Bicicleta” by Carlos Vives. Google invented the original and Shakira version. Mui bien! “Tu Me Dejaste De Querer” the singer of the Spanish C. Tangana was also not a problem. Gracias, Google!


I knew exactly what to do: make a saxophone and then bass sounds from Stromae’s “Alors on dance”, but this didn’t take me anywhere. I had to hum and roar, so I kept going “Tous les mêmes” and the boom! 70% match. Merci, Google!


Under different circumstances I would have been challenged here, but I only knew the song I wanted to find because I heard it many times, but I never knew its name!

So this was real – I was really curious to know the song. I started buzzing and roaring with words “Boshret Kheir” by Hussain Al Jassmi. The song is very popular in parts of Europe, thanks to Arabic-speaking immigrant communities. I finally knew its name! Shukran, Google!


At this point in the experiment, I openly questioned my choice of life. The most challenging part was finding a popular Bengali song. I’m not saying they don’t exist. It’s just that I don’t listen to a lot of Bengali music (I do now).

The selected song was “Tomake Chai” Kabir Suman (beautiful voice!). I tried to rattle, but it didn’t work. I had to learn to hook … Still – no luck. I played the actual song, and Google found it right away. So either I don’t do a good job with Bengali, or the language is not among the Hum to Search languages. Apart dhonnyobaad, Google!


I was tempted to do Gorky Park’s “Bang,” but then I realized it was in English (duh!). So the song was Varvara’s “Katyusha” – very popular. More than 50% match with another attempt (hum). Spasiba (Spasibo), Google!


I actually have a pretty basic knowledge of Portugal, and I’ll probably get along in Portugal in a few days. So it gives me a small advantage. First I went to Salvador Sobral “Amar Pelos Dois”. 50% match on the first attempt. Jobimin “Aguas De Marco” (whistling) was too challenging for Google, although I chose a separate part of the song where the melody is very recognizable.

I moved in with Tego Calderon “Pa ‘Que Retozen”, because the lead synthesizer is highly identifiable. No luck with whistling or rattling. I even tried to help it with beatboxing (with the melody on!), And it still came nada.

I knew I had to go among the popular Don Omar – “Danza Kuduro”. Once again, no success when trying to hum or roar on the opening platform. Finally the singing helped and I got 40% of the match! Obridago, Google!


I was very scared before I went here. It turns out that Indonesian (humina) is better than Portuguese. Success for the first time! I felt like I had won Eurovision. Song: “Putus Atau Terus” by Tami Aulia. Terima kasih, Google!


At this point, I would be sorry for my neighbor if he wasn’t in pain…

Urdu is spoken in Pakistan. The song I selected was “Pakistan Gayi ” by Aima Baig. I really didn’t know where or how to start here. When I stopped laughing about myself (and dancing because the video was quite encouraging), I managed to learn to hum the catchy chorus. It took 3-4 attempts and I couldn’t believe it worked, but it worked. Shukriya, Google!


I’m throwing a crooked ball at Google here. I’m in Germany at the time of writing this, and I’m going to a song that was very popular in the country of sausages and beer about 6-7 years ago. I think this song was never officially released. It’s only 1:30 minutes long. Still, it’s in Spotify.

I had to be tough, but it paid off! I found Kazim Akbogan “Is Mir Egal” with another rumble. He was a German comedian and lyricist of Turkish origin. The song became a virus back in 2014 because of its funny words and video. The more you know! And… Danke, Google!


I made it a goal: me to sing in Japanese (no humming). If we look past the fact that it took five minutes to find the words to the song, it went much better than expected. Let me tell you … If I know a mommy’s song in Japanese, anyone can. What I didn’t expect is success the first time! The song was a modern pop song called “Kirari” by Fuji Kaze. Arigato, Google!


It was time to do it for the new continent! Swahili is one of the official languages ​​in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan). Here’s a moment to say “Asante – “thank you” (in Swahili) also to Wikipedia!

I’m back to rattle because let’s be honest: If you’re a tourist in one of the countries on the list, how likely are you to learn the language, let alone start singing a catchy song you heard in the cockpit on your way from the airport…

The song was “Pain pain” by Jose Chameleone. The hum didn’t take me anywhere. I was challenged. Google was too. It was guessed by Daft Punk, Nicki Minaji and even the Florida Georgia Line. I tried to whistle and even sing (if you could call it that) – nothing. Samahani! (Sorry!)


I sang in Tamil, even though my performance was closer to bitterness. Shocking! The first time is charm. The study showed it “Kutty Pattas” Ashwin’s song was the number one song in “India’s Most Authentic Weekly Music Countdown” – Radio Mirchi. Nanri, Google!


You have received the vaccine (or a negative COVID test); you are away from Turkey for a week. It’s a night out – you hear “Marlon Brando” – the song Zaynep Bastik, and you can not stop the hum of the melody. What are you doing? Launch Google!

I chose this song from Spotify’s Top 50 because it’s very melodic and easy to “oh-na-na-na”. After all, it took about five attempts to rattle and mutter. I had to give up the choir and go back to the first verse, but it paid off. Teşekkürler, Google!


I was at risk of spending the BTS army “Lilac” IU. I thought it was melodic and perfect for humming or whistling. I was wrong. I changed “Celebrity” the same artist, and after several attempts, I managed to get it right by making a bad impression of his voice in the falsetto. Gamsa, Google!


I tested the real hum (all the way). The song was “Playa” by Soobin Hoang Son & SlimV. That’s fine Uptown Funktype opening harmony, which is why Google probably took it to Bruno Mars ’song, and it’s essentially what it has ever become. Despite the fact that, Cảm ơn, Google! (yes, “thank you” in Vietnamese sounds like “come on,” which is ironically a more appropriate term after Google’s failure!)


This was very easy for me and correspondingly very easy for Google as well. If I’ve had to prepare and learn the melodies of some of the songs so far, I knew this song well. I “sang” the Mahmood Rapide Choir, and Google got it right away (30% match). Grazie, Google!


Last time there is also a charm – 69% (hint, wink) match on the first try! Song: “Just be kind” by Tilly Birds & MILLI. This must have been easy because the song is very recognizable. Khaawp Khun, Google!

Bonus (NO!)

Cork Buchek (Корки Бучек) – “Bing-Bang” (From “Borat: American Cultural Awareness for the Beneficial People of Kazakhstan”). Unfortunately not a great success. Still… Rahmet, Google!


It’s important to note that sometimes you just need to channel your internal pop star and make your voice melodic (even if it doesn’t sound ideal). A melody is key, especially when you don’t know the words, but in some cases it’s the other way around, and if you don’t know a single word, you won’t get to your final destination.

Hum to Search isn’t the only one, but it’s probably the best “hum-compatible” option for Shazam because it does what Shazam does, but so much more! SoundHound is a pioneer in this great feature, but it is more readily available to Google and is likely to be more powerful thanks to Google’s massive data sources.

Still, it is far from perfect. As suggested throughout the review, we would like to see it improve with rhythm, rhythm, and separate instruments. Linking a song to a podcast or program would also be a great bonus! We also want to see the algorithm improve with melodies alone without the help of actual singing / lyrics.

After all, I have to give it to Google – this is great software, and it shows how powerful yet intuitive the technology needs people get. I challenge Shazam and Apple join the competition!

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