Have you ever heard a song and just couldn’t figure out the name of it? While Shazam is an option there’s still an OK Google command that does something similar. You don’t need to download anything extra, all you have to know is the right command, and you can even use the feature hands free.
What Does the Command Do and How Does it Work?
If you’ve never used this command before, asking your phone “OK Google, what song is this?” puts your phone in a recording mode. Hold your phone up to or near the source of the song while you see this image:
Once your phone is done listening it gives you a result, and if it can, a Google Music link to purchase it. Most of the time it works without a hitch, even if you need to let it listen to the song more than once, but here’s what do when it doesn’t.
OK Google Command Input Differences
More often than not when an OK Google command isn’t working it’s because of the input method. There are two different ways to start an OK Google command. You can tap the OK Google button, or just tell your phone “OK Google” and wait for the confirmation to give the rest of the command.
So for example, if you want to figure out what this song playing next to you is, just either say “OK Google, “ pause and then ask “What’s this song?” or tap the OK Google microphone icon and then ask “What’s this song?”
Both methods get the same result, but the command won’t always work properly if you don’t press the microphone button first. It’s unclear why the other input method malfunctions, but if you’re having trouble with one method, quickly try the other.
If your command still won’t go through, it’s time to look at some other possible causes.
Different OK Google Phrases with Similar Results
Saying “What’s this song?” isn’t the only way to get across what you’re asking to OK Google. Here’s a quick list of some of the different commands that’ll get you the same result:
- What is this song?
- What song is this?
- What’s this song?
- Recognize this song
Almost any variation of “What song is this?” is a recognizable command, so if one doesn’t work, try another! Don’t forget to try the secondary input method either. Pressing the button and saying the command is much more reliable than using OK Google hands free.
What to do When the Command Goes Through but Doesn’t Get a Result
The first thing you should do when you ask OK Google what a song is and don’t get a result is to ask it again. It sounds simple, but in most cases just asking OK Google a second time will clear up any problems you have and finally give you the result you want.
In rare cases you’ll need to go through a few additional troubleshooting steps to make sure your phone isn’t the problem. Most of the time all this means is you need to turn your phone off and on again to give it a quick refresher. In more extreme cases, look to our basic troubleshooting guide for some help.
Reducing Outside Interference
If you have too many sources of sound for your phone to listen to at once, it’s going to be almost impossible for OK Google to track down the song you’re looking for. If you keep getting error messages when looking for a song, try moving to somewhere with less background noise before trying again.
OK Google “What song is this?” Alternatives
I mentioned Shazam earlier, and while it’s a great alternative to the OK Google command, OK Google even recognizes Shazam with different commands.
First things first, if you don’t have Shazam already installed please grab it here: