Never in the history of mankind, has it been a better time to live for music lovers, than it is in today’s time. In the old days, finding and listening to music was hard. These days the music seems to follow you everywhere you go. I am not talking about just from the streaming concepts, but in the sense that you walk around and find everywhere they are playing some music.
You could be on a bus, at the airport, convenience store, walking down the street, someone’s phone’s ringtone among others. Wherever you go, you are bound to hear someone play some music. Though these days you really don’t need to walk up to them and ask them what song, track or artist is that if you don’t know. As there is an app (rather apps) for that. Shazam has topped the charts in this area for years.
However, that may soon change as tech mogul and search engine giant jumps into this market with a new AI-powered song recognition sound search. The app was first premiered late last year as Google’s Now Play song recognition, though at the time it had limited features and functionalities.
Then came the Pixel 2, with which the app shipped already installed, and it had a comparatively small, yet growing, database of songs it can recognize.
Fast forward, the technology is now available in the cloud via Sound Search and is proving more powerful when you are searching for an obscure title. Though the service is still using a neural network to develop ‘fingerprints’ for identifying each song. That in addition to some algorithms to not only whittle down the number of candidates but also study the results for a possible match.
The bottom line is, Google Sound Search has now come of age and can take on anything you throw at it. Though Shazam still remains the industry leader, with Google’s might behind Sound Search, we can say it is now only a matter of time.
It is also interesting to note that on Sound Search, everything takes places on the Google’s servers and not locally on your phone. That plays out to your advantage in several ways. For one, it does not face the limitations of processing power and storage space on your phone. Secondly, a single search combs through about 1,000 times as many songs while using a neural network four times bigger.
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Without getting too deep into the nitty-gritty, Google Sound Search combs through a much wider range of songs and finds matches considerably faster. Though Google admits there still some improvement the service could use. The service is not particularly good at picking up sound when the volume is too high or background noise is too high. Some say it could improve on the speed of matching songs too.
For those reasons, Shazam might continue its reign at the top of this industry for a little bit longer. But if you prefer the Google ecosystem, this service might just be what you are looking for!