Free music identification software(search engines) comes in several different platforms, operating under several different parameters depending on your needs. It can be be windows/Macintosh compatible via download, it can be web based via your browser, or it can be downloaded to your cell phone, particularly iPhone or blackberry.
But why would I want or need it? What does it do? How does it work?
All great questions which I will endeavor to answer. In a nutshell, this software enables you to obtain the title, artist, and album name for a song you’ve heard/are hearing but don’t know.
Let’s say in the process of recording for example internet radio(which I happen to do a lot), you may have been multitasking and weren’t as mindful of the track info as you should, and missed it. Music identification software can help obtain this for you.
You may be driving, and hear a song on the radio. Open the cell phone app, and hold your phone near a speaker for 10+ seconds or so, and the app will name it for you.
What if you can only hum, whistle, or sing a part of the song?…to quote the t.v. commercial “There’s an app for that”, and it’s not only for the iPhone.
You can also clean up misnamed/unnamed tracks in your music library.
This kind of software works by enabling you to access a particular music database. Digital music, or music in general has a signature which is called a “fingerprint”, which the software can read, and then compare with what is contained in its’ aforementioned database. The fingerprint can be based on parameters such as: melody(voice), rhythm,a sample played on a virtual instrument, melodic contour, beat/tapping et.al. It can then relay that info on to you…and the kicker is they’re mostly free!
However, let’s not get too excited and infer too rosy a picture. All the software/databases have limitations, and areas of specialty. These are after all just some more tools, albeit very useful ones.