It happens all the time: you hear a song that you instantly like and you want to find out what it’s called and who it’s by so you can add it to your music collection. It’s frustrating when it happens and you can’t figure out the title or artist, but thankfully there are a number of apps that will help you identify songs using your phone’s microphone. Today, Google has stepped into that arena, launching its Sound Search for Google Play widget.

Google is going to head to head with other song identification services like Shazam with this widget, which was previously called Google Ears. Google has something of a leg up on the competition though, as Sound Search for Google Play is a widget instead of an app. This means you can find the song information you’re looking for on your home screen, without having to boot up an app first.

If you’re running Android 4.2 on your device, you can place the widget on your lock screen, further streamlining the process. Once the song has been identified, you’ll be able to purchase straight from the Google Play Store and download to your handset. Google also syncs your identification information, so you can identify a song on one Android device and purchase it on another one if you want.


It sounds like a pretty handy widget if you ask us, and it can be had for free from the Google Play Store [download link]. Sure, there are already plenty of apps out there that do the same exact thing, but given the fact that this is a widget, it might be worth a spin. In any case, we’re interested in seeing how this does against similar services, so stay tuned.

  • Martin

    Off course USA only! Can we get this widget ive been looking forward to it for so long!!

  • Dayne Close

    This has been available since 4.1.x, no? And SoundHound∞ has had the lockscreen widget for a while now and offers a homescreen “ID Now” widget as well.
    In my own (very unscientific) testing, I found that Google’s offering generally outperformed SoundHound in circumstances where there was a lot of background noise. But in normal conditions, both did exactly the same thing in exactly the same amount of time.

    • joe_k

      Yeah I’ve had this functionality for quite some time on my Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7. This isn’t new. I actually prefer SoundHound’s because it’s a much smaller widget. I don’t understand why the Play widget needs to take up a 4×1 space — it’s a complete waste.

  • crappy usa only when will uk get sound search and google wallet?

  • CoffeeGeeker

    Usual Geolocked BS. Geolocking apps + media is massive suckage this day and age of the supposedly global internet.

  • Soundhound is better, has an ‘Instant ID’ shortcut (icon, not a bar) for the homescreen (w/ 4.0 and up) and DOESN’T automatically take you to Google Music’s site which is inadequate at best.