How to identify songs used in YouTube videos

Written by michael roennevig Google
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How to identify songs used in YouTube videos
Check out information provided with the video on YouTube. (Getty Thinkstock)

Tracking down the title of an unidentified song clip can quickly become a frustrating obsession for trainspotter-like music lovers. In the days before widespread use of the Internet, finding the name of a snatch of music heard on a television ad or in a nightclub was hard work. These days, the Web can take the hard slog out of audio detective work, particularly if the track you're trying to identify has been included in a YouTube video.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Pen and paper
  • Headphones

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Thoroughly look over all the information and comments that accompany the video containing the song you want to identify. Click "Show more" under the "About" tab beneath the clip in question to read a description provided by its uploader. This could include information about any music used. Hit the "Statistics" tab below the video to see if it contains music from YouTube’s Audio Swap Library. If it does, you'll find artist and track information here. Have a trawl through the comments attached to the video in question to see if people have been discussing the music you're enthralled by.

  2. 2

    Listen to any lyrics included in the song and make a note of them. If the track you're trying to identify is particularly low you may need to use a pair of headphones. Once you've made out any lyrics, bang them into a search engine and see what comes up. Online lyric libraries contain words from many thousands of tracks ranging from the popular to the obscure, so there's a chance you may be in luck.

  3. 3

    Download music identification apps such as Shazam, Soundhound or Tunatic to your mobile device or computer (see Resources). Check out your chosen software's user guide to find out how to have it scan a clip of your unidentified tune and compare it against its library of music. If it finds a match, you'll receive track information immediately.

  4. 4

    Click on the YouTube username of the person or organisation that uploaded the video in question. You'll find this below the YouTube player. Subscribe to the user account to send the uploader a message or check out any social media contact details provided. Ask the uploader for the title of the track. Once you've identified it, pop over to your favourite online music store to see if it's available for download.

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