How To Identify a Song from a YouTube Video
Song identification is as old as the radio or TV. You hear something you like, and more than anything, you want it. But nowhere does it tell you what the song was or the identity of the artist behind it. If you’re lucky, the radio DJ will tell you at some point. If you’re watching a music stream or a video with background music on YouTube and you happen to get lucky, the uploader might have added a timestamped track list. If they haven’t, how do you identify a song from a YouTube video?
There are a couple of options if you need to find a song. You can search for the lyrics, use an app to identify the tune or take a good look around where the song appears. Much depends on where you are, how the video has been uploaded and how much you want that song. Let’s take a look at how to identify a song from a YouTube video.
Identify a song from a YouTube video
It’s not easy, but there are a few methods you can use in order to identify a song from a YouTube video. All of them require some detective skills, so dust off your magnifying glass, grab your nearest deerstalker, and let’s get to work.
Check the video description
Most experienced uploaders will add either a track list or music credit to their video description. If you’re lucky and you’re watching the right video, you might also find a hyperlinked time stamp in the description, so you can jump directly around the video to find the right tag., you will also have a hyperlinked time stamp so you can go directly to the song and see if it’s the right one. Part of this is to help make life easier for viewers but also to comply with YouTube licensing. Due credit has to be given to the artists featured in a music video and adding track lists is a simple way to do that.
Check the comments
If there isn’t a track list or any information on the song in the description, check the comments. You’re likely not the only one who wants to know what a particular song is in a YouTube video. Read the comments and see if other people have asked about particular songs. Even if the uploader doesn’t answer, sometimes helpful fans will help.
If nobody has asked about your particular song, ask the question yourself. Someone is sure to know. You could even ask the uploader if you needed to.
Search for the lyrics
If you remember some of the lyrics (if there are any), put them into a search engine to see what comes up. There are specific websites that offer lists of lyrics including, Lyrics.com, Lyricsworld.com or Find Music By Lyrics. Google is a little mixed when bringing back results for lyrics. Sometimes it gets them spot on and other times it can bring back the most random results so a few searches may be required.
Use an app to identify the song from YouTube
If none of the easy options work, you can use a third-party app to help you identify the song. If you’re on mobile, Shazam is the go to app for identifying music you hear. Install the app if you don’t have it already, play the song in the background with Shazam listening and it should be able to identify it. If you’re an iPhone user, MusicID does something very similar. It works with or without lyrics and is apparently pretty good. There is an Android version of the app too.
If you’re a Chrome user, there is an addon called AHA Music – Music Identifier that is apparently very good at doing a similar job to Shazam from your browser. There are other apps that can do the same thing either in other browsers or as online services.
Use the YouTube link
Another web app option is a service like Audiotag.info. Copy the video URL from YouTube into the Audiotag page and the timestamp in the little box to the right. Select Analyze URL and let the service do its thing. If all goes well, you should end up with a correctly identified song. There are other websites like this so if you don’t like the look of this one, try another.
Ask random people
If all else fails, sites like Wat Zat Song? are useful places to visit if you really need to identify a song from a YouTube video. It’s a human curated site where you upload a clip of the song and other people try to identify it. There is an element of human error here but the community are very helpful and some are very knowledgeable indeed. It’s worth a try if nothing else works!
Those are the ways I know of to identify a song from a YouTube video. Know of any others that work? Tell us about them below if you do!