Have you ever heard a song and just couldn’t figure out the name of it? While Shazam is an option there’s still an OK Google command that does something similar. You don’t need to download anything extra, all you have to know is the right command, and you can even use the feature hands free.
It’s a great feature and one of the many convenient OK Google commands out there, but what can you do when it stops working? Luckily with almost anything on Android there’s a way to troubleshoot it to understand what’s wrong, and then resolve it. If you’re having problems with this OK Google command here’s how to fix it.
What Does the Command Do and How Does it Work?
If you’ve never used this command before, asking your phone “OK Google, what song is this?” puts your phone in a recording mode. Hold your phone up to or near the source of the song while you see this image:
Once your phone is done listening it gives you a result, and if it can, a Google Music link to purchase it. Most of the time it works without a hitch, even if you need to let it listen to the song more than once, but here’s what do when it doesn’t.
OK Google Command Input Differences
More often than not when an OK Google command isn’t working it’s because of the input method. There are two different ways to start an OK Google command. You can tap the OK Google button, or just tell your phone “OK Google” and wait for the confirmation to give the rest of the command.
So for example, if you want to figure out what this song playing next to you is, just either say “OK Google, “ pause and then ask “What’s this song?” or tap the OK Google microphone icon and then ask “What’s this song?”
Both methods get the same result, but the command won’t always work properly if you don’t press the microphone button first. It’s unclear why the other input method malfunctions, but if you’re having trouble with one method, quickly try the other.
If your command still won’t go through, it’s time to look at some other possible causes.
Different OK Google Phrases with Similar Results
Saying “What’s this song?” isn’t the only way to get across what you’re asking to OK Google. Here’s a quick list of some of the different commands that’ll get you the same result:
- What is this song?
- What song is this?
- What’s this song?
- Recognize this song
Almost any variation of “What song is this?” is a recognizable command, so if one doesn’t work, try another! Don’t forget to try the secondary input method either. Pressing the button and saying the command is much more reliable than using OK Google hands free.
What to do When the Command Goes Through but Doesn’t Get a Result
The first thing you should do when you ask OK Google what a song is and don’t get a result is to ask it again. It sounds simple, but in most cases just asking OK Google a second time will clear up any problems you have and finally give you the result you want.
In rare cases you’ll need to go through a few additional troubleshooting steps to make sure your phone isn’t the problem. Most of the time all this means is you need to turn your phone off and on again to give it a quick refresher. In more extreme cases, look to our basic troubleshooting guide for some help.
Reducing Outside Interference
If you have too many sources of sound for your phone to listen to at once, it’s going to be almost impossible for OK Google to track down the song you’re looking for. If you keep getting error messages when looking for a song, try moving to somewhere with less background noise before trying again.
OK Google “What song is this?” Alternatives
I mentioned Shazam earlier, and while it’s a great alternative to the OK Google command, OK Google even recognizes Shazam with different commands.
First things first, if you don’t have Shazam already installed please grab it here:
Once Shazam is installed, just ask OK Google to either “Shazam this song” or “Open Shazam” to launch the app and use it normally. Of course it’s just as easy to open the app yourself, but this is a workaround that doesn’t take much time, and still works just as well.
At the same time there’s a Google widget that uses the same technique right off of the Google Play Store. You won’t have to play around with commands when you have this widget, so cut out the middleman and give this a try:
Sound Search for Google Play Download
With this widget it’s easy to find out the name of any song you’re listening to at almost any time, just as easily as you can with OK Google commands.
OK Google has plenty of great commands at your fingertips that are just a few spoken words away, even if they don’t work flawlessly each time. When OK Google can’t find the song you want there are thankfully a few ways to troubleshoot the problem and get it working again.
If you’re still having problems with this command, please let us know in the comment section below for some extra troubleshooting help.