You’re watching something on YouTube, and it has a catchy tune playing in the background. You want to find the song from this video, but how do you figure out what music it is?
Identifying some music tracks in videos is easy, while others require a little more persistence. Follow our step-by-step walkthrough to find the music in any YouTube video (or other online videos) you watch.
1. Check the Video’s Description to Find Its Music
The first step is an easy method to find songs used on YouTube, but it’s one that many people overlook. You’ll often see credits for copyrighted music in video descriptions. YouTube adds this information automatically when it detects licensed music. This is part of the Content ID system that allows copyright owners to claim their videos on YouTube.
Thus, your first stop to identify a song in a YouTube video should be the video’s description box. Click inside the box to see the whole description. Then, scroll down and you may find a section titled Music.
This will show the song’s name, artist, and some other information. If the track is available on YouTube, it will also provide a link to the official video. Videos that use multiple songs will list multiple tracks here. However, they don’t always appear in the right order, so you’ll have to give them a listen to figure out which one you liked.
If you don’t see this information, YouTube wasn’t able to identify the track automatically. Sometimes the uploader will add a list of music they used in the video to the description, especially if the songs used aren’t copyrighted tracks (like video game music). If they didn’t provide the info, you’ll have to keep digging to identify the track from the video.
2. Search for the Song’s Lyrics on Google
If the music you want to identify from a video has lyrics, you don’t need Shazam for YouTube just yet. Simply listen carefully for the words in the song, then search for a line or two of the lyrics on Google.
Most of the time, this will easily identify the song name and artist, and even bring up a video or further information. If it doesn’t find anything, try the same search on Find Music By Lyrics. This engine is powered by Google, but it tweaks some settings to focus on musical content. This makes it a better YouTube song finder for this purpose.
The main problem with this method of finding songs is that it doesn’t account for covers. Many movie trailers, for example, use covers of well-known songs. If you listen to a bit of the result and it doesn’t sound like what you heard in the video, don’t worry. Once you know the song title, try searching for that plus some additional information, such as the movie title. That should help you find the exact version you heard.
Failing that, you can try searching for the song title plus “cover” and seeing what comes up. If you’re lucky, there will only be a few covers of the song, making it easy to pick out the one you heard in the video.
3. Use a Music Identification Service to Check Songs in Videos
If neither of the above quick methods found the song, you might wonder how to Shazam a video to identify the music inside. As it turns out, Shazam now offers a browser extension that will detect the music in a YouTube video. There are also other browser extensions that specialize in identifying songs used in YouTube videos, in case Shazam doesn’t detect yours.
1. Shazam (Chrome)
With the official free Chrome extension, you can Shazam a YouTube video, or any other audio playing from a tab in Chrome. Simply install the extension, open the YouTube video with the song you want to identify, and play the video at the part where the song is audible. Then click the Shazam icon to the right of the address bar.
You’ll see a message as Shazam works to identify the song. It does this through the Chrome tab, so it doesn’t need access to your microphone. Once finds a match, you’ll see a prompt to sign up for Apple Music (or connect your existing account) to listen to the track there, if you want.
Click the extension icon anytime and expand the Shazams header to see songs you’ve checked in the past. This lets you listen to a preview or delete them from your history.
If you have a Mac and don’t use Chrome, the Shazam for Mac app lets you identify music playing on your computer in a similar way.
2. AHA Music (Chrome)
If you don’t want to use the official Shazam extension, or if it doesn’t detect your song, try AHA Music as an alternative.
ACRCloud offers a few music identification tools on its website. The easiest one for finding a song in a YouTube video is the free Chrome extension, which works almost exactly like Shazam’s offering.
Start playing the video with the song you want to identify, then click the icon of the Chrome extension. It will attempt to identify the song used in the video. Once it lists the song, you can use the shortcuts it provides to open the track in various music services, which is a nice option compared to the focus on Apple Music in Shazam.
AHA Music maintains a log of all the songs it’s identified, so you can easily look up past tunes again. It isn’t just limited to YouTube; try it for identifying music in Twitch streams, Netflix movies, and more.
Download: AHA Music for Chrome (Free)
3. Shazam (Android and iPhone)
If you don’t use Chrome or don’t want to install an extension, you can still use Shazam on your phone to find the song in a video. Shazam remains one of the best music identification apps, and it can analyze music from your computer’s speakers.
When you’re watching a video on your computer, fire up Shazam on your phone. Hold the phone close to your speakers when the song starts playing, and Shazam will identify it in no time after you tell it to search. In case you don’t have a phone handy, try AHA Music’s online song identifier, which will do the same in your browser.
If you want to find a song from a video playing on your phone, you can use the Pop-Up mode on Android or Shazam functionality built into the iPhone. On Android, go to Shazam > Library > Settings and enable Shazam from Pop-Up. You’ll need to then follow the instructions to allow Shazam to display over other apps.
Once this is done, go back to your video and start playing it. When the song that you want to identify starts, tap the floating Shazam button. Shazam will identify the song and you’ll finally know what it is.
If you’re an iPhone owner, you can instead use the Shazam shortcut in Control Center to identify music playing from your phone. See how to identify music playing on your iPhone for full instructions.
Most people like finding new music, so there’s a good chance you aren’t the first viewer wondering what song is in that video if Shazam couldn’t find it. Read or search through the YouTube comments and you might just come across the question and its answer.
You can try the old-fashioned way first. Begin by scrolling down on the page for a bit so that more of the comments load. Then press Ctrl + F (or Cmd + F on a Mac) to open the Find box in your browser. Type song, and scroll through the comments that use the word.
Whether this helps you find the song in a YouTube video depends on the number and quality of comments, so it might not always work. If you can’t find anything with song, try searching for music or track too. Think of any words that people might use to ask what a song is.
A better way to search the comments for the name of the music is the dedicated YTComment Finder site. While simple, the page allows you to easily search the comments of any YouTube video. Simply enter the URL of the video you want to search, followed by the Search button.
From there, type song (or another similar keyword) and you’ll see all the matching comments. If none of the comments mention the name of the track, but someone else asked for the title, click Replies on someone’s comment to hopefully find the answer in a response.
If you don’t find anything, you can try leaving your own comment asking for help with identifying the music. For best results, include a timestamp to the song so people know which one you mean. Timestamps in YouTube comments become links, so entering “What is the song at 3:51?” lets someone click it to jump to that spot in the video.
Just don’t be surprised if you get a few “Darude—Sandstorm” responses when you ask this. This is a common YouTube meme that never seems to die.
5. Ask Music Experts on a Forum to Identify a Song
If the above methods have all failed to detect the song from a YouTube video, you only have one option left. You need to ask someone else and hope they know what it is. Luckily, the internet has forums and communities that focus on figuring out hard-to-identify songs.
These are three great places to start:
Each of these forums assumes you have already tried the above options and failed, so make sure you’ve done your due diligence first. To make it easy for people who try to help, you should use the YouTube URL trick that lets you link to the part of the video where the music starts. Pause the video at the right point, then right-click and choose Copy video URL at current time.
The clearer your question is, the better your chances are of getting a quick and accurate answer. It’s best to note if you’ve already ruled out certain tracks, and include any extra information about where you think the song might be from.
Find Out What Song Is in That YouTube Video
Hopefully, you can use these methods to find the music in any YouTube video. With the wealth of information on the internet, chances are that you’ll find it before too long.
If all else fails, it’s not a bad idea to reach out to the video’s uploader on social media or by email. Perhaps they’ll be willing to answer your question; after all, the person who added the song should know what it is.