How to Find What Song is Playing Right Now with Your Windows Phone 8

All of us know the feeling you get when you hear a song on the radio but just can't remember its name. It's frustrating. There are also times when you fall in love at first hearing with a song you've never heard before and you want to know its title, or at least the artist that's playing it. Previous versions of Windows Phone and other mobile platforms tackle this problem through apps that can do song recognition, like Shazam. In Windows Phone 8 you get this feature right out of the box. You no longer need to search for, download, install and then run a dedicated app. Sounds too good to be true, right?

NOTE: Acording to Microsoft's feature and service availability documentation, the song recognition feature only works for the following regions: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and United States. Also, Windows Phone 8 cannot recognize live performances or humming. It only works for recorded music.

How to Search for the Song You Hear Now

Unlock your Windows Phone and then tap the hardware Search button. On the bottom of Search screen, touch the Music icon and place your phone near the music source.

Windows Phone 8 will show a message informing you that it is "Listening for music…". Wait for a few seconds, in order for it to get enough information.

Next, Windows Phone 8 will display the results it gathered from Bing Music and it will show the song title, the artist playing it, the name of the album and some album art.

You have two available options: store and close. If all you wanted was to learn the name of the song, tap close. However, if you intend to buy the song or its album, tap store and you are taken to the Xbox Music store. Here, you can buy the song or listen to a quick 30 seconds preview.

It may be that the music being played is not loud enough or, in some cases, that Bing Music doesn't recognize the song you listen to. If that's the case, you will be notified and given the option to try again. If possible, try to raise the volume of the device playing the music or position your phone closer to the source.

How to Find a Song You Searched For a While Ago

It may happen that, after a while, you would like to search again for a song that you found some time ago. You don't have to wait for it to be played again on the radio, TV etc.

Tap the hardware Search button and then the More link (the three dots on the bottom right of the screen).

Next, tap music history.

On the new screen, named– you guessed – Music History, you will find listed all the songs that you previously searched for.

Tap on the one that interests you and Windows Phone will automatically display it in the Xbox Music store.


The song recognition feature embedded in Windows Phone 8 is just great. Every music fan will love it. It is a shame that it is not available in more than just a few countries. For more tips and tricks about Windows Phone, check the articles recommended below.