Music Recognition on PC for FREE with Tunatic!


Update: For an online service that works like Tunatic, check this post from us. For a roundup of identification services, check this post.

Fans of Sony Ericsson can surely boast about their TrackID service, which gives you the details of a music track currently being played, like the name of the artist, and the song title. You just have to record a few seconds of music with TrackID, and within seconds, you will automagically have the details of the song.

PC users like me have long searched for a similar application, to identify music currently being played. Sometimes, you hear a track somewhere, and would like to know which band or artist is playing.

Well rejoice, now you can!

We will be using a nice little software, which is very easy to use, called Tunatic. Simply, it’s what I’d call “TrackID for PC”.

It’s very simple to use. Go to the website, download the installer (for Windows and Mac only for the moment), install it normally, and you are ready to go. Did I mention that it was free?

The interface is very very simple to understand and use. It consists of a magnifying glass-like button, an oscilloscope line, and the usual minimize-restore-close buttons. That’s it!


The settings are very simple too. In fact, there’s only an option to select the sound source.

To be able to work, Tunatic requires you to have a microphone plugged in to your computer. Any microphone that is compatible with your PC or system will work. You will, of course, need a sound card with a microphone input. Most have one these days.

The operation is simple. Plug in the microphone and launch Tunatic. Make sure your sound card is selected from Tunatic’s settings. Next, point the microphone to your music source (radio, pc speakers, …) and click on the magnifying-glass button in Tunatic. You will see the horizontal line start vibrating (it’s the oscilloscope). Keep the microphone near the music source, and wait a few moments.

You will usually get the results in around 15 seconds. You will be given the music track’s title, and the artist name. You will also see a small arrow button which takes you online for more details. Easy huh?

I’ve put it to test 4 times till now. It gave me the correct results 3 times! The failed result was a remixed DnB track I found online somewhere on a blog, so it was understandable. I used it on two known music tracks to test if it really worked, and on a video on YouTube, which had an interesting song (it came from Metal Gear Solid 3 OST, according to Tunatic). For the tests, I pointed the microphone from my headset to my computer speakers. You could try with a radio and see, or a mobile phone. Experiment! πŸ˜›

If you want to help the Tunatic project index more tracks, you might want to check Tunalyzer. It will scan your computer for tracks not in Tunatic’s online database, and send samples of the music to the database. Later, other Tunatic users will be able to identify your particular song using Tunatic. Unfortunately, it’s only available for Mac at the time of writing.

In my opinion, Tunatic is a great service, and the only one I know to offer pc-based software recognition similar to the TrackID from GraceNote service. It’s a very good initiative, and I hope it remains free. Tunatic might not recognize everything you throw at it, but it will for a majority of songs. In the mean time, download it and go identify some unknown tracks! πŸ™‚

  • Guru

    Tunatic will turn you into an addicted listener. No need to ask for a track name now. Point to source and get result

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  • I downloaded Tunatic a few days ago & tried to identify the Orange soundtrack! πŸ™‚
    As expected it couldn’t identify it… Tunatic doesn’t work with Bollywood songs as well! LOL πŸ˜›

    But it did identify all Western songs! πŸ™‚

  • InF

    Yeah.. It had problems identifying local songs, or as you said, bollywood songs.

    It’s mainly for Western and European songs.

  • kyu

    “It’s mainly for Western and European songs.”—–>quite understandable since from what i understood the results largely depends on the userbase.

    Nevertheless, still an excellent piece of software, i tested it and although it didn’t recognise some of my music (understandable, i listen to some obscure bands no one knows about too xD) it did very well on the majority of what i’ve thrown to it πŸ™‚ hopefully they’ll release a linux version (or at least the source) soon :P.

    also, sorry to be nit-picking by pointing that out but there’s a fault in your comment.php , ” your submitted comments will be appreared after approved” πŸ™‚

  • InF

    Duh! And I who thought that I had cleared all those mistakes! :/

    My bad! And thanks for pointing it out.

    Tunatic works for famous and commonly heard songs. However, I really wished they released the Tunalyzer so that they get better at recognizing the obscure bands and tracks some of us listen to.

  • dn06se

    not working on chinese songs, tested. 09 May 2009

  • People has not yet created signatures for chinese songs.

    One major hurdle the signature maker is mac only platform and the world uses windows.

  • InF

    Yep. The signatures don’t exist yet.

    I also tested Tunatic on some of my obscure music tracks and it failed.

    It’s sad, but I think the Tunatic project is stopped or something. That signature maker software should have been available for quite a while now!

  • asd

    work with some japanese song

  • Nick L

    doesnt even recognise boom boom pow.

  • InF

    Never said it could recognize everything!

    For it to recognize some track, it should be in its database. Problem is, I think Tunatic development has stopped. Hasn’t seen an update in ages. πŸ™

  • Jackie

    The first 2 songs I fed it failed, which wouldn’t be enough of an experiment for me if they weren’t both the Beatles.

    Bizarro. I found the internet one, , has not missed one yet.

  • InF

    @Jackie: Lol! It’s weird that it cannot recognize the Beatles!

    I’ve switched to Midomi too. It’s much more reliable.

  • korsan

    for me the best music recognition is

  • koko

    Open your song in winamp playlist,
    Right Click, Send To> Auto Tag

    voilaa…TrackID for your pc.

  • DaveO

    A friend gave me 5 CD’s of music from their wedding dance. None of the tracks are named. What kind of software can I use to get the music information.

  • Inf

    Not much on PC nowadays but Soundhound and Shazam should get you sorted if you have a smartphone.