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Wondering what song is playing? Your Pixel phone can help.
Discover the music all around you with the Now Playing feature.

Whether you’re sipping a latte at a coffee shop or folding socks at the laundromat, your Google Pixel phone can tell you what song is playing in the background.

All you need to do is turn on the Now Playing feature. It can instantly help you discover new music, add it to your playlist, and share it with friends. 

Wherever you hear a catchy hook, Google Pixel can tell you exactly what’s playing – and remember it. Have a melody stuck in your head, and want to know who sings it? Pixel’s got you covered. 

Once you turn on Now Playing, it will automatically save the songs playing in the background as you go about your day. So if you love the musical vibe in the hotel lobby, your Pixel will instantly store it in your phone – allowing you to easily find and listen to it later.

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Now Playing, so you’ll never have to ask, “What’s playing?” or “What song is this?” again.1

Identify new music

Joe Woods, a real estate professional in Los Angeles, loves discovering new music and has been using Now Playing for years on Pixel. 

“I look at it to see what songs are playing when I’m making breakfast in the house, or at a store, or out for dinner at a restaurant,” he says. “I’ll often listen to DJ sets on YouTube and wonder what the song is, or what sample they’re mixing in.” 

He also loves how simple Now Playing is to use. Here’s how it works on Pixel: 

  1. Make sure your phone is charged and connected to the internet.

  2. In the Settings app, tap Sound & vibration > Now Playing.

  3. Turn on Identify songs playing nearby.

  4. Wait a few minutes while your phone downloads the song database. 

  5. After it does so, your phone can automatically identify songs playing around you and display them on your lock screen.

“It’s mind blowing,” says Woods. “I have a list of all eight songs that played during my 30-minute commute this morning.”

Find out what song is playing

Discover new music and artists with the Now Playing feature on Pixel 8a.

Find out what song is playing

Discover new music and artists with the Now Playing feature on Pixel 8a.

Find the songs you heard recently

Woods, a longtime Pixel user, loves how Now Playing can take you back to moments in your life. That’s because once you turn on Pixel’s Now Playing feature, it stays on. So you can keep grooving on the dance floor as Pixel adds new songs to your playlist, curating the soundtrack to your life. 

“There was a time I was out to dinner with my nine-year-old son and we were vibing out on a song,” Woods says. “He still asks me to play it—Dominoes by Jungle. There are so many other songs I’ve discovered that way. I can just pull it up on my phone with the date, and now I remember the exact moment it happened, where I was, who I was with.”

Finding the tracks Now Playing has saved is easy, too: 

  1. In the Settings app, tap Sound & vibration > Now Playing.

  2. Tap Now Playing history for the list of songs your phone recently identified.

Create and share a playlist of your favorite songs

Ben Madden, a self-described “music nerd” and HR consultant in Washington, D.C., says he finds himself using Now Playing all the time, whether he’s out to dinner or listening to the radio in his car.

“It’s great for obscure artists and world music … I may not normally find,” he says. “It’s definitely exposed me to a bunch of different stuff.” 

He also loves how easy it is to hear a great song and then add it to your Now Playing favorites list. “I can go back later and look them up, put them in my rotation, or go deep on an artist,” he says. 

To add a song to your favorites list, just tap the music note next to the song title on your lock screen.2 Want to see your favorites list? Head to your Settings app, tap Sound & vibration > Now Playing. Then tap Now Playing history > Favorites.

Sharing a new track with a friend is simple, too. Whether you’re at brunch or the gym, just tap the song on your lock screen or favorites list. A shortcuts window will then appear, giving you the option to send it to someone else.

You can even add Now Playing songs to your YouTube Music playlists. Here’s an easy way to do so:

  1. Head to your Now Playing history.

  2. Select the songs you want to add to your YouTube playlist by tapping the music icons next to them. 

  3. Tap the export icon at the top right of your screen. The Add to Playlist menu from YouTube Music will appear. 

  4. Add songs by selecting a playlist or creating a new one.

Never ask “What song is this?” again

The next time you’re out at a restaurant or party with an amazing playlist, or just singing along to the radio in the shower, all you have to do is enjoy the music – Pixel will do the rest. Now Playing will put the songs on your phone, and they’ll be waiting whenever you’re ready to hear them again. 

“It’s mind blowing,” says Woods. “I have a list of all eight songs that played during my 30-minute commute this morning.”

Takeaways
Discover what song is playing around you with the Now Playing feature on your Google Pixel phoneSave the music playing in the background by turning on Now Playing – your Pixel will do the restOnce you turn on Now Playing, it stays on, curating the soundtrack to your life
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  1. Some features are only available on Android 10 and later versions.

  2. Available if you have a Pixel 3 or later version of the phone, including Pixel Fold.