Tip of the Day: Use Siri to Identify Songs Playing on the Radio

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You've probably had the experience of listening to the radio and wondering the name of the song that's playing—maybe it's new to you and you're wondering who the artist is, or maybe it's familiar but you can't remember the name. Now with iOS 8, Siri can help. In the past, you could ask Siri to identify music playing on your device, but with iOS 8 you can ask Siri to identify any ambient music. And, conveniently, Siri also makes it easy to purchase the song or album.

 
When you hear something you want identified, you can ask, "What song is this?" or "Hey Siri, what song is playing?" Siri responds with "Hang on, let me listen...."
 
 
Then after a few seconds, Siri responds with "I can name that tune!" and gives the name of the song and the artist, as well as an image from the album cover and a BUY button.
 
 
Tap on the BUY button, and you're taken to a screen where you can tap to purchase that song and others from the album.
 
 
 
Now suppose you've asked Siri to identify a number of songs and later you'd like to see a list. Apple has thought of that and has built that feature into the iTunes Store app.
 
Open the iTunes Store app and tap on the three parallel lines icon just to the left of the Search field. In the drop-down menu that appears, tap on the Siri tab. There you'll see a list of the songs that you've asked Siri to identify.
 
 
This feature of Siri is powered by Shazam, the popular music-identification service that's long been available as an app. But it's a real convenience to have it now built into Siri.
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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.