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How to Tell What Song is Playing on Twitch

With so many people streaming on Twitch, I guess you could say it’s one of the most prominent game-streaming platforms. I guess.  And with so many streamers using music in the background of their streams, it can be difficult to tell what song is playing. And some songs might not actually be allowed either.

This article reviews the requirements for background music allowed on Twitch for streamers to incorporate into their broadcasts.  We will also look at some ways to tell what songs are playing.  Let’s start with what methods to find out what songs are playing on Twitch streams.

How to Tell What Song is Playing on Twitch

Here are the most common and easiest ways to tell what song is playing on Twitch:

  1. Browser extensions.
  2. Smartphone Apps, like Soundhound, Shazam, or Song Identifier.
  3. Twitch Bot
  4. Ask someone in chat

When you watch a fresh stream on Twitch, it’s hard not to be swayed by the music playing.  And sometimes, you likely want to know what that song that’s playing is.  Now, you can always ask in chat, but if it’s a larger channel, with a lot of people adding to chat, it can be hard to get your message answered.

The audio service found at TwitchAudio.com is an accompanying service verified with the Twitch platform.  At least, it was until it stopped working.  This service is a free service that would listen to the stream and tell you what the song was playing.  Unfortunately, when we tried to see how the service worked, it failed to load.

Here are some reliable other ways we tested to tell what song is playing on Twitch.

Methods Using A Browser Extension

AHA Music Extension

If you’re sitting at a computer, and that computer happens to be running Chrome or Edge, there is a handy extension called AHA Music.  It’s free and available on the Google Web Store or the Microsoft Edge Add-ons Store. 

This method is nice because it will work with more than just Twitch.  If you use Chrome or Edge, this free extension can tell you what’s playing in an open browser window.  

You could be watching a movie, Twitch, YouTube, Facebook video, or any other browser-based source and if it’s playing in a browser window, you just hit the extension button, and it starts listening.  

We found the only issue in testing this extension was a noticeable glitch when it started and stopped ‘listening.’  The glitch occurred in the music playing; it stuttered momentarily.  It’s nothing crazy given that it tells you what song is playing.  It’s a small trade-off.  This glitch occurred in both Chrome as well as on Edge.

Methods Using A Smartphone

Soundhound App

The next method for finding out what song you’re hearing is using your smartphone and an app like Soundhound.  Soundhound is a fantastic little app that listens and will tell you what song is playing.  There’s just one catch; it can’t work if watching a stream with headphones.

Unless you get creative and hold the headphones over your phone, you’ll have to use speakers to play the stream out loud.  The Soundhound app needs to be able to hear the music that’s playing.  

A good idea is to get the phone ready with Soundhound before you start watching.  When a good song comes on, you can quickly grab your phone and find out what song it is before it is over. 

Shazam App

Another app that can do the same thing as the Soundhound app is the Shazam app.  The Shazam app will do the same thing as the Soundhound app, and sometimes it is done in only a few seconds.

The Shazam app works well and identifies most songs within seconds.  Unlike the Soundhound app, the Shazam app seems to run significantly faster.  In testing, we found that the Shazam app identified a song in just over 2 seconds.  

Similarly, the Soundhound app required two attempts, the first of which was unsuccessful altogether.  We used electronic music published within two years for our test, with at least 20 million views on YouTube. This way, it is music that is current, popular, and should be easily recognized by any of these sorts of apps.

Song Identifier App

Song Identifier is another popular app that may have spawned from the Twitch Audio site that we found was not working in our preliminary research. Although, to be honest, we couldn’t find any official connection. The Song Identifier app installed fast and was one button press kind of easy to use.  

Out of these apps, we found all were equally easy to use with Shazam and Song Identifier being the fastest of the three.  The Song Identifier app worked in the same manner as the Shazam app and simultaneously determined a song, just over 2 seconds.

Are There Bots That Can Tell You What Songs are Playing? 

With Twitch being so incredibly massive with millions of streamers and millions of viewers worldwide, thousands and thousands of developers are constantly churning up new and exciting things, one of which are bots that can perform various virtual tasks on our behalf.

One of the bot types that is common is the chatbot.  Chatbots can respond to comments and work by having triggers that respond to a command such as !song.  It is a straightforward system.  

The same code that the apps and extensions use to listen to music and then identify it can be used or triggered by a bot action.  It just takes some smart coding to connect the dots.

Twitch Bots – Song Identifiers

Twitch-music-id on GitHub is a bot-in-progress that is on GitHub.  The bot is a chatbot that listens and identifies the songs playing in the stream.  

The bot has a fairly decent success rate.  That is, if we are comparing the bots grade to grade school student grades.  Compared to apps like Shazam or even Soundhound, the success rate is unfortunately not even comparable.

Unfortunately, there are no currently active and working bots for Twitch that are approved and work well to identify music playing.  The fastest and most straightforward methods are using browser extensions or an app on a smartphone.

However, if you have a playlist on your channel, bots like Nightbot can identify what song is currently being played since it is already loaded on your playlist. But, this will be up to the streamer to set up and provide a command for this.

Can You Play Any Song on Twitch?

For streamers, there are some straightforward rules when it comes to what you can play on Twitch.  

A streamer may only play songs that they own the rights to or have a license for playing the song on the Twitch platform.  When playing songs, the same rules apply for the song as do for any original work: Playing without permission infringes on the owner’s rights to the material.

If you are streaming and looking for some free background music to include in your streams, there are several free music services where one can get free music or close to free music to add in your stream.

For more information regarding where to find copyright free music on Twitch go to this article here. 

What if I Play a Copyrighted Song?

Twitch is one of those cool platforms that get it.  Sometimes, a song or clip of a song sneaks its way into the background.  They won’t outright ban you, so you don’t have to rush out and start a whole new channel.  But, if you repeatedly play copyrighted content, you’ll build up strikes.  After so many strikes, you’re out, and that means out of Twitch.

As I am sure you have seen this year in 2020, there have been several DMCA claims or threats because streamers were playing others music without permission. So streamers were having to go back and delete tons of videos, vods and clips because they had music on them that the streamers did not have the rights to. 

The best rule is to make sure you never play the music that you don’t have the right to use.  There are several places where you can get music that is free to use.  Several paid sites can get all kinds of great music to use in backgrounds for streams, videos, and more.

One could quite quickly build up a small reel of tracks to use as a background for videos between free sites and paid sites.  Depending on what kind of video or stream one is doing, that is. 

Many streams do not have music because the streamers are talking, so to many, this isn’t an issue.  But if some nice background ambiance is in your stream, it could make your stream stand out.

What Can We Conclude about Music Identification in Twitch Streams?

Two techniques stand out as very useful after testing multiple methods to determine songs playing in a stream in Twitch.  First, using a browser extension is the easiest way if watching the stream on a desktop or laptop computer. 

The extensions load fast and also work with multiple platforms, from Twitch to YouTube to Facebook.  The downside to the browser extension music identification is the glitch in the stream’s play when the extension starts and stops to ‘listen.’

The fastest and by far, the easiest method is to have an app on a smartphone such as Shazam or Music Identifier.  These apps work incredibly fast to determine a song playing within seconds.  The downside is possible data charges if you aren’t operating the smartphone on a wi-fi system.

Also, if the smartphone cannot hear the streaming audio, then there can be an issue.  If one is watching the stream on their smartphone, it will be challenging to get the app to listen without closing the app playing the stream. 

In this case, the two phones would be convenient.  Or just message the streamer and ask them if you really must know what track that was.

There is some pretty poppin music on Twitch so if you are looking for a few good songs to add to your collection then definitely use some of the techniques that we talked about above. Happy stream dreams my friends.

As always, if you have any questions or just want to hang with me, stop by my Twitch channel here and say what’s up!

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Concerned About DMCA?

DMCA claims have gotten many streamers suspended and even banned from streaming platforms. In order to avoid getting in trouble, I get all of my music and sounds from Tune Pocket. They have tons of copyright free music for you to jam to.

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If you watch Twitch you will hear some pretty cool songs and so I suggest finding a way that helps you identify some of the dope songs that are bound to end up on streams.