Song stuck in your head? Just hum to search on Google
In a delight for music lovers, Google has announced a new capability where you can hum, whistle or sing a melody to find out the song that has been stuck in your head -- no lyrics, artist name or perfect pitch required.
 
On your mobile device, open the latest version of the Google app or find your Google Search widget, tap the mic icon and say "what's this song?" or click the "Search a song" button.
 
Then start humming for 10-15 seconds.
 
On Google Assistant, it's just as simple. Say "Hey Google, what's this song?" and then hum the tune.
 
"This feature is currently available in English on iOS, and in more than 20 languages on Android. And we hope to expand this to more languages in the future," Google announced during its virtual 'Search On' event on Thursday.
 
"After you're finished humming, our machine learning algorithm helps identify potential song matches. And don't worry, you don't need perfect pitch to use this feature. We'll show you the most likely options based on the tune," said Krishna Kumar, Senior Product Manager, Google Search.
 
You can select the best match and explore information on the song and artist, view any accompanying music videos or listen to the song on your favourite music app, find the lyrics, read analysis and even check out other recordings of the song when available.
 
According to Google, a song's melody is like its fingerprint.
 
"We've built machine learning models that can match your hum, whistle or singing to the right fingerprint," Kumar said.
 
When you hum a melody into Search, the machine learning models transform the audio into a number-based sequence representing the song's melody.
 
The models are trained to identify songs based on a variety of sources, including humans singing, whistling or humming, as well as studio recordings.
 
"The algorithms also take away all the other details, like accompanying instruments and the voice's timbre and tone. What we're left with is the song's number-based sequence, or the fingerprint," Kumar explained.
 
Similarly, the machine learning models recognise the melody of the studio-recorded version of the song, which "we can use to match it with a person's hummed audio".
 
The new feature builds on the work of Google AI Research team's music recognition technology.
 
The company launched 'Now Playing' on the Pixel 2 in 2017, using deep neural networks to bring low-power recognition of music to mobile devices.
 
In 2018, the company brought the same technology to the SoundSearch feature in the Google app and expanded the reach to a catalog of millions of songs.
 
"This new experience takes it a step further, because now we can recognize songs without the lyrics or original song. All we need is a hum," Google said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    LESSONS FROM THE PAST: Think, Weigh, Decide!
    Some years after training as management trainee, I was appointed a sales executive at the head office, Glaxo, Bombay. I had enjoyed my time as a salesman for nearly two years, in areas as far flung as Belgaum/Bijapur, Saugar and Bhatinda. In Bijapur, among other things, I had learnt to live for four to five days only on Becadex syrup, and Macrafolin Iron tablets (samples of the Glaxo products that I was carrying), because there was a cholera epidemic raging there, during my visit. 
     
    In Saugar, I was held up by bandits on one of my forays into the interiors – and succeeded in befriending a few of them. In Bhatinda, I learnt to order a half and a HALF, and another … before the butter chicken and naan. That was half whisky (neat) followed by a glass of beer—an appetizer formula, still being followed in parts of Punjab—a legacy of the Scottish regiment that was posted there for many years. The full address for service—Mayrose bar and restaurant (hope it is still there!!)
     
    All salesmen were expected to post an arrival notice postcard immediately on arriving at the station. The HQs could thus connect this with the approved tour plan for the month and make sure that the salesman was travelling as per the plan, and not wandering around on his own holiday plan! Of course, there was also a daily report, to be filled in and posted every evening, listing the doctors met, products discussed and samples given. Everything was well organiased and worked like a well-oiled machine. No wonder, in the 1960s, Glaxo was No 1 and was constantly being challenged by   Dumex Pfizer and Sarabhai Squibb!
     
    As a sales executive, I was now spending some time on salesmen reports—analysing them for accuracy, looking for new trends, and perhaps some creative ideas in the comments.
     
    However, one day, I had a dilemma. I had two arrival notice cards from the same salesman for the same day, from two cities 80 miles apart. In each town, he had met 10 doctors! Obviously, it was a scam. He was at one place or the other. And who knows? Perhaps at neither. 
     
    I drew the attention of the sales director Ernest Woods, a crusty Englishman, who had spent 35 years in India and knew the geography of the country better than he did of Great Britain. Let me think about it—he said. Please come back in half hour. I did.  What shall we do, he asked me. My opinion - we need to dismiss him. A serious offence. He cannot be excused. He listened to me and looked at me for a long time. Then he asked me to call him to Bombay from Poona—and get details / confession from him before we sacked him. I did this, and found that Sunil had seen more doctors on four days and then distributed the extra visits beyond eight a day, to the two other days (when he had taken an off to see his girlfriend in Hubli). He had seen the doctors, but the dates were not accurate. He had given the arrival card to the stockist to post, who had forgotten to do it until two days later, when Sunil was already in another town and posting his card from there. Sunil had been honest in doing the job, but he had taken liberties with the reporting. And his sales record was very good. He had been with the company for six years. He was valued. What should we do? Mr Woods suggested we give him a stern warning. It was going to be his last chance. We decided we will not fire him!
     
    Some 20 years after I left the company, I met Sunil again by chance at a hotel. We recognised each other. We greeted each other warmly. And was he still in Glaxo? No. He had left and joined a large Indian pharma company and he was the all India sales manager of the company. He had a successful career.
     
    God had been kind to him—and of course he had worked hard. “But thank you for not acting in haste when I made the silly mistake a long time ago,” he said. “But for you and Mr Woods, I would not have been where I am now.” 
     
    I now realised why Woods did not take decisions in haste, even when it seemed a clear case of wrongdoing. He would be weighing the pros and cons, measuring contributions in the past and perhaps possibilities in the future, looking at what is forgivable and what cannot be condoned. It was the wisdom of age and experience, which many impatient mangers today may not have the time – or the inclination -- for. 
     
    (Walter Vieira is a Certified Management Consultant; and a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of India (FIMC). He has written 11 books – some of them best sellers – translated into Chinese and Indonesian and 3 books in collaboration with Prof. C. Northcote Parkinson of Parkinson’s Law fame. Mr Vieira has straddled the space between business and academia – and shares his vast experience with students and peers, to help make this a better world!)
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    COMMENTS

    m.prabhu.shankar

    2 weeks ago

    Excellent Excellent. Just love the articles by Walter Vieira

    Ramesh Popat

    2 weeks ago

    good- for a change!

    Newme

    2 weeks ago

    Postcards for reporting. How time changes.

    kpushkar

    2 weeks ago

    What a change from todays quarter to quarter reporting!!

    LESSONS FROM THE PAST: A Matter of Ethics
    A new column by marketing whiz Walter Vieira
     
    Just at the beginning of the 'Corvid era,' Moneylife reported that the brihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) was going to buy a large quantity of face masks at a price over 10 times the market price for the same masks. And this was supposed to be against a tender that had been floated by the BMC! Moneylife urged the BMC commissioner to cancel this decision and this was done. A lot of money was saved!
     
    It was the same with the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) clothing for hospital staff, and was even worse with hospital beds for COVID+ patients who needed to be admitted.
     
    My friend got his brother admitted into a private hospital in Chembur at a cost of Rs35,000 per day – and this was done as a favour! The regular price at COVID rates would have been Rs50,000. But my friend was a friend of an influential doctor at the hospital.
     
    All this got me thinking about my days at Glaxo Labs in the 1960s. The managing director was Joe Kidd. He had been in India on an earlier stint, as a medical representative (MR)– and returned many years later as a director and rose to be managing director. 
     
    Those were the days when British doctors were generally seen only by British medical reps. When he went round as an MR, he would call on the government medical stores, and Anil (name changed) was an assistant store-keeper. They would discuss needs and Anil placed orders, but nearly always hinted that he could do with some facilitation. Mr Kidd never obliged. But he did go out of his way to give Anil a nice Christmas gift every year. To Mr Kidd’s mind – it was a gift, not a bribe. 
     
    After Mr Kidd came back as director many years later, he was surprised to see Anil at Glaxo as a purchase manager. Anil had been recruited when Mr Kidd was away. Anil seemed well suited for the job by the personnel department, with his experience in purchases /medicines. On one occasion, it was decided that I accompany Anil to Tirunelvelli to purchase senna leaf for our new product Glaxenna, so that I could (as a trainee) study the buying process. I was surprised one morning to be called by Mr Kidd to his office. Mr Kidd said he was glad I was going on this mission. I should study the process well—and added subtly “also make sure that Anil does not make too much on the deal.” 
     
    It was a nice, soft hint—neatly delivered. It made me think. 
     
    Mr Kidd did not want to sack Anil. He did not want to use his earlier knowledge of their interactions. He did not want to burn up a career, especially since now, just now, he had no proof of any wrongdoing. He wanted to be noble, fair and in some ways kind, to Anil – while at the same time taking care of the company’s interests as a matter of ethics. 
     
    This was also the time when Glaxo baby food was in short supply. It was the most popular product of Glaxo at that time. There were long Qs at the Worli office, of people wanting to buy a few tins. They had to prove that they had a baby at home – and they got an amount based on a stipulated quota. And Mr Kidd ensured that every stockist of Glaxo got a monthly allocation as a percentage of the previous six months’ average sales. No exceptions were made. And anyone caught selling at a higher than the fixed price was immediately struck off the rolls of approved stockists. Hardly anyone dared to cheat, they knew there was a heavy price to be paid – and they would lose long-term profits for short-term gains. A company like Glaxo would brook no nonsense. A matter of ethics. 
     
     
    (Image for representation)
     
    A few years later, Glaxo introduced a ready combination injection of Vitamins B1 and Vitamin B12- Macraberin. It saved doctors a lot of time and effort in combining the two, when this was required, which was often enough. Sales kept climbing every month, till in just two years the product was among the top-10 in the company’s list. Then, this instant big seller had problems.
     
    There were a few reports of deaths due to the injection, which was due to an allergy to Vit B. It could have happened with any brand of the vitamin. The number of complaints must have been less than a hundred in a year. It was just an infinitesimal percentage of the total sales volume of the product. But Mr Kidd would not listen to such wisdom or agree to such reasoning. Glaxo would lose a large volume of profit from discontinuing the product, but Mr Kidd felt it was alright. Even saving a few lives, was worth it. 
     
     
    (Image for representation)
     
    The product was discontinued. Glaxo sales and profits dipped for a while. But Mr Kidd carried the flag “The right thing to do.” And he taught all of us a lesson. That logical conclusions are not enough. 
     
    Business must be run by a combination of mind and heart.  The secret of the ‘good old days’. It is now coming back – with Philip Kotler’s recent loud call to industry – Marketing must serve all stakeholders, not just the customer, as was earlier believed. A matter of ethics. 
     
    (Walter Vieira is a Certified Management Consultant; and a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of India (FIMC). He has written 11 books – some of them best sellers – translated into Chinese and Indonesian and 3 books in collaboration with Prof. C. Northcote Parkinson of Parkinson’s Law fame. Mr Vieira has straddled the space between business and academia – and shares his vast experience with students and peers, to help make this a better world!)
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    COMMENTS

    pgodbole

    2 weeks ago

    Thanks Mr. Vieira for an excellent and thought provoking anecdote. In today's dog eat dog world, there are very few people in corporate world following ethical values (Ratan Tata's name comes to mind immediately). Please make this column weekly. With your 50 years of work experience in corporate world, the column can easily run for 2500 weeks!

    REPLY

    walter.vieira

    In Reply to pgodbole 1 week ago

    Thank you for the compliment . Greatly appreciated . If I live long enough I may be able to fulfil your wish of 2500 weeks !!warm regards .

    m.prabhu.shankar

    3 weeks ago

    Excellent Excellent

    REPLY

    walter.vieira

    In Reply to m.prabhu.shankar 1 week ago

    Many thanks . Encourages me to keep writing .

    kuldip46

    3 weeks ago

    The Sikh scriptures equate greed with fire.
    "You can feed a fire all the wood that you want, a fire's appetite will never be satiated."
    Persons of the calibre of Joe Kidd are few and far between.

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