Shazam Music Search Alternative For Linux


Growing up in a time of vinyl records and 8-track cassettes, it’s safe to say that I have an appreciation for music. Flash forward to today and we’re now able to enjoy any song we want, on demand! With music services provided by Amazon and independent sources, legally downloading music has never been so easy.

These days, most of my music is set up on my Android smart phone. And should a song that I don’t recognize end up being blasted on my car’s radio, I can rely on the Shazam app to help me determine the song’s name and artist.

But what about when you’re sitting in front of your Linux box, hammering away in your terminal? The boss is nearby and opening up a browser window to search for a possible song match isn’t practical. What then? I recommend installing and running an app called instantmusic.

True to its name, instantmusic provides you with the ability to determine the name of a song/artist simply by providing some clues about the song. Installing instantmusic is simple enough. Just install it from your distro’s repository. Distros such as Arch (AUR) and Ubuntu will have immediate access for easy installation.

Correction: I installed this sometime ago, I forgot I used pip to install it. Install pip from your local repository, then use these commands to install the app. You’ll need to run python –version to determine which version of Python you’re using.

Python 2.7

sudo  pip install instantmusic


Python 3.4

sudo pip3 install instantmusic


Okay, now that you have it installed I want to share the two basic functions this software provides.

1) It’ll help you to determine the name of a song and the band that sings it.

2) It allows you to download the music from YouTube. Now, due to copyright laws in most countries, I’d recommend sticking to legal to download music for this last part. Creative Commons and public domain songs both are fine.


Open up a terminal window and type the following:


You’ll then be presented with something like this:
Enter songname/ lyrics/ artist.. or whatever


For demonstration purposes, type the following.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery


These are the lyrics to a song you’ve heard somewhere, but you don’t know who sings it or the name of the song. Okay, hit enter.
Making a Query Request!
Found: Bob Marley - Redemption Song<
Download song (y/n)?

Because there is a copyright for this song in place, I’d simply choose n and then buy the song from Amazon or another music store online.

Let’s try another:

ironman ac dc

Making a Query Request!
Found: Iron Man: AC\DC - Thunderstruck (Music Video)
Download song (y/n)?

In this case, I know who the band is. But I may have forgotten the name of the song, only remembering hearing the song in the Iron Man movie.

Now sometimes you may run into an instance where the song has been played by multiple musicians. For example:


Enter songname/ lyrics/ artist.. or whatever >

mamma told me when I was young

Making a Query Request!
Found: shinedown simple man lyrics
Download song (y/n)?


In this case, that isn’t the original version of the song. Since I was looking for the original, I’ll try this instead.


Enter songname/ lyrics/ artist.. or whatever >

mamma told me when I was young original

Making a Query Request!
Found: Simple Man - Lynyrd Skynyrd - Lyrics HD
Download song (y/n)?


This time I have the original song, played by the correct band. This is useful when you want the original version of a song but don’t know who sings it.

Now let’s download a song (a legal one – copy left):


Enter songname/ lyrics/ artist.. or whatever >

Making Me Nervous

Making a Query Request!
Found: Brad Sucks - Making Me Nervous (I Don't Know What I'm Doing) [Lyrics]
Download song (y/n)? y


So basically what happened is instantmusic went out to YouTube, grabbed a copy of the song, then converted it to mp3 for your listening enjoyment.

And that’s it! Go ahead and give it a whirl. I’ve used this app countless times when a song gets in my head and for the life of me, I can’t remember who sings it.

Transcribe Speech To Text With Linux And Google

Sometimes in life, you run into situations where turning a voice recording into a text document is necessary. Perhaps this is from an interview for a news publication or perhaps you need to transcribe a verbal lecture from school. On Windows and OS X, there are a number of software programs that can help with this. Yet for Linux users, the options feel a bit sparse by comparison.

Today’s tip will address this issue. In this tip, I’ll show you how to combine Google’s Web Speech API with the Linux sound management server, PulseAudio.

Ready to get started? Great, here’s what you’re going to do:

1) Install pavucontrol (PulseAudio Control). It’s available from most software repositories.

2) Open pavucontrol (PulseAudio Control), click into the Input Devices tab. At the bottom, set Show to Monitors. Select the monitor that reflects the audio device you’ll be listening from by clicking the box next to the padlock on the right side. In my case, this was the USB speakers.

3) Now goto the Output Devices tab, make sure the matching output device is selected by clicking the box next to the padlock on the right side. Leave this app open, for troubleshooting.

PulseAudio Volume
PulseAudio Volume

4) Install/Open Chrome, browse to Google’s Web Speech API Demonstration page.

5) Now open up your audio player that will play the audio file. Get ready to play the audio file, but don’t hit play just yet.

6) Back on the API Demonstration page in Chrome, click on the microphone icon in the right center of the page.

7) Now in the audio player, hit play.

If everything went well, you should start seeing text appear on the Chrome page. If it isn’t working, re-check your settings. Another reason why it might not work is because of music or other noises in the background making voice audio difficult to detect.

Bonus fun: This also makes for a fun game of Mad Libs, by using a separate tab for YouTube podcasts. Some of the results are quite funny!