When you hear a song you like, you can use an integrated Windows Phone 8 feature called Bing Music Search to find out which song is playing. It will also show you the artist and album names, and a button to purchase it online at the Xbox Music Store.
Note: This tip is from my new (and free!) Windows Phone 8 book, which is currently in progress. You can follow along at WindowsPhoneBook.com.
Using a feature called Bing Music Search, you can use your phone’s microphone to “listen” to any song you hear playing—on the radio, at a sports event, or elsewhere—and then find out which song it is and, if it’s available via Xbox Music, buy it and/or download it to the phone, or share it with others using messaging, mail, Facebook, or Twitter, or other service.
Note: Xbox Music Pass subscribers can download songs without paying for them individually.
Press your handset’s Search button to visit the Bing experience. Then, tap the Music app bar button. A notification will appear, indicating that the phone is listening to the music and trying to identify the song.
If Bing Music Search is successful, the notification will change to identify the song, and the album in which it can be found.
Tap the Store button to visit the Xbox Music Store and view the album. (Or, tap close if you’re not interested.)
(If Bing Music Search is unsuccessful, the notification will indicate that and give you the option of trying again. Note that loud, crowded places are often not conducive to this sort of search.)
Bing Music Search also maintains a list of all of the successful music searches it has done. To access this list, open the app bar menu—by tapping the More (“...”) app bar button—and choose Music History. In the resulting screen, you can see a list of all your music searches.
Don’t forget: You can find out more about Bing Music Search, the Bing experience in Windows Phone 8, and Windows Phone 8 in general in my in-progress book, Windows Phone Book.