How to find that great song you heard on TV last night

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Somebody’s been doing some really hard listening here.
Somebody’s been doing some really hard listening here.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If I’m watching a TV show and a great song comes on, I usually try to find my iPhone in time to shazam it. I almost always fail, as 1) TV shows don’t tend to play entire songs without people talking over them and 2) I can never find my phone in time. Or rather I’m too lazy to look for it.

A similar thing happens for movies, only I promise myself that I’ll check the credits at the end, and I seldom do.

My dad, old-school guy that he is, likes to call up the TV company and ask them. Maybe I’ll do that when I’m retired, if there are still TV companies with phone numbers.

But did you know that there’s an almost 100% foolproof way to find that awesome track that played in that TV show you saw last night? It’s called Tunefind, and it’s great.

Find TV show music with Tunefind

The Leftovers is an amazing show, with equally amazing music, and you can find the tracks listed on Tunefind.
The Leftovers is an amazing show, with equally amazing music.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Tunefind is a website that exists to catalog the music tracks used in TV shows. To find a song, just head to the site and type the name of the show into the search box. You can then browse shows by season and episode.

However, if you watched something on actual live TV, then Tunefind is even easier to use. The homepage lists all the shows aired the previous day (in the United States), making it dead easy to find the episode you want.

Tunefind takes its listings from two sources. One is the music supervisors for the TV shows themselves, who can submit episode listings. The other is users. Anyone can submit a song. Each episode page also has a section for asking questions, for answering by the community.

Descriptions and links

Once you’ve selected an episode, you’ll see a list of the songs played in it. Each track has a short snippet of text to help you identify it. For instance, in Season 2, Episode 4 of the best show of the last decade, The Leftovers, you’ll see the following description to help find Lo-Fang’s cover of “You’re the One That I Want.”

Kevin returns home after talking with Patti and learning why he was at the lake during the earthquake.

Once you’ve found a song, you can preview it on the Tunefind page. Or you can click links to Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, the iTunes Store and YouTube, to listen/buy/save it from those services.

I like Tunefind. It does its job efficiently, and the site is very clean and fast. And if you can’t find what you want? Get your dad to call in.