Inspired by the five letter guessing game, purchased earlier this year by the New York Times, Heardle features a clip from a popular song as listeners guess in as few tries as possible to identify the track.
Its immediate popularity has already led to a raft of clones specific to genres, areas and specific musicians, and that frustrating feeling of a song just being on the tip of the tongue.
But the purchase by the streaming music giant hasn’t been without its problems or detractors in its infancy.
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How do I play Heardle?
Much like popular television show Never Mind The Buzzcocks’ “Guess The Intro” round, players are given invited to guess the name a song on a daily basis.
The song itself is broken down into six chunks with “skips” on Heardle consisting of adding increments of two, three, four, five and finally a full 16 seconds of the intro.
Those successful can share how long it took them to answer the song in a typical, Wordle-esque cryptic fashion showing blocks of colours rather than the answer itself.
Spotify’s takeover of Heardle
The immediate popularity of Heardle led to Stockholm/New York company Spotify acquiring the rights to the game, once again paralleling its word-centric counterpart.
Spotify’s Global Head of Music Jeremy Erlich commented on the purchase’s importance to the music company’s pursuit of deepening their interactive ecosystem; “We are always looking for innovative and playful ways to enhance music discovery and help artists reach new fans.”
“Heardle has proven to be a really fun way to connect millions of fans with songs they know and love and with new songs . . . and a way to compete with their friends as to who has the best musical knowledge.”
It’s acquisition has led to complaints from long-time players; since Spotify’s buy-out, the game is only available for users in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Users have also complained also of the game being “broken”, relegating their long winning streaks on Heardle to the annals of their mind.
Spotify has stressed that the game will still make it into other countries in due course, meanwhile reassuring fans Heardle will remain free regardless of being a Spotify member or not.
The boom of custom Heardles has arrived
Much like BBC’s Mastermind has its specialist round, a number of users who have customised Heardle’s have seen an uptake in the homebrew items.
Those looking for a bit of nostalgia can find Heardles based on 70’s and 80’s songs, K-Pop fans can also see how familiar they are with the genre and for the brave “Weirdle” - a Weird Al Yankovic Heardle, begging the question “is it the original or is it Weird Al?”
For the technically gifted, Glitch has a number of avenues to programme your own Heardle with, though whether Spotify will allow this continue is to be seen.
Interested? Then why not try a Heardle dedicated to Sheffield’s very own Arctic Monkeys, before embarking on a wider game across the gamut of music out there.
We got the Arctic Monkeys’ track on the third go if you’re looking for a benchmark.