bulk-adding lyrics to itunes?

Dear Lazyweb, is there yet anything better than PearLyrics for getting lyrics into your ID3 tags in bulk?

In case you don't remember, there was this handy program that would display the lyrics of the currently-playing track, and if it didn't have any, would do some searches.

Then, the author got a C+D from Warner and panicked.

Then, in a marketing coup, Warner sent and "apology" for the "tone" of their letter -- but, notably, never told him that he could continue distributing his program. So they got a lot of credulous good press from the bloggoweenies, and still got what they wanted: fewer people having easy access to lyrics.

(Yeah, I'm looking at you, Boing Boing: they didn't change their behavior one whit, and you passed along their insincere press-release apology anyway without ever noting the nakedness of that emperor.)


My copy of PearLyrics seems not to work so well any more, presumably because whatever hardcoded searches are built in to it have gone somewhat stale. Source was never made available, and the author hasn't stopped hiding under his rock.

Is there anything better?

(Yes, I know there are rumors of Apple building this into the iTunes store, but those rumors are two years old, so I'm not holding my breath. Also the current Yahoo offering is worse than useless, which does not bode well for that in any case.)

Update, 2013: I wrote my own.

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19 Responses:

  1. prof_null says:

    Uh, I thought the song title was "Guns and butter". (great song!)
    as for lyrics, why would I need/want them? I can listen to the song.
    Oh, right, some songs the words are so garbled that you need them written for you ;)

    • semiclever says:

      Searching lyrics would be very useful when you half-remember a song. At least until you can search by humming into the microphone...

  2. fu3dotorg says:

    Jamie, have you tried Corripio?

    It supports lyrics, and scripting, to some extent (PHP, Ruby, Python, Perl, / Lua..)

  3. wfaulk says:

    Musicextras? I've not used it, but I know a developer on it.

    • kfringe says:

      You do realize that you've suggested some form of linuxish gnome crapware to a person who uses iTunes on a Mac, right? You do understand that he's looking for software, not bowel movements, right? I ask because, funnily enough, I could have sworn that you managed to miss the entire substance of the question. That's impressive. It's almost like the orderlies forgot to give you your meds.

      • gutbloom says:

        Hey, I thought abusing the lame was JWZ's job. This gets five flames on the harsh-o-meter. Not that I object. I'm a veteran of the flame wars, you know, so I'm not afraid of blood, but it seems to me that this is a nuclear response to a conventional situation. I dig the orderlies comment. I can't wait to unload that one in the "Kashmir" discussion on the Pakistan board over at nytimes.com.

      • wfaulk says:

        First, if Jamie wants to flame me because I suggested something that didn't meet his exact criteria, fine. I don't think he needs anyone to do it for him; he's shown great aptitude for it in the past.

        Second, while Musicextras does include a Gnome frontend, the bulk of the application is a Ruby library, which is explicitly exposed and documented. And Jamie implied that he'd be willing to do some programming when he pointed out that the source code for Pearlyrics was never released.

        Third, iTunes seems to be irrelevant to the question at hand, as he asked for a way to get lyrics into ID3 tags. I assume Pearlyrics still works just fine for displaying existing lyrics, and that it's only the downloading of new lyrics that's the problem. If he can bulk load the ID3 files, he already has an iTunes display mechanism.

  4. endquote says:

    I downloaded "Get Lyrical" from Doug's Scripts, but haven't gotten around to trying it. No loss though, as it appears to have some issues...

    Chris Shull's "Get Lyrical" script -- v2.3 was posted yesterday -- apparently only retrieves lyrics for "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson. I have contacted Chris about fixing it.

    Doug rants a bit and I think explains why this is a hard problem to solve.

  5. ultranurd says:

    Clearly we just need all those AI researchers to solve the music-to-text problem.

  6. ac78 says:

    I have nothing but contempt for the way the 'music industry' handles the whole lyrics issue, among other things. I've been using PearLyrics since reading about it on your blog way back when and still haven't found anything better, sadly.

    I hope you do find something and when you do (or don't) please don't forget us peons.

  7. remonstrare says:

    I like using the Harmonic dashboard widget. It will look up the lyrics of currently playing song in iTunes using leoslyrics and embed those lyrics into the ID3 tag.

    It's closed source, so there's no opportunity to enhance it, but it's as it's fully automatic, it's better than manually using some GUI to go through your collection.

  8. dmlaenker says:

    Cory Doctorow as oblivious as he is self-obsessed and useless? You're kidding!