In order to have song lyrics show up in your iPhone, you need to have them in iTunes first. Having song lyrics on your iPhone or iPod Touch is excellent, I tell you, and for good reason. How many times has it happened to you – enjoying music on the move, getting stuck on one line and not being able to figure out what’s been said – and getting frustrated for not having lyrics data embedded because it’s just too much hassle to go online using precious mobile data just to Google up some lyrics for the currently playing track.
Lyrics or no lyrics, I like to keep my music organized to the maximum extent possible, and so it’s sort of become an obsession to add lyrics to iTunes and my music collection. Sadly enough, iTunes still does not sit as well with a PC as with Mac, so it took quite some manual labor to find the lyrics for all of my songs. I did, however, stumble upon a song lyrics finder that helped me find the lyrics for all the tracks on my iPhone rather quickly and pretty hassle-free. Read through after the break to find out how.
The application in question is a Windows program called EvilLyrics, which is an automatic song lyrics finder and will essentially find the lyrics and add the lyrics to iTunes. Since the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad all rely solely on iTunes for their data transfer needs (at least for now), this data will get synced over and you will get something like the screenshot above for sure.
Before I begin, please know that there are multiple paid solutions available that can provide much more than merely adding lyrics to iTunes, but the charm with this one is it being free. The method described here applies to Windows specifically and will work with any iDevice running firmware over 1.0.
First, download EvilLyrics from here.
Double-click the installer to initiate, and choose Optimize for iTunes when presented with the final setup dialog.
When installed, EvilLyrics will integrate itself with iTunes such that when you play a track, it will automatically find the lyrics in its own window. Lyrics are not absolute, so if you feel that the lyrics fetched do not match the song being played, you can always opt for the next results. EvilLyrics looks through multiple sources to find the correct or best match.
So we’re good up to this point, but there’s a catch; the lyrics being displayed will not get automatically added to iTunes! Maybe you can copy the lyrics text and insert manually in iTunes? Shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, would it? Well, fortunately that’s not the case, because you can enable automatic embedding in EvilLyrics’ preferences (the small gear icon near the end of the toolbar). Simply navigate to the Advanced tab and check the option for Add Lyrics tags in iTunes. By doing this, EvilLyrics will also automatically add the lyrics to iTunes after it has found it.
With everything set up, all you need to do is play all the tracks one by one to find the lyrics. I have been unable to find a way to preview all my library for a set interval (as it can be done through the Needle Drop script in Mac) in Windows, so what I had to do was mute my speakers and let iTunes play through each and every track in a sequence, finding the lyrics for all of them and adding the lyrics to iTunes automatically. As for the automatic matching, it was correct 95% of the time, and where some problems occurred, they were easily rectified by choosing next results in EvilLyrics, resulting in an automatic update of the track’s lyrics ID3 tag in iTunes.
In the final step, you need to sync your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad with iTunes once again, and all lyrics data will get copied over, setting you up for a full music entertainment experience on a very capable device on the move.
While this method is not perfect, it’s free and it works so I don’t see much reason to complain. I still hate the fact that the iPhone (or iPod Touch), being the high quality portable media player that it is, still can’t find the lyrics or even scroll in real-time through the already-embedded ones, something that Android phones have been able to do for quite some time. But then again, with Apple’s closed system, even this much should be considered a big deal. If anyone knows a better solution, or perhaps a Cydia app that can enhance the iPhone’s music experience, please let us know through your comments.