Import Lyrics to iTunes…Fast!

Posted by Steve Laser on Mar 18, 2008

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Holy Cow!  I have spent hours finding lyrics online, copying them, then pasting them into iTunes so they’ll show up on my iPod.  Sometimes you just really want to know the lyrics.  But with 3000 songs in my library, this project has turned out to be very time consuming. 

When I ran across an article about LyricSnapper on JAMM I got excited and tried it out.  That software has you play a song for just a couple seconds, then it is supposed to get the lyrics and import them when you terminate the song.  However, even though it’s free, I found it to be wildly unstable.  Sometimes it would pull the lyrics from LyricWiki, but it wouldn’t add them to the id3 tags.  Often it would freeze up, forcing me to shut it down. 

So I searched and found a great solution called iLyrics.  This one allows you to get lyrics in batches.  Check it out:

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When you right-click on a song you get a menu.  Choose Get Info.

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Above: No lyrics.  Yuch.

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Above: Open iLyrics.   Looks like the iTunes icon.

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This software gives you the option of updating automatically or manually.  By checking Update Automatically, you can choose multiple songs, as opposed to individually updating lyrics.  I will warn you, however, that good as this software is, sometimes problems arise.  So don’t try to update too many songs at once.  I found that updating up to 50 songs at a time was fairly manageable.  It only takes a half second or so per song.

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Above, I selected the 51 Queen songs I just imported into iTunes.

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When you press Get Lyrics, it opens up a window that looks like records in an Access Database.  It then starts updating songs.  So far so good.

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Above:  The red exclamation point marks songs where lyrics could not be updated.  Perhaps the title is not spelled correctly, or the lyrics simply may not exist in the LyricWiki database.

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Above is an example of an error in the program.  Most of the time I could press OK and it would continue.  Sometimes the program had to restart.

If a song already has lyrics you can have the software either overwrite them or leave them alone, simply by checking the appropriate box.  Here’s what the software looks like when it skips songs that contain lyrics:

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I found that iLyrics generally averages about a 70% success rate, which is pretty good.  That still leaves me with alot of manual updating, but not nearly as much as I would’ve had before. 

The software is free and easy to use.  I found it to be very intuitive.  But I recommend that you don’t update more than 50 songs at a time, because if the software runs into a problem, it freezes and displays an error. 

Steve Laser (136 Posts) - Website | Twitter | Facebook


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  • http://www.beehave.de Fred

    Unfortunately, iLyrics doesn’t seem to be developed any more. The last reply by the programmer in his blog is 1,5yrs old.
    iLyrics used to work pretty well but fails to do so with iTunes 8.

    Fred

  • Jay

    iLyrics works great for me. I’m on WinXP with the latest iTunes. Its buggy and it crashes, but iLyrics gets the job done.

  • Steve Laser

    I’m using iLyrics with Vista and the newest version of iTunes, 8.x, and it works fine. Perhaps it isn’t perfect, but not bad. One thing to note: make sure the song title is exact, otherwise it will not find the lyrics.

  • cels

    thanks so much for sharing this info. i thought all similar software were for MAC users only. I was about to give up and stumbled upon your post on page 3 of my google search! =D

  • captianastra

    I have ran across something called SkiniTunes. I have had good luck with importing lyrics into itunes while i listen to my music, it will even display lyrics for some radio stations! Anyways might be worth checking out.

    Source: http://lifehacker.com/5218759/skinitunes-is-a-m...
    http://www.skinitunes.com

  • Eva

    Works pretty well, most of my songs are found.
    My ONLY complaint would be it can't find any songs from Broadway Cast Recordings (Wicked, In the Heights, RENT, Spring Awakening…etc.).
    :(

  • sad man

    ilyrics doesnt work anymore. It was taken down. :(

  • sad man

    ilyrics doesnt work anymore. It was taken down. :(

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