iClip Lyrics 1.3.3 review
If you’ve never manually added lyrics to a track in iTunes, the process goes like this: You select the track, choose File: Get Info, click on the Lyrics tab in the Info window, type or paste the lyrics into the large text field, and then click on OK.
It’s not a difficult task, but it’s a hassle to perform more than occasionally - let alone to do it for every track in your iTunes library. Which is too bad, because once you’ve added lyrics, they aren’t confined to iTunes’s Info window; you can also view them on your iPod or iPhone.
Back in 2005, I covered pearLyrics, a utility that watched iTunes and automatically added lyrics to whatever track was playing. It was a popular Gem among Macworld readers; sadly, soon after that coverage, pearLyrics was discontinued due to pressure from the music-publishing industry.
Since then, a number of other products have been released that can get song lyrics into iTunes, but few perform the task as seamlessly as pearLyrics. So I was happy to discover iClip Lyrics, as close to a pearLyrics replacement as I’ve seen.
For a good amount of music, you just launch iClip Lyrics and leave it running whenever you’re listening to iTunes. The display at the top of the iClip Lyrics window shows the name of the current track (although, oddly, not the artist name). If the track already has lyrics - they’re stored in the audio file’s ID3 tags - those lyrics are shown in the main part of the window.
For tracks that don’t have lyrics, the program uses the track and artist names to search LyricWiki.org; it then displays the lyrics, if found, and adds them to the current tracks’ ID3 tags. All this happens automatically, without any intervention from you; by leaving iClip Lyrics running all the time, you end up gradually adding lyrics for much of your music.
Unfortunately, LyricWiki doesn’t have the lyrics to every song. If a track’s lyrics aren’t found on LyricWiki, you can turn to Google by clicking on the Search (magnifying-glass icon) button. iClip Lyrics sends a Google request to your browser in the form of “lyrics [song title] [artist name]” and, at the same time, opens a Clipboard drawer in the iClip Lyrics window.
If you find your track’s lyrics via the Google search, just select the text and copy it; the copied text is automatically pasted into iClip Lyrics’s Clipboard drawer. Assuming it’s the correct text, a click on the Paste Lyrics button applies it to the current track. While this process isn’t as convenient as the program’s automatic mode, it’s still quite a bit simpler than the alternative: manually performing a Google search, copying the lyrics, switching to iTunes, opening the Info window, switching to the Lyrics tab, pasting the lyrics, and then clicking on OK.