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Hands on with Lyrics+

I love singing along to my iPod. Not well, mind you, but loudly with lots of enthusiasm. I assure you my children love this exactly as much as you'd expect. So I was excited to test out Lyrics+ from SchroederDev. Lyrics+ helps find and display lyrics on your iPhone or iPod.

Although there are many Mac-based solutions that add lyrics to your iTunes library, Lyrics+ provides a simpler to use solution. You launch the app, choose "now playing song..." and *boom* the lyrics are right there for you. Or mostly there. Because there are significant breaks in their library of lyric coverage. For example, lyrics for the London Revival of Roger and Hammerstein's Oklahoma (yes, starring Wolverine) were completely MIA, as were those for the Drowsy Chaperone. Billy Joel's Ain't No Crime was also a no-show but Matt Wertz and Dixie Chicks lyrics were on offer.

Lyrics+ depends on several lyrics databases including LyricWiki.org. But for a $1.99 app (currently on sale for half price), were you expecting Gracenote Lyric Service? That kind of data base access could be offered affordably by major players like AT&T and Apple but for independent developers, Lyrics+ is about as good as you're going to get.

I found the app easy to use and fun, although I wish it would automatically update when the currently playing song changed. (I believe there are callback hooks and notifications in the Music Player frameworks that let you know when this occurs like MPMusicPlayerControllerNowPlayingItemDidChangeNotification.)

The interface is really basic. You can pick a song from your library, search by the currently playing song, and search by artist/song. Stability was just so-so. The application crashed several times during playback but it was easy enough to re-launch, and get back to the lyrics page and pick up with the currently playing song.

In the end, I really do like Lyrics+ despite its relatively limited feature set. Is it worth the two bucks (or one, during the current sale)? I'd say yes. With just a few taps, you can peek at the lyrics of the song that's currently playing and sing along to your heart's content and your children's dispepsia.

Name: Lyrics+ (iTunes link)
Developer: Bruce Schroeder
Platform: iPhone or iPod touch
Price: $1.99 (Sale: $0.99)

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