How To: Tag Your Music with Lyrics

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Image via Wikipedia

Lyrics are funny things. There are so many websites out there that specifically deal in a song’s lyrics. I mean, there are an intimidating amount of them, all with slightly different lyrics, sign-up options, advertising in the middle of lyrics, etc.

They also run into trouble with the law fairly often, and for a silly reasons. The user-contributed lyrics can break copyright/plagiarism laws apparently. I feel that user-contribution lyrics are Fair-Use, until you start making money off those lyrics. Hosting them is a different deal.

But anyway, it’s quite nice to look at your favourite song lyrics every now and then, as seeing something in text is easier to understand than purely sound. However, it’s inconvenient to fire up a web browser, search lyrics, then finally get the songs lyrics, but only on a screen, because you usually can’t/won’t print it out, and why would you anyway?, and then you only have it for as long as you keep the page open. Inconvenient, and slow. In comes tagging your mp3’s with lyrics.

Now, this isn’t the most hassle-free method, but I feel that if you want hassle-free version, you aren’t all that familiar with the old process of lyric tagging. IE, almost impossible.  Note that this is aimed at music in the mp3 format, and is not guaranteed to work with all formats, but will likely with most popular ones.

First off, you will need to download MediaMonkey, an awesome music management tool/library that I’ve mentioned in a previous post. Here’s the AlternativeTo.net link. Don’t worry, the free version has almost all functionality, save for a couple power-user functions.

Once it’s installed and you’ve imported some music you want lyrics for, download the Lyricator plugin via the MediaMonkey forums, a great resource for advanced music management. Open the file, it’s an auto-installer, and BAM, it’s in your ‘Monkey!

The download page has some info on tweaking the settings of the plugin for refined results, but these aren’t necessary to work out the box. Options are found via Tools tab> Options > Scroll to Library tab, then Lyricator. I’d suggest ticking the Enable Toolbar button, just gives a shortcut on the main window.

Then simply select the songs you want lyrics for, less than 1,000 at a time just to be reasonable, and then click the icon near the top of your screen that looks like a monkey with spiky hair. See pic for reference.

A pop-up will appear, and start searching for lyrics under your conditions set in the options page. This is very quick, and requires very little bandwidth, so it can run in the background with no impact on you system.

Right-click a lyric to preview the full thing, and make changes as you want, left-click to deselect them. Simple, and with no way to screw it up!

To view your lovely lyrics, another plugin is required, but equally useful. Lyrics and Comment Viewer. This with provide a pane on the right of the window which displays the currently selected/playing song’s lyrics. Install, and done, there it is!

To make your life with MediaMonkey even easier, right-click on the Library Tab on the left of your screen, Options > Choose Tree Nodes. Then scroll almost all the way down the list, till you see File to Edit, and tick its box. Click Okay, and you now have the Files to Edit tab under Library. This is VERY powerful to see your incorrect tags. Go to the bottom of this, and open Problematic Tracks > Tacks without lyrics. All your un-lyric-ed tracks, all in one place! Happy tagging!

Of course, these lyrics can be embedded into the file itself, and then any device capable of displaying lyrics will then display them, but I cannot say which devices do display (Most iPods do), nor what format is required (but mp3 works fine).

Next time I’ll do a guide for Album Art and MediaMonkey. You gunna love that one…

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