I was planning to review a song lyrics app a while ago but it suddenly disappeared from the iTunes App Store and the developer never told me why! Oh well, no loss… Lyrics+ is far from perfect but it’s still pretty handy and has a lot of potential to become an “every day” app.
That other lyrics app was pretty run of the mill in that it would allow for searching by artist or song title. The thing that makes Lyrics+ so much more promising is that it will find, or at least try to find, the “now playing” song! There have been numerous times when I’ve been listening intently to Eminem rag on his mother but still couldn’t understand exactly how or why he wants to kill her, and I truly wished I could launch an app that would just show me the lyrics while the song is playing. That’s what this app does, and it takes just a couple of taps which is super cool.
In addition to the “now playing” trick, SchroederDev also gave this app search fields to find music lyrics that aren’t currently being played, and “plus” (see that, it’s the app’s name) it will let you browse your music library to fire up both the song and the lyrics at the same time.
This is an awesome set of features and, for the most part, it all works pretty well. The Lyrics+ interface is very plain jane, but when it comes to this kind of app it’s functionality that matters and this one delivers… mostly.
There are two key areas where this lyric finder needs work. The first one, search, is the biggest problem because you MUST use an artist name (and get it exactly right) in order to find anything.
Ouch! Come on dude, I know the song is called We’re Not Gonna Take It but I can’t remember which crappy hair band sang it. When you do have an artist name it’s usually pretty good about fetching info, but you’ll still run into times when the app will give you a search result that you can’t tap on! Double ouch. It did this to me with Mötley Crüe (both with and without the umlauts) and then again with AC/DC. Luckily it worked with Whitesnake or I would have just burst into tears.
The search results also include album names which is kind of nice… I guess… but they don’t lead to a list of songs from that album. It just shows a poorly formatted track list. Oh yeah, and the search results aren’t alphabetical. I have no idea what order they’re in which is both weird and annoying.
The other area where Lyrics+ needs help is in how the “now playing” function finds lyrics. I can understand if it won’t find a song called Track 14 or something, but if your song’s filename is even just a little different from what the app is looking for, it won’t be found. It would be so much easier if this app could just *listen* to your music to find the lyrics (!), but we all know that’s the dominion of a certain other app whose name starts with Sha and ends with Zam.
If the search issues could be resolved and the “now playing” thing improved, I’d be willing to call Lyrics+ a “must have”. If it could successfuly search lyrics by using the lyrics themselves without artist or song title, that would be grounds for adding a buck or three to the price.
As it is, Lyrics+ is still a pretty good app even despite all the search problems. My music library is all pretty mainstream and if yours is, too, this app should come in handy more often than not. If you’re all over the weird indie scene, or if your MP3 collection is one misspelling after another, you may want to approach with caution.