Automatically Add Lyrics To All Songs In Your iTunes Library [How To]

Automatically Add Lyrics To All Songs In Your iTunes Library [How To]

Ever been singing along to a new song and wondered just what the heck the lyrics really are? Searching for the lyrics on the internet isn’t the fastest of solutions to avoid lyric confusion. Here we’re going to show you how to utilize scripts and a widget to search out the lyrics for all of the songs in your iTunes library and automatically save them to song’s meta data, so that next time you can correct your friend when they sing “where’s my Asian friend,” when the lyrics really are, “what’s my age again.”

To accomplish this feat we’re going to use Scripts so that all we have to do is set up the Scripts and let our Mac do the work for us.

First: Download the following Widget and two Scripts that can be located at Dougscripts.com

TunesTEXT (widget that searches for song lyrics and adds them to iTunes)

NeedleDrop (script that brings up each song in your library individually for a preset length of time)

NoLyricsToPlaylist (script that creates a playlist of all songs that don’t have lyrics)

Second: Install the TunesText Widget to your Dashboard, then install the NeedleDrop & NoLyricsToPlaylist .

Note: In order to install the two Scripts to iTunes you’ll need to drop the files under the Scripts folder for iTunes. It can be found at  [username]/Library/iTunes/Scripts. If the folder doesn’t already exist then you’ll need to create it.

Automatically Add Lyrics To All Songs In Your iTunes Library [How To]

Third: Instead of having our script search for the lyrics to every song in our library we’re going to try to save some time by using the NoLyricsToPlaylist script to create a playlist consisting of all the songs in our library that don’t have lyrics. To do this you will need to click on the Script icon in the iTunes menu, and then click “No Lyrics To Playlist” from the drip down menu.

Automatically Add Lyrics To All Songs In Your iTunes Library [How To]

Automatically Add Lyrics To All Songs In Your iTunes Library [How To]

Fourth: It may take iTunes a while to create your playlist depending on how much music you have. Once it is completed the script will alert you that it is done and you can move on to the next step.

Automatically Add Lyrics To All Songs In Your iTunes Library [How To]

Fifth: Make sure that the TunesTEXT widget is running on your dashboard. TunesTEXT’s’ job is to search the internet for the lyrics of the song that is currently playing in iTunes, download those lyrics, and then add them to the song’s meta data. You can adjust the settings of the widget, but for the most part it’s ready to rock and roll without any tweaks.

Automatically Add Lyrics To All Songs In Your iTunes Library [How To]

Sixth: Make sure that the very first song in your “No Lyrics” Playlist is selected. Then from the Scripts menu select “Needle Drop”

Automatically Add Lyrics To All Songs In Your iTunes Library [How To]

Seventh: Needle Drop is going to play every song in your playlist for a few seconds. It will first ask you to, “Play each track for how many seconds?” Within these few seconds that each song is playing TunesTEXT will have to retrieve the lyrics and add them to the song, so you need to make sure to give TunesTEXT enough time to do this, but you also don’t want to give it too much time because then it’s going to take forever to do all the songs. The amount of seconds you allow will probably vary from user to user based on internet connection speed. I personally set it at 4 seconds per song. (You will also be asked how many seconds into the song you would like to start playing. I leave this at 0.)

Automatically Add Lyrics To All Songs In Your iTunes Library [How To]

Eighth: Set It & Forget It! If iTunes is changing the song every 4 seconds then your script is working and you can go about your business doing whatever it is you like to do on your Mac while TunesTEXT and Needle Drop work in the background.

Automatically Add Lyrics To All Songs In Your iTunes Library [How To]

Depending on the amount of music in your playlist, it may take a number of hours before all the songs have been completed. If you ever need to stop the process, you can come back later, just select the song you left off at before starting Needle Drop again.

  • R-kar

    Bonus points for referring to ‘What’s My Age Again?’ and featuring Robots ;)

  • Mily

    Useful trick! loving it!

  • A806531

    Where can I find the script icon on iTunes 10.2.1.1????

  • Pablo Kenfold

    I know this is going to sound like Heresy to you guys but is there a way to do this in Windows¡

  • Fern98

    how do you do it in Windows?

  • Joyce Zhu

    This is very useful! Thanks! Is there a way to add a Chinese database with Chinese songs to it?

  • twitter-14073711

    Great, it works fine. Thank you.

  • JonSolo

    Does anyone know who the singer in the post’s top picture is? She reminds me of the St. Vincent girl (but this woman is probably a model…).

  • Peter Reynolds

    Charlotte Kemp Muhl

  • JonSolo

    Thanks, Peter! You’re a star!

  • DaBeast4287

    Kinda late, but it doesnt always find the song lyrics and when it doesnt it doesnt add them to the song.

  • Silks

    This was a great tip when it was new. Sadly, TunesText has stopped working, and “cannot find lyrics” even for perfectly easy songs. This is after a period of semi-functionality, when it actually only downloaded truncated lyrics (i.e. the first line or two of the songs followed by [...])
    So if anyone knows of a currently functional way of doing this, I’d love to hear about it.

  • http://darkangelights2009.tumblr.com/ darkangelights

    I might try this.

  • Josh

    This doesn’t work for me AT ALL. I can’t even find NoLyricsToPlaylist now that there’s TrackSift. I guess I was too late.

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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