Got iTunes on your Mac? Yes, you do. You must. It’s required as a member of a technology cult to use the tools that are given you. I jest, but playing music on a Mac is pretty much iTunes or nothing. iTunes has become a behemoth, an all-in-one app that tries to be all things to everyone. It plays media. It lets you buy media. It’s an app center. It’s a social network app. It’s a television and movie screen. It’s the account center for your Apple life. What’s missing?
What’s missing is quick and easy lyrics. I’m a child of a previous generation and I’m always surprised when I see actual song lyrics in print. The words before my eyes don’t always match the words I hear in my head.
Floating Lyrics In My Head Or Onscreen
There must be a dozen Mac apps that do lyrics from iTunes. The latest is MiniLyrix which is simple, elegant, dirt cheap, and has just the right blend of features and functions, save one very serious problem.
MiniLyrix sits in your Mac’s Menubar and pops down. Three different views are available.
The first is a simple pop down player with album art. It displays the artist and the title.
The second is more useful. It pops down, features the player (so you can change volume, start, stop, pause, move to the next song on the playlist) and lyrics.
The third is made for larger, busier Mac screens and floats on top over everything else. MiniLyrix changes the lyric’s font size (so older music lovers can see the lyrics) by clicking + or -. Here’s how the three views appear onscreen.
Everything looks wonderful. Except for that aforementioned problem.
The lyrics. It’s an app that is supposed to display lyrics and MiniLyrix seldom does that. The lyrics must be displayed from the song’s id3 tag (which means your song must have the lyrics embedded already).
Instead of heading out into the vast wasteland of the internet to track down lyrics, MiniLyrix adds a Safari extension called LyricsReader to do the dirty work. Only about one out of five songs on my Mac had lyrics, and I don’t want to add another Safari extension to do what the app should do in the first place.
The idea is sound. The app looks great. It just needs to work as advertised. Song plays, lyrics display. That’s worth 99-cents. This isn’t. Yet.