Apr 302013
 

Lyrics Here (formerly called YouTube Lyrics) is a free web browser extension that instantly displays the lyrics for music videos and songs when you start to play them on YouTube, Spotify or Grooveshark.

There’s nothing more embarrassing than finding out you’ve been singing along to your favorite songs for years – but with the wrong lyrics… Now’s your chance to make sure you really know them – warblers of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ please take note 😉

Unlike most extensions it is available for all major browsers – Chrome, IE, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

Lyrics Panel – Lyrics are displayed in a panel which pops up whenever you start to play music on one of the three sites. The panel can be dragged, resized, toggled or closed – it also displays a link (‘info’) to the original lyrics source and a link to swap to a different source if you think the lyrics are wrong or incomplete.

An example panel is shown below for a YouTube music video using the Google Chrome extension:

youtubelyrics1

The search box at the bottom lets you search for the lyrics of any other music track – not just the one you are currently playing.

Download Extension – Download links to the specific extension for each web browser are provided on the developer’s site here.

Of course the usefulness of an extension like this depends hugely on its database sources i.e. whether it is able to find the lyrics for all but the most obscure music. In my own testing of English language music, it was superb and never failed to display my lyrics within seconds.

User ratings in the official Chrome and Firefox extension download sites are also excellent, ranging from 4.6 to 5 stars out of 5. Music in languages other than English are well catered for too – Lyrics Here can use up to 13 sources including those specializing in French/Spanish/German and Brazilian music, plus a couple of sources for Metal fans.

The 6 most popular (mainly English language) sources are enabled by default but you can enable others in the extension’s Options page to add more if required (or disable some if you don’t need them to save time searching).

Other Options – The Options page also lets you configure other settings as shown below:

youtubelyrics2

As shown, you can disable it from automatically displaying lyrics for a particular website (you must then click on the extension’s icon near the address bar if you want to see lyrics). It is also possible to completely disable the service for a particular website – the site tab reflects the current status in green or pink.

Tip: in my testing (using the Chrome extension), Spotify was disabled by default because it requires you to agree to additional permissions. You must enable it in Options if you want to see lyrics whilst using the site.

Finally, you can also change the priority order in which the sources are searched. This can save time (especially for non-English music) if you find that the majority of lyrics are not coming from the first source e.g. if they mostly come from the third or fourth sources, move those up to the top so they are searched first, speeding up the process.

Conclusion

Lyrics Here is a cool new extension that provides exceptionally good results and has simple options. It also offers a wide range of lyric sources so that popular foreign language songs are well covered (you may have to click the ‘try a different source’ more often than for English language songs though).

You could of course waste time Googling the lyrics for yourself (even using the same sources) but the extension is a much easier and quicker automatic way to display them whilst you watch or listen to music – it’s a keeper for me.