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I am one of those people who tends to mishear song lyrics. When there was a move from vinyl records to cassette tapes to CDs, I didn’t have much of an issue shifting technologies because each of these forms came with paper inserts or booklets that typically had the song lyrics for the album printed on them.

The shift from CDs to digital music was a much harder one for me to make, and it wasn’t simply because I’m becoming one of those old fogies who doesn’t like change. My biggest gripe with digital music was the loss of the art and printed lyrics. I’ve since come to terms with my digital music player (an iPod Nano), and not only come to terms with it, but come to adore it. Anything that allows me to carry hundreds of songs in my purse or pocket and has a fun little button/wheel to fiddle with AND includes the album art is bound for eventual love and admiration. The only thing still missing is the lyrics.

After mishearing the word “vagabond” as “bag of bones” in The Killers’ song “Losing Touch,” I thought I should investigate whether there was a way to put lyrics on my iPod. Sure enough, there is a way to do it, but it’s perhaps the most retarded (can I use that word anymore?) way I can think of to accomplish what should be a simple and automatic task.

The process involves selecting each individual song, opening “Get Info” from the File menu in iTunes, selecting the Lyrics tab and typing the lyrics into the text box. That works wonderfully if you want to type the lyrics to over 400 songs (or whatever number you have in your iPod) and you can understand all the lyrics. You can shorten this process by looking for the lyrics online and doing a copy/paste, but not all lyrics services will allow you to copy the lyrics, plus some of these services have obvious errors in the lyrics.

If Apple can manage to provide the song, the album art, artist and composer names, and genres for each song, why can’t it also automatically provide the lyrics? And, yes, I get that the lyrics are under separate copyright from the musical recording. Come on peeps in the music industry, work out some kind of a licensing deal on this. I’d like to be able to sing my favorite songs correctly in the shower and car.

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