Lyrical scripting

Shortly after writing this script for showing radio show song lists in a popup window, I thought it would be nice if the songs in my iTunes library included lyrics along with the title, artist, and album information. I downloaded GetLyrical and set it up to scan my Music library and install lyrics on all the tracks it could. GetLyrical uses, a community-edited repository, as its source for lyrics.

When I returned the next day, GetLyrical was done, having added lyrics to about 60% of the tracks. The 40% that didn’t get lyrics added fell into three categories:

  1. Tracks that just don’t have lyrics. Most of my jazz and classical tracks fall into this category, as do lectures from iTunes U.
  2. Tracks that doesn’t have in its repository.
  3. Tracks that has, but which are stored under a title or artist than differs from what’s in my iTunes library.

Obviously, there’s nothing to be done about the first category. I’ll have to look at other sites to find lyrics in the second category, GetLyrical could work for tracks in the third category if I’m willing to change some of the metadata in my library.

As an example of the third category, I had some Buddy Holly songs that GetLyrical didn’t add lyrics to. Not believing that wouldn’t have “Peggy Sue,” for example, I looked at my library and found that several Holly songs were saved with “The Crickets” in the Artist field. After I changed that to “Buddy Holly,” GetLyrical added lyrics to all those songs.

How did I know which songs were still missing lyrics after running GetLyrical? With the following script, written in Python and using the library.

 1:  #!/usr/bin/python
 3:  import appscript
 5:  lyricless = []
 7:  songs ='iTunes').playlists['Music'].tracks.get()
 8:  for song in songs:
 9:    if (song.lyrics.get() == '') and (song.genre.get() != 'Classical') and (song.genre.get() != 'Jazz'):
10:        lyricless.append((song.artist.get().encode('utf-8'),'utf-8')))
12:  lyricless.sort()
13:  print '\n'.join(['%s: %s' % (a,t) for a,t in lyricless])

I call the script, and I’ve saved its output into a file that I can scan for songs that need lyrics. You’ll note in Line 9 that I’ve tried to prevent jazz and classical tracks from cluttering the output. I’ve also sorted the list by artist (Line 12), because I thought it would be easier to scan the list that way.

The output has lines that look like this:

Spencer Davis Group: Stevie's Blues
Spencer Davis Group: The Hammer Song
Spencer Davis Group: Trampoline
Spencer Davis Group: Waltz For Lumumba
Spencer Davis Group: When I Come Home
Spinal Tap: Saucy Jack
Squires: Going All The Way
Staple Singers: When Will We Be Paid
Stephen Lynch: Taxi Ride
Stephen Malkmus & Lee Ranaldo: Can't Leave Her Behind
Stephen Malkmus & The Million Dollar Bashers: Maggie's Farm
Steve Cropper, Albert King, Pop Staples: Water
Steve Earle & Reckless Kelly: Reconsider Me
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble: Flood Down In Texas
Stevie Wonder: Fingertips Pt.2

Scanning through the list, I’ve noticed several things: