Can’t recall the exact lyrics from a favorite? Camena will help, sometimes

Sep 18, 2009
Music

Did Jimi Hendrix really ask, “Excuse me while I kiss this guy?” Camena – Song Lyrics, a new iPhone app, will tell you that Hendrix really wanted to “kiss the sky,” as it pulls song lyrics from all of the albums on your device and displaying them as the song plays. The application offers the […]

Did Jimi Hendrix really ask, “Excuse me while I kiss this guy?”

Camena – Song Lyrics, a new iPhone app, will tell you that Hendrix really wanted to “kiss the sky,” as it pulls song lyrics from all of the albums on your device and displaying them as the song plays.

The application offers the ability to pause, skip between songs, adjust the volume, change the font size with a pinch and, most important, email lyrics to your friends to solve disputes. Sure the lyrics will “ripple” on your iPhone, which is cool, but I’d prefer a nifty bouncing ball to track the words.

Camena, like other lyrics apps, is accurate for recent songs, pop lyrics and interaction with well-organized libraries. But the app isn’t much help with that Dylan B-sides compilation or the mixes you made from your grampa’s collection of Big Band 78’s. It even has trouble with Indie rock acts from minor labels.

On a recent test, I got lyrics for about half of the songs (from major label indies, pop, jazz and classic soul albums) in one 5-gigabyte collection. To be fair, many of the misses occurred on some dubious downloads that had been poorly labeled. Not great results, but worth the 99 cents this app costs.

Camena does not save the lyrics to the song’s info on the iPod. Overall, Camena is a work in progress, but less so than many of its competitors.

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Richard Sharp

Richard Sharp is a Chicago-based freelance writer, editor and entrepreneur whose writing about music, film, technology and global business has appeared in the Chicago Sun Times, USA Today, Village Voice Media newspapers, and more.

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