“There’s a bathroom on the right..”
No wait… that’s not it. Don’t you hate it when you get the lyrics to a song wrong? It’s especially embarrassing when it’s karaoke night, which you may have been dragged out for, and you belt out gibberish. You hang your head in shame as you leave the stage. Or perhaps you’ve downloaded a song that a friend recommended and you have no clue what the heck they’re saying. Even with the heavily doctored music that continues to be pumped out, you may have difficulty grasping the right lyrics.
I know I’m not alone on that one. Not only have I found a solution to this musical mystery, but I can connect to others and see what song is stuck in their head. I came across TuneWiki while roaming through the BlackBerry App World. TuneWiki has done an excellent job of mashing up music stored on your BlackBerry - a lyric database that would make any karaoke junkie cry and a vast social network made up of fellow music lovers. It’s a fantastic way to learn about music you never thought to download before. So turn the music on, crank it up and let your favourite sounds be heard.
TuneWIki is available from the company with the same name. The application is currently in version 184.108.40.206 and is available for free or in a pro edition, which eliminates any advertisements. Both versions will take up 174 KB of space. TuneWiki can be used from your BlackBerry smartphone, as well as from your desktop. An account is required to access TuneWiki’s full functionality, but don’t worry, it’s free.
TuneWiki Mobile App
Let’s take a gander at the BlackBerry app first. Since this is CrackBerry.com, the focus will be on the BlackBerry app. To be honest with you, I was impressed upon first glance of this app. I think my first words were actually “I freaking like this!!” You are able to access all of your music stored on your memory card or on your device. TuneWiki still gives you the same options as your native media player would; playlists, artists, albums, all songs or shuffle songs. The pages are easily navigated, which makes for a smooth file browsing experience. Now, the lyrical magic begins as soon as you pick a song. The actual media player is beautifully laid out. The name of the song and the artist are displayed at the top. Below that, you will see the song progress bar; telling you the song length and how far into it you are. If you highlight this bar, you can very easily fast forward or rewind. It’s actually much easier to do than with the native media player. At the bottom of the screen, you will see the Next Track, Previous Track and the Pause/Play buttons. Depending on which version you have, you may see text advertising at the very bottom. What about the middle of the screen you ask? Wondrous words from the current song appear. In the background, you will see the albums cover art and a grey bar in the foreground will show the lyrics.
Looks like the Native Media Player menu, doesn't it?
Music and lyrics in sync
The lyrics will appear in a similar fashion as you would experience at a karaoke bar; in sync with the music. This is of course, is minus the sound of a butchered AC/DC song performed by some drunk. You can continue to navigate through the application with the music playing in the background. You won’t see the lyrics, but if you were to go back to the media player, the lyrics continue to roll without skipping a beat. Even though TuneWiki has lyrics for 2.7 million songs at hand, you may come across a message stating “No lyrics available”, for a few of your songs. Don’t worry, I will tell you where you can get them later on.
Pressing the menu button will display few options. One you should head to is the Community section. This launches the browser and lands you on to the TuneWiki Community Landing. Lets look at your options:
Song Lyric Search
Here, you can search for lyrics by entering in the Artist, Song Title and/or Phrase. Lyrics are community contributed, so you may need to search through them. You can even choose which language you want to view them in and make comments on the lyrics as well. Comments are known as Shouts and appear on a Shoutwall.
Oh! So THAT's how it goes...
Music Near You
View a huge list of songs that other users are listening to. You will see the song title and the artist. You can click on each song and see the lyrics. You then have the same language and shout options I mentioned above. The only problem with this was that my location was way off and there was no way to change it. I’m in British Columbia, Canada, but it said that my location was in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Hmm…BlackBerry…Waterloo…coincidence?
The RIM Soundtrack perhaps?
TuneWiki Top 50
This section is where you can view TuneWIki’s top 50 artists and top 50 songs; each viewed by all countries or by a specific country. I liked the next screen, where you can see the top 50 for the Hour, Today, the Week or for the Month. If you choose to view the top songs, you can view lyrics by clicking on each song. If you choose the top 50 artists, you have to go one step further. Click on the artist, then sort through the vast list of songs until you find the right one.
There’s also a FAQ section in case you get stuck.
From the Desktop
This site offers an ample supply of possibilities. After logging in, you can manage your network profile, as you would with CrackBerry. The Music Charts and Maps section will let you view users around the world (via Google Maps) and see what song they are playing. To see the song, simply click on a smiley face. The top songs of today from the map will also be listed. The website also lets you pick your genre, reducing your lyric search time. You can also watch videos/play music (with lyrics), participate in the forums, add lyrics and even download free songs!
Desktop Main Menu
I really enjoyed using TuneWiki on my BlackBerry and on my desktop. My days of embarrassing song slip ups are long gone. The player and the mobile site were very easy to use. For future builds I would like to see the following on my BlackBerry;
1. The ability to play downloaded videos with lyrics
2. Enable the TuneWiki Music Apps
3. Play videos and music with lyrics from the mobile site
4. Facebook and/or Twitter integration. Let friends and followers know what I’m listening to.
That last point is apparently being addressed and will hopefully be seen soon. You can pick up both the free and pro versions of TuneWiki from BlackBerry App World. In Canada, the Pro version goes for $5.45 so check the App World for pricing. Until next time, “Excuse me, while I eat this fly”. Um, no wait……!
- Over 2.7 million song lyrics
- Fantastic Media Player
- View what others are listening to
- No support for Twitter or Facebook.....yet