Apps by Arlomedia

BandHelper => Polls => Topic started by: arlo on March 30, 2022, 12:32:45 PM

Title: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: arlo on March 30, 2022, 12:32:45 PM
The BandHelper user base has grown large enough that I can afford to license a lyrics database to create a built-in lyrics import function. However, this database would only include lyrics, and I'd have to build up my own database of chords to go with them. I'm wondering how many people would use this, with or without chords?

UPDATE April 12

After 900+ votes and some additional comments, it seems clear that while there is some interest in using this feature, there is little interest in helping pay for it, so I'm putting the idea on the shelf for now. But I've posted a new poll about a built-in chords database, which wouldn't require licensing fees like the lyrics would. Please weigh in on that here: http://forum.arlomedia.com/index.php/topic,2734.0.html
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: arlo on April 05, 2022, 03:03:03 PM
By the way, while looking over the current data to estimate the scale of this project, I queried the "BandHelper Top 10" -- these are the songs that appear most often in BandHelper accounts:

Proud Mary
Sweet Home Alabama
Brown Eyed Girl
Mustang Sally
Superstition
Stand By Me
Take It Easy
Hard to Handle
Play That Funky Music
Uptown Funk

I checked and these are all in the lyrics database I'm considering licensing, with different versions for different artists -- for example, the CCR or Ike & Tina version of Proud Mary -- etc.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: jowidi on April 06, 2022, 11:01:34 PM
This could be a nice add-on to use, depending on the quality of the database. As you mentioned it is easy enough to find lyrics on the web nowadays but in most cases you have to correct at least a few misheard words. Sometimes the quality of online lyrics is abysmal  ;-)

OTOH I am used to this process now and have acquired and collected lyrics for several hundreds of songs over the years. So yes, I would welcome this as a convenient feature if it were to be added to plus and pro accounts but would not want to pay an extra fee for it (I already have a plus account). And the database would need to have both good quality and a broad selection of lyrics.

Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: Vandy on April 07, 2022, 02:07:51 AM
Personally, I include lyrics (accessed from azlyrics.com) simply because the field exists in BandHelper & I appreciate the thoroughness of what "adding a song" brings ...
My Pro(?) account is still only available/referenced by me - various bandmates have commented (favorably) when noticing my tablet, but no one really asks me, "what's the lyric there?" ...
It's a great app already for my purposes - I would hope that BandHelper is making you money, not sucking the Life out of you by getting you involved with "outside services" ...
Thanks, Arlo ...
       Big Love ...
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: JerryK on April 07, 2022, 03:02:57 AM
So far, I mostly get chords & lyrics from Ultimate Guitar.  This is in chords-over format.

Annoyingly, the chords are frequently not correctly positioned over the start of the word or syllable they belong to.  This is fixed using Notepad.
The song sections (verse, chorus etc labels) are often/usually in square brackets which have to be replaced with regular brackets.  This is also fixed with Notepad.

I then paste this into http://ukegeeks.com/tools   song formatter, which converts chords-over to Chordpro format, and paste the result into BH Lyrics.  Chordpro format allows the users to show chordpro or chords-over as they like.
After that, I grey the section names and any performance instructions added by the author or me.  Also frequently needing to adjust space between verse/chorus etc sections because I often get an unexpected extra line-space.
I often also colour vocal replies (blue) or ensemble backing vocals (orange) for best clarity to all band members.

It's a bit of a process, sometimes made worse by some wrong words or chords of course.
Another issue is sometimes that the version of the song does not agree with the expected "single" or whatever popular version.  It is rarely made clear which version is being covered.
How about at least an optional YouTube link to the version being covered?

I still wish I could choose a preferred 'normal' text size but with exceptions for some songs.  It's about making a good fit for line length and wrapping.  I always shrink from the normal size.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: jesta on April 07, 2022, 03:30:28 AM
I probably wouldn't use this feature much - it's so easy to find lyrics anyway. Plus I don't usually have all the lyrics for most songs, usually just a few "reminder words" to nudge my memory.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: Zionplayer on April 07, 2022, 04:02:19 AM
I do have a fairly easy process for obtaining lyrics and do find that most lyric sites in the web have multiple mistakes per song, so I also review each song closely to finalize.

However - I would personally much rather have access in my Pro Account to something I need from time to time but don't easily have - that is Stage Plot.  Only need it a few times a year so I don't intend to pay extra and can use the free clunky web versions, but you already have the program developed.  Would be one way to give back to the community and add functionality to Pro account. But maybe I'm the only one with that need...
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: danray0424 on April 07, 2022, 04:37:49 AM
I wouldn't use it if it's just lyrics. If it's a chord chart, that would simplify my current workflow somewhat. And, if it's really comprehensive, it would enable me to satisfy more requests on the fly than I currently can.

I think rather than licensing lyrics, maybe you could explore a partnership with Ultimate Guitar or somebody like that to have access to their charts. We all know that their crowdsourced charts are far from perfect, but if I know the song by ear I can usually make it work. Having those be one tap away within BandHelper would be kind of amazing.

I'd contribute some of my cleaned-up charts, but bear in mind they're nearly all derived from something I found online, nearly all of which are from UG. Not sure about the licensing implications of that.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: dosmun on April 07, 2022, 05:06:33 AM
I generally copy and paste lyrics and arrange then to my needs. I voted I would use them but, without seeing the format I can't say it would be useable for me.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: gdavey377 on April 07, 2022, 07:08:41 AM
I currently copy and paste from Ultimate Guitar.  It's not "terribly' difficult to do, and I usually end up cleaning up the layout after import so that the chords match up correctly, or so that they wrap better when I'm reading off the ipad to practice or perform.   I often also transpose up or down to fit my vocal range.  So, while I would use your database, I'm guessing I'll still have to do a lot of work to format it the way I like it.   I would not pay extra for it.  You currently have links to search for chords and lyrics... it might be easier (and more useful) to have an import feature instead.  Currently, I just copy and paste and it works well.  If you wanted to remove 3 or 4 extra clicks, that'd be great, but is it worth the effort?  I dunno.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: Rev.Wood on April 07, 2022, 07:26:43 AM
Sounds great.  Would be a big time-saver and would probably be a big selling point to someone trying to convert from a notebook system to digital.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: imfinlay on April 07, 2022, 08:49:21 AM
I play mainly music from the '40s through the '60s. Most online lyrics are wrong, sometimes because the person transcribing isn't a native English speaker, or because they don't get the cultural references (The Video's "Trickle Trickle" is always transcribed wrong for example because of the slang).

So if it's free, it's cool, but otherwise the current functionality is fine.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: Ralph on April 07, 2022, 10:57:41 AM
I play in a tribute band so I don't think I wil use the database but I can imagine that there are a lot op people who like to have an easy way to get their lyrics and chords into Bandhelper. 
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: Quadcab on April 07, 2022, 12:06:21 PM
Whilst I’m sure some of the duos and trios may use this, as a 6 piece doing some complicated stuff, we have a Pages template and lyrics are colour coded. Lead female vocals in purple, lead male in blue or, green and backing in red. For me it’s easier to carry on as is. It works well for us.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: Dustin on April 07, 2022, 12:15:57 PM
It's an awesome idea, but I find that the lyrics are never accurate, and we have to edit them anyway.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: JeffsRealm on April 07, 2022, 02:30:39 PM
Just my two cents,

Lyrics would be great. Again easy enough to get everywhere for free. So not sure if this is a good use of your time or money.

Now I didn't select Chord pro in voting, because while it could be useful, our singer is a female and we do 50-50 male and female songs. The male ones usually require us to change keys. So not sure if this can import with modified keys or just stuck to the original key. Also we have discovered problems with multiple versions of songs. Kiss - Detroit Rock City is the most severe example. We set off to learn it met for practice and everyone was playing different versions. Every single album version is slightly different in different spots. Extra bars here and there. Every video seems to be a different version as well.

Right now we do not import the chord charts into band helper, but they would be handy, just none of want to go through and modify all of them to match what key we are in.  If we still had to do that, I wouldn't find it much use, Lyrics are fine though would help cut a step or two out. But again not a huge thing.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: arlo on April 07, 2022, 02:47:35 PM
Thanks for the feedback so far! Here are responses to some questions and requests:

I then paste this into http://ukegeeks.com/tools   song formatter, which converts chords-over to Chordpro format, and paste the result into BH Lyrics.

FYI, you can do this within BandHelper using the ChordPro Tools button ("[C]" icon) above the Lyrics field.

How about at least an optional YouTube link to the version being covered?

You can paste a YouTube (or any) link into the Notes field or a custom field and it will be clickable when you view it in a layout.

I would personally much rather have access in my Pro Account to something I need from time to time but don't easily have - that is Stage Plot.

I'm not sure what you mean -- Pro accounts already have a Stage Plots module.

I think rather than licensing lyrics, maybe you could explore a partnership with Ultimate Guitar or somebody like that to have access to their charts.

Ultimate Guitar licenses their lyrics, and I expect their license agreements don't support sharing the lyrics with other services. As far as I can tell, the existing online lyrics sites either fall into that category, or are unlicensed and I don't want to mess with those.

Now I didn't select Chord pro in voting, because while it could be useful, our singer is a female and we do 50-50 male and female songs. The male ones usually require us to change keys.

Anything I implemented would be transposable, and preferably customizable/correctable.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: davelson on April 07, 2022, 03:29:50 PM
Good idea to make lyrics/chords more accessible, as it’s always a clunky process to reformat the spacing/correct chord placing….
How about creating a database of songs that BandHelper users have already created…? Apart from changing key etc, it should be much easier to import… should be relatively easy to have an option to “upload to database” for songs you’re willing to share.. (would also be insurance in case the song is accidentally deleted from your own database)
I am gigging duo muso with about 500 songs formatted for BH that I’d be happy to share…only problem I can see would be that you’d get hundreds of slightly different versions of the popular songs..!
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: arlo on April 07, 2022, 03:53:23 PM
How about creating a database of songs that BandHelper users have already created…?

This would still require licensing the lyrics. Obtaining the lyrics is not the main problem -- having the rights to publish or distribute them to users is.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: Rmftc on April 08, 2022, 08:20:33 AM
I spent also some time to think about how to provide lyrics to the band with their different demands. Sometimes only the correct lyrics without further formatting will do nicely (e. g. for our singers), but coming to bars or odd time signatures may become more important for rhythmn guitars and bass, while having an idea of the melody is also of good usability when the solo guitarist want to follow along the lyric melody. All three demands or usecases need a different information density. So, finally I decided to write a Word document formatted with a big table with subdivisions of fours (where applicable) or diviations (where necessary).

Only "important" parts of the lyrics get tabs with the melody, which on the other hand can pump the doc up to several pages easily, which is not what I originally wanted to have: a max. 2 pager that contain all the necessary information for that song. Key, tempo, bars, lyrics and chords. Not all information (e. g., all transcibed stems), but all necessary information to be able to recall the missing information to play the song on the fly and good enough for the audience to enjoy. This is definitely a task that need to take account of what musical knowledge the individual band members have, which instrument they play, how they individually "learn" structures, and what they need to be able to remember the song (in case it got forgotten).

In this respect we're all different. I myself like to know when a lyric need to be sung (by the vocalists) and what pitch it should then has (because I cannot sing and also cannot hear very well, nor can I quickly read music. I need to prepare in advance with information on the sheet that enables me to move through the song (until I can play it by heart, of course).

Hm, maybe not exactly the most demanded usecase for your lyrics database :-)
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: jonm on April 08, 2022, 08:48:50 AM
I love the band helper APP because it does things I cant do - I can copy lyrics myself and so please just carry own doing the things we cant do and dont worry about this kind of add on. Like others we personalise the lyrics in terms of harmonies and roles etc and so a direct link wouldn't work for us and Im sure others too.

Happy to pay more for the APP if theres a revenue stream impact for you.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: dharris on April 08, 2022, 09:06:02 AM
I'm not sure how much I'd use this.

My band's lead singer does some significant edits for lyrics. For many songs, she doesn't need the full lyrics, often just the first line of each verse. After that she's good. Lyrics from sites often have the full chorus repeated for each time it's sung.

By trimming down what's on her screen, she scrolls less frequently.

Similarly, for chords, I usually have enough to remind me, e.g. verse, chorus, bridge, without repeating for each verse
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: Songjoy on April 08, 2022, 10:42:59 AM
I assume a lot of folks will derive great benefit from the addition of licensed lyrics, but I have found virtually every lyric/chord site out there to be far less than reliable, i.e. with near-100% correct texts and near-100% correct (true-to-song) chords. For me, such sites are only a (very helpful) starting point for self-edited lyrics and chord sheets. I normally just copy lyrics and/or chords from whatever site seems to be offering the most reliable versions (I usually cross-check across about 3 different sites before deciding) and paste them into Word or Pages for close listening and fine-tuning. Lyrics sites often get phrases, repeated lines, ad-libs and even the ordering of verses wrong, and often don‘t parse the lines in a truly song-serving way. Chord sites often use totally wrong chord shapes (as in basic chords, when actually a song calls for a capo or maybe alternate chord shapes). I may be declassified as „picky“, but when I want to learn a new song, I try to first get as close as possible to the truth, and then vary as necessary (due to limitations of my own skills, for example). So having built-in lyrics wouldn‘t give me any added value - but then again, I only have a Basic account (as a solo musician), so might not be the prime target audience for this feature.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: troyehall on April 08, 2022, 03:55:38 PM
Why not have a database of songs?

==> Import the whole thing <==

...Name, songwriters, artists, key, tempo, time signature, lyrics, chords.

Talk about a time saver! Band wants to do a cover? Look up the song, add it to the repertoire and even a set list. Tag it as an import. Assign it a color. Limiting this to just lyrics or just chords when you could do the whole thing would change the game completely.

Feature suggestions:
1. Scan library for missing lyrics, chords, etc., and make it easy to select which songs to update and which elements to update
2. When editing a song, flag fields that can be retrieved from the song database and enable 1-click updates to these fields
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: mysteron47 on April 09, 2022, 12:34:26 PM
I think its a good idea, because now I have to get the lyrics, convert them into Word and then into Sans Serif, then convert again into PDF. Then you have to do the downloading of the backing track and move that into mp3 in most cases. And before you down load that you have to put the backing into the key you need. Wow if those could be done automatically in Bandhelper what a great help it would be. Kudos Arlo for thinking of this as an add on. I would certainly use it.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: dasbinky on April 11, 2022, 07:28:03 AM
At least from my end, I use BandHelper almost exclusively for managing original songs.  The handful of covers in our sets wouldn't justify the development.  And jumping quick to a website to grab chords/lyrics for a quick one-off cover is pretty trivial.  I wouldn't use this functionality much at all.
Title: Re: Built-in lyrics database
Post by: Zionplayer on April 11, 2022, 11:51:23 AM
I'm not sure what you mean -- Pro accounts already have a Stage Plots module.

Yea, I missed it - I have a Plus Account, not Pro...