iTunes 12.5 and iOS 10 Music App to Add Lyrics to Song Playback

Those people who care about the words of the songs they love have long wanted to be able to easily view lyrics when playing music in iTunes or on iOS devices. There have been suggestions that Apple would be adding this, and in the latest beta version of iTunes 12.5, lyrics are now available.

Currently, you can only view lyrics in iTunes by selecting a track, pressing Command-I, and viewing the Lyrics pane of the Info window. On iOS, you cane view lyrics by tapping the album artwork of the currently playing track. But this only displays lyrics you have manually added to your tracks, in that Info window Lyrics pane. Now, iTunes and iOS will search for lyrics for your music.

To view lyrics, play some music, then click the Up Next menu. There are now three tabs: Up Next, History, and Lyrics. If you find a song where Apple can provide lyrics – and it’s not yet clear how many songs offer lyrics, or which songs they are – you’ll see the words of the song in this tab.

Itunes 12 5 lyrics

If you leave this menu visible, lyrics will display as songs change (as long as the lyrics are available). And if you have added lyrics to your songs, they display in the same way.

You can also view lyrics from the MiniPlayer window. Click the Up Next button and then click Lyrics.

Miniplayer lyrics

And if you expand the window to display larger artwork, it looks like this:

Miniplayer artwork lyrics

You can have the MiniPlayer window float over other windows so you can see lyrics even when iTunes isn’t in the front.

In the latest iOS 10 beta, you can also view lyrics in the Music app. When playing a song, tap …, then tap Lyrics. You’ll see the lyrics display in their own sheet:


Ios lyrics1     Ios lyrics2

15 thoughts on “iTunes 12.5 and iOS 10 Music App to Add Lyrics to Song Playback

  1. Slightly weird place for the lyrics, spotify’s musixmatch integration obviously a bit more attractive, but I’m glad they are in there. Also, history tab now much more discoverable. Good work.

  2. Is this for Apple Music/iCloud Music Library tracks only, or is iTunes able to detect lyrics for your own files too?

    • It is providing lyrics for some matched tracks as well. So it’s not just limited to Apple Music or purchased tracks. But for now, lots of tracks don’t show lyrics.

  3. This is good news since i use the lyrics section to put much more info than lyrics.Next we need a tab or button that allows me to scroll thru the album art -at full size- that i have embedded in the music files.

  4. Here down under in the land of AUS, the latest version of iTunes is 12.4.3.1. I checked for updates and I am advised I have the latest version of iTunes. So at this point we do not have 12.5. It appears Apple works in mysterious ways, with various countries.

    • @Ian iTunes 12.5 hasn’t been released in any country yet. It’s still beta (part of the macOS 10.12 beta).

  5. Like the iOS music player in general, this seems so very complex. I’m still on iOS 5, but i love the simplicity of the music app there – one tap on the album artwork brings up the lyrics alongside the scrubber, another tap and they’re gone again. Out of all those context menu items that i see on the left screenshot, i would use exactly none – except the lyrics one maybe, once in a while. And star-ratings, of course, which seem to be gone now. Not happy.

    • “one tap on the album artwork brings up the lyrics alongside the scrubber”
      For this one, iOS 9 music app does the same. iOS 10 changes everything.

      “And star-ratings, of course, which seem to be gone now. ”
      I also feel frustrating when noticing this change. Lots of my smart playlists are based on star rating, and now “love”. Currently they still work but who knows when Apple decides to remove star rating completely.

  6. Put this slighlty welcome but “meh!” news in the “what-everrrr” box. More trickle down hand outs fom Apple.
    What would be nice would be the option to choose (not all, but some) what you see based on the metadata in the file. BPM comes to mind

  7. Why is there a shuffle feature for videos? Doesn’t Apple know that shuffling, say, TV episodes makes no sense? Also, why is there ALWAYS something “now playing”? Why is iTunes one app that does too many things?

  8. I’m confused by how this will interact with the old way of including lyrics on iOS and iTunes. Being able to see them on the desktop without going into the editing window seems like a fine addition (though I’ll be really upset if the lyrics I’ve already put in are automatically replaced by Apple’s version), but pulling them up on iOS through a tucked-away menu seems a lot less user-friendly than just tapping the album art as we do today.

    • Your lyrics override those that Apple provides. If there’s anything in the Lyrics pane, then iTunes and iOS don’t search for them and display what you’ve added.

  9. What lyrics libraries does it search? This could save me a lot of trouble copy-pasting texts from The Lieder and Art Song Texts site (a fantastic resource created and maintained by one amazing person, Emily Ezust) and the various sites that have Bach cantata texts.

  10. i have iTunes 12.5, mac os sierra, and iOS 10. on the mac a lyrics tab is visible but all songs say “lyrics unavailable”. and on my iOS devices there is no lyrics option where there should be. Please, how to troubleshoot this?

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