Saturday, January 16, 2010

A lyric script for amarok 1.4 written in Python

I switched to amarok as my default music player after I came to know about the concept of amarok scripts - simple scripts interacting with amarok via DCOP and adding various functionalities to the player. There's a plethora of those scripts on the web: the best place to look for them is

However, my enthusiasm about amarok took a heavy blow pretty early - the version of amarok included in the distro I'm using (Ubuntu 9.10), turned out to be painfully sluggish and unresponsive. Unwilling to give up on the brilliant player on account of this single flaw, I decided to go for a previous version: I used an older version of amarok on either Ubuntu 8.10 or Debian Lenny for a very brief period and it was not at all sluggish back then. So I had to go through the usual chores: adding Jaunty and Intrepid repos in my sources.lst, updating apt (at this point synaptic showed a nasty error message complaining about its cache-limit not being big enough. A little googling later, I was able to increase
the cache-limit by editing /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/70debconf), and force-versioning the packages in Synaptic. And sure enough, the Intrepid version ran without any fuss.

After the new (old) amarok scanned and indexed my music collection, I promptly installed a couple of amarok scripts: Gnome-Multimedia-Keys, Amarok notify-osd(This one replaces the rather crude amarok osd's with the new default notification system of ubuntu). At this point I noticed that amarok has a separate category of scripts named 'lyrics'. All of them seem to be there for basically performing one simple job: fetch the lyrics of the song currently playing in amarok and show it under the 'Lyrics' tab in the left pane of the amarok window. But there was just one small problem: none of the included lyric scripts could display the lyrics of any song I'd listen to.

This really stumped me because whenever I google for the lyrics of any song, I generally find it in the first search result Google returns. I even found a lyric script which uses a google search, but all it did was simply render the google search results page onto the lyrics pane instead of showing the actual lyrics. Therefore I decided to write a lyric script myself. This script finds the lyrics of a song using the awesome python library for google search by Peteris Krumins. The first version of the script surely needs more polishing but at least does its job pretty nicely for me.

The script can be downloaded from here.


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