Rap Genius releases new iPhone app for understanding song lyrics

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Rap Genius, the website dedicated to the annotation and interpretation of lyrics, poetry and other forms of text, has released a new mobile app for the iPhone. As you’d expect, it’s essentially the major features of the site packaged in a native application.

On the surface, the app looks good. It’s nice to see an app go against the grain with a darker theme, and the text and graphics seem sharp. And functionality-wise, it hits on all the big features such as the Shazam-like Genius Recognition Technology…

From the App Store description:

Have you ever been confused by a song’s lyrics? Or wondered what your favorite artist meant by a line? Now you’ll never have to worry about this (or anything) ever again! Genius breaks down lyrics with line-by-line annotations, many contributed by the artists themselves.

Genius isn’t just a music app; it’s your pocket guide to human culture. So whether you’re looking for the true meaning of a line from The Great Gatsby, a breakdown of President Obama’s latest speech, or a guide to Matthew 25, we’ve got you.

And here are some of Genius’ top features:

– Explain cryptic lines
– Reveal references and inside jokes
– Define unusual terms
– Break down technical aspects of songs
– Give context—how does a song fit in with the artist’s other work? With the genre as a whole?
– Just hold your phone up to the music, activate our Genius Recognition Technology™, and lo, the annotated lyrics appear!
– Find lyrics for all the songs in your iTunes library

The app includes access to annotated lyrics for millions of songs, with breakdowns and explanations of the meanings behind phrases and references in music. Much of the content on the site is user-generated, using a wikipedia-like format of contribution.

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In my short time with the Rap Genius app, I have to say it seems really well-done. I recommend everyone who is interested in music and especially learning and understanding song lyrics to check it out. Genius is available in the App Store for free.