James Long

Student. Developer of Relay, AltKeyboard 2, Lyricalizer, etc. Founder of Evolse and Gyresoft.


Some of you will know about Lyricalizer - the tweak I wrote over two years ago. The tweak originated from the removal of the lyrics view in the iPad version of iOS 5's Music app, which annoyed quite a few people. I decided to take it one step further, and automatically fetch lyrics for songs which didn't already have lyrics associated. At the time, I released Lyricalizer for $1.29, which I felt was a fair price for the continual maintenance of the powering lyrics API.

The Present

As the most observant of you will have noticed, last week Lyricalizer's pricing was updated to free. This decision came about after a chat with Optimo, who referred me to a new tweak called LyricFetcher, which had been announced on Reddit (/r/jailbreak). It seemed to have the same functionality as Lyricalizer, and looked identical - the dev had stated he planned to submit it as a paid tweak.

After careful consideration, I decided that the best course of action would be to make Lyricalizer free, for several reasons. Mainly, I didn't feel it was fair for me to continue charging for a tweak which is only updated when an update breaks one of the supported Music apps, and therefore didn't want users to make a conscious choice between purchasing one of two tweaks.


Fast forward a couple of days. The developer had anounced he'd submitted the package to Cydia for free, and it would be live within a few hours. I was contacted by Optimo, who let me know that LyricFetcher was in fact Lyricalizer. I thought this made sense, as the source code to the tweak is freely available on my GitHub account. Looking at the deb provided however revealed that it hadn't even been recompiled - the dev had just renamed the latest Lyricalizer update and submitted it as his own work. Whilst I don't mind competition, blatent stealing of my work is not something I'm happy with.

The Future

Since I learnt of the reality of LyricFetcher, I considered the disappointment many of my customers have had with Lyricalizer - lyric sources were never updated, and beyond Spotify, no additional apps were added. To these people: I'm sorry. I should have been more committed to building upon Lyricalizer.

I'm currently working on Lyricalizer v1.4, which amongst code refactorings, contains an updated API which I'm currently adding to (a thousand thanks to Fionn Kelleher for the groundworks). This version will also include long-awaited support for the iPad version of Spotify. In future, I will also be adding additional features as requested by the community - so if you have any requests, please let me know!