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On the horizon, an iPod that "reads" the lyrics of the songs?

An upcoming version of iTunes may be able to present song lyrics and iPod become a virtual karaoke machine by scrolling through the lyrics of the songs you are listening to. This is the perspective that stands out on the horizon after the news that Gracenote, the company behind the automatic recognition of song titles 'ripped' from iTunes, has signed an agreement with the major record companies for the distribution of the lyrics of their songs.

According to reports, Gracenote has in practice obtained the right from production companies such as Sony Bmg, Vivendi Universal, Bertelsmann the right to redistribute the texts of about a million songs with its technologies. In practical terms this means that Gracenote will in turn be able to cede the service to third parties who will connect to a database by downloading the words of the music as well as the music. It can also be assumed that the system can also work with CDs; it will suffice for the disk to contain the resources necessary to identify each song and for the computer that reads the disc to be connected to the Internet.

Gracenote explicitly mentions between partners who may be interested in Apple with its iTunes. As mentioned a little above Cupertino having iPod in its technological heritage could take advantage of the novelty to create a version of the player capable of reading the lyrics of songs downloaded from iTunes. It may also be possible to search for songs to buy or listen to passages of text instead of just the title or author's name.

Record companies, which consider song lyrics to be an asset that is not adequately exploited from an economic point of view, welcome the agreement that could bring significant amounts of money into their coffers. The estimate of 4 billion dollars more each year. The record companies also hope that the pact with Gracenote will convince some sites that today publish the lyrics of the songs without having purchased the right to pay.

According to Ross Blanchard, vice president of Business Development, end consumers will not have a significant increase in the cost of the music they will buy.

Initially the service will only affect the United States. At a later stage it expands to interest all the countries of the world and the record companies with which Gracenote has commercial agreements.