Saturday, 26 September 2015

Display lyrics of MP3 files played on an Android device

Unlike iOS, Android OS has no standard music player capable of showing lyrics while the user is listening to songs. There are some paid and even free options in Google Play for downloading lyrics, but what if you are in an area that has no mobile Internet coverage? The answer is to use a player supporting the displaying of lyrics already embedded into the tracks.

Unfortunately, most MP3 files do not have lyrics embedded into them. A simple way to find lyrics for your MP3 collection and embed song texts into the tracks is by using taghycardia, a highly automated program for improving music metadata.

You can download taghycardia here. When the program is run for the first time, a configuration wizard is displayed. For lyrics discovery, select the option Use for general MP3 autotagging / tag diagnostics, or, if you also want the program to get cover images for your albums online, check Use to download cover art for your MP3 library.

When the program's main window is shown, select the folder of the MP3 album you are about to put on your Android device by pressing the three dots button in the top left corner, then press [ Go ]. Alternatively, just drug and drop the folder onto the program's window.
After taghycardia has processed your album, it shows diagnostic information about it. To make the program get song texts for you, locate the line beginning with the word "Lyrics: ", and double click it.

Once the lyrics are downloaded, press [ Update in Tags ] to embed the texts into the music tracks. Simple as that.

Now the album is ready for the uploading to an Android device. One of the best Android apps that support embedded lyrics is called Rocket Player. Download the free version and open the album you have prepared with taghycardia. To enable the lyrics display feature in Rocket Player, tap the three vertical dots menu in the top right corner of the screen, and choose Lyrics, then select Embedded. Of course, one can choose Downloaded, but for this an always-on Internet connection would be needed.

Now you can read the lyrics of the tracks while playing them!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

How to make iPhone show lyrics of played songs

The music player in iOS have the capability of showing lyrics of the tracks being listened to. Yet to use the feature, one must embed lyrics into MP3 files before transferring them onto iPhone. This can be done using taghycardia, a highly automated program for fixing music metadata.

Download taghycardia here, then run. In the appearing configuration dialog, choose "general MP3 autotagging/tag diagnostics" or, if you also want the program to fetch cover images for your music collection, "to download cover art for your MP3 library automatically".

Then press the ellipsis button at the top left of the main window to choose the folder of mp3 album you are going to transfer to your iOS device. After that, press [Go] button to process the album.

The program will show its tag diagnosis for the folder. Find the line beginning with the word "Lyrics" in the diagnosis. If it says "NOT present", then double click the line to make program find the lyrics for you automatically.

After the program finds the lyrics, press [Update in Tags] button to write the lyrics into your MP3 files.

Now you are ready to upload the album to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch complete with embedded lyrics.

To display the lyrics of a played song on an iPhone, just tap the cover image of the album you are listening to.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

How to spy on someone's iPhone easily

So you grew suspicious about your significant other's behavior of late. She covers her iPhone's screen every time you take a glance at it, and nervously reaches out for her smartphone every other minute as if waiting for a message.

What's going on, and what websites does she visit, you wonder. There is an easy way to learn that for free; and neither jail-breaking is required, nor spyware install needed. The only thing you'll need is a very short-term access to the iPhone in question - to change its DNS setting. Once you've managed to get hold of her phone, quickly (you might want to rehearse this in advance) do the following:

  • go to Settings, find Wi-Fi, 
  • tap the circled i
  • scroll down to DNS section, 
  • tap the four-numbered IP Address, and 
  • change it to or (these are DNS servers belonging to

Changing iPhone DNS setting is a free website access logging service. After you change the DNS server IP, the phone's owner would suspect nothing: it would be working as perfectly as ever, only her every website access is now logged by

Next, create a free account.

Then you need to register your home network with your OpenDNS account.

If your home LAN has a dynamic IP, you'll also need to install OpenDNS' automatic IP updater client on a home system, e.g. on your own notebook or "main" home PC:
OpenDNS dynamic IP changer

In about two to three hours after you complete those steps OpenDNS will give you the first precious data:

In addition to raw URL list sorted by access frequency, OpenDNS produces spreadsheet files in *.csv format with the same URLs categorized. The service divides its URL list into pages, and for every page it produces a separate CSV-file. This is not very convenient.

To filter the URL list and make more sense out of it, you can use the free OpenDNS Log Processor, which can read a bunch of OpenDNS CSV files at once. It is an open source program written in Lazarus/Free Pascal. The Win32 binary of the Log Processor can be downloaded here, while the sources are under this link. In theory, the source could be easily recompiled for Linux, Mac OS X or other platforms supported by Free Pascal as it contains no platform-specific code. A sample config file is included along with the executable.

The workflow is as follows:

  • you wake up in the morning, login to your OpenDNS account here
  • choose the date range from yesterday to today, and 
  • download all the *.csv files into a folder by clicking the corresponding icon and Next several times.

Then you may either:

  • move the CSV files to OpenDNS Log Processor folder, and run the program manually or
  • run a batch file that looks something like this (modified according to your setup):

REM == start opendnslogfilter_GUI.bat ==

del /q c:\opendnslog\*.csv
move /y c:\downloads\*.csv c:\opendnslog\

REM ==  end opendnslogfilter_GUI.bat  ==

This one will, line by line:

  • clean opdns_gui working folder from yesterday's CSVs;
  • move in new freshly downloaded ones; and 
  • run opdns_gui.exe to sort them out.

Right away, in the third column you can see "alert" URLs (included in [AlertInclude] section of the opdns_gui config file) she accessed during the last day; in the leftmost column - any URLs categorised by OpenDNS; and in the middle one - the full list of URLs with various advertising and technical addresses filtered out.

Whenever you want to slim the middle column down even more, you can open Config Editor by clicking the [>>] button, copy something into the [FilteredExclude] section, and press [Save] to save the updated config and reread the CSVs. Easy and clear. Just note that all strings in the config file's sections are treated as substrings by the program; i.e., when you put PORN in a section, the log processor searches for all strings that contain the word.

The same spying trick could be applied to a home PC if you change its DNS settings, to an Android device, or to all devices in a home LAN if you modify your router's parameters accordingly. 

Sunday, 29 March 2015

How to play Words With Friends without annoying ads for FREE (and with an easy-to-use dictionary helper)

If you are sick and tired of having to watch extremely annoying video ads while playing Zynga Words With Friends on your mobile or tablet, there is a solution: play it on PC while you are working. The openness of the HTML5 platform along with the power of Chrome-based browsers, plus the enthusiasm of an ad-blocking plug-in developers will bring you the tranquility of playing the game completely free of ads. So the steps to get rid of the aggravating videos (and banners, too) are as follows:

  1. Create a fake Facebook account. Choose a good-looking pic for your profile - it will be displayed as your in-game avatar for those who play through Facebook, too.
  2. Run Words With Friends on your mobile or tablet. Open Settings, connect your game profile to the fake Facebook account you have created.
  3. Install Google Chrome or any browser that uses the same rendering engine, like Chromuim, Opera, etc.
  4. Install the Adblock Plus add-on into Chrome. Note: If you already have Chrome and a Facebook profile with a saved password, you can either install an additional browser (e.g. Chromium along with Chrome) or just open a private window (with Ctrl+Shift+N), and have fake Facebook opened there along with real one. 
  5. Go to ABP's settings, "Add your own filters" tab, click "Edit filters as raw text" link. Add the following strings to the list of the filters:


These will remove annoying promo dialogs, Zynga's graphic banners along with facebook chat window and ad sidebar. Now you can play pure WWF anytime by going to (you may want to add this to your bookmarks bar or speed dial or whatever).

If you want a really FAST dictionary of words eligible in Words With Friends along with definitions from Merriam-Webster and, you can also download this simple FREE Windows application: Words With Friends Dictionary Helper. In addition to the dictionary, the program offers a little cheat (disabled by default): a list of all words in the game that include the word you've entered in it.

Now, you can play your favourite game completely without ads for FREE. Simple as that.