Lyrics with Friendz

Craig Frankel shows off the Lyrics with Friendz app.

Song lyrics often stick in people’s heads, causing them to sing out loud at the office or while in the shower.

Unfortunately, people often misremember the lyrics, causing a bit of embarrassment when they add the lyrics “Hold me closer, Tony Danza” in Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer,” or “Excuse me, while I kiss this guy,” to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.”

The hilarity that can ensue when people flub lyrics was the driving force behind the development of Lyrics with Friendz, a smartphone app developed by Plano resident Blake Holmes and Frisco resident Craig Frankel. The free app allows users to challenge one another by listening to a song clip and then filling in the missing lyrics. Since launching earlier this year, the app, which contains clips from about 1,500 songs, has been downloaded 130,000 times.

“We are golfing buddies, and Blake likes to have his music playing in the cart,” Frankel said. “There were always a couple of songs where we wondered what the singer was saying, and while trying to figure out the words to the songs, we thought it would be fun to make an app to see how well people knew the words.”

With neither Frankel nor Holmes having a background in programming, the two sought to find a developer that could turn their dream into reality. Once that was accomplished, it took about 18 months before the app hit the market.

“It was a learning experience and took a little longer than expected,” Holmes said. “Making a simple app is not that big of a deal, but making a game is more challenging.”

The 1,500 songs cover a wide variety of musical genres from country and Top 40 to hip hop and 80’s hair metal. Each of the songs is typically cut up into three or four different pieces to ensure there are thousands of questions for players.

“The one thing we had to be careful about is making sure we didn’t pirate any music because of all the lawsuits that have been going around,” Holmes said. “Sometimes we may be limited on music if we don’t have the license for the song, but we are going to continue to add songs if we continue to grow.”

Players have the option of choosing which genre they can play and have one skip they can use if they are not sure of the answer. As with many of the most popular smartphone-based games, the game has proven popular with players of all ages, Frankel said, adding that almost all of the songs are safe for users of all ages.

“Most of the response has been positive so far,” Frankel said. “When you get as many users as we have, you are not going to please everyone, but most of the comments I have read on Facebook have said they enjoy the game. Some people get frustrated, but maybe they just need to practice a little bit more.”

The duo said they have no plans to create a second app, but they don’t want to rule anything out.

“It has been fun so far, but it has definitely been challenging,” Holmes said. “If something was to pique our interest, we would definitely take a look at it.”

For local news coverage, follow Bill Conrad on Twitter. 

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