Displaying a song with English and Japanese captioned lyrics - probably need to add the lyrics myself

Here’s the problem: I’m having a party/gathering of old co-workers and teachers at the end of next month, partly to celebrate the anniversary of some projects we worked on together and party to mark the 40th (!) anniversary of me moving to Japan.

I’m going to do photo slideshows with music. I already discussed that here, and that will be fine (iPhone Photos Slideshow with Apple Music playlist in the background).

At the end of the party I want to play two songs I like. Joan Baez versions of “Forever Young” and “Best of Friends.”

I will be hooking up my iPad Pro to a display/sound system at the party.

I would like to play both songs with captioned lyrics in English and Japanese.

  • I can find a nice version of “Forever Young” by Joan Baez with lyrics on YouTube, and can download it.

  • I can’t find a version of “Forever Young” on YouTube with Japanese lyrics.

  • And I can’t find a version of “Best of Friends” with either Japanese or English lyrics.

The versions in Apple Music don’t include lyrics for either song.

I can find/create lyrics themselves, but it would be nice to show them on the screen live with the songs.

The dumbest approach is to play the song in the background while displaying the lyrics and point through the lyrics with a laser pointer or on screen indicator.

What I’d like to do is get a nice visual version, like from YouTube maybe, and edit it to show both sets of lyrics.

Or even something side-by-side on the screen.

Any ideas?


The cheapo version I’ve seen many people do for YouTube (which may also work for you):

  • Create a new project with your favorite video editor (maybe iMovie)
  • For the soundtrack, add your existing audio (MP3, AAC, whatever)
  • For the video, select a still image (maybe cover art for the album) and just leave it there for the entire duration of the song.
    • If you want to be fancy, pick a few still images and cross-fade from one to the other over the course of the song.
  • Add a caption channel to the video project. You can then paste/type lyrics to that channel. You’ll be on your own to synchronize it to the audio.

When done, export the resulting project to your favorite media. A digital file that can be played by your TV or a streambox or computer.

Making karaoke-style captions that change color in sync with the music is going to require more specialized software. I don’t know what might be available for that.

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Interesting idea. The images don’t need to sync. But the lyrics obviously need to sync (karaoke style) or people won’t be able to follow it. I have to think how to accomplish that part. Thanks.

I did some web searching (search for things like “add karaoke subtitles to video”). I found a few how-to videos on YouTube, but they all seem to be based on Windows software. I also found a few web apps, but they require paid subscriptions (but it might not be too expensive to subscribe for only a month).

I don’t want to recommend anything, because I’ve never done this before, but I did learn enough to know that software packages exist for this. So hopefully you’ll be able to find some reviews and how-to guides if nobody else here can recommend a product.

I found one possibly good approach here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNqyjI2tWeg&lc=Ugxl7iWe50BWPa_qXlZ4AaABAg.9uQ_XffQ94G9uQfEPFc_EW

This is using iMovie and Keynote to create transparent PNG images to place on top of the video.

I’m making progress (see screenshot). Does anybody know how to make the width of each image, say, 3 seconds long so they with the song - and orient them on top of the video? It seems if I drag them on top of the video, like a parallel track, they lose their time length.


I got disconnected from Apple Support the first time I tried to get help with that. But the second support person was great and I think I’ll be able to get this to work!

It worked! I started with a nice version with English lyrics I found on YouTube. I edited it and added Japanese lyrics created with Keynote (with transparent backgrounds) and edited it in iMovie.