Israeli startup TuneWiki delivers user generated song lyrics to music playing on a PC or mobile device.
The service, which was launched in December 2007, became a hit with “hundreds of thousands” of downloads to jailbroken iPhones alone (says our source), despite the very sketchy nature of the main website and the fact that only hacked iPhones can use the app.
Why is TuneWiki so popular? The video at the end of the post shows how it synchronizes lyrics (karaoke style) to music playing on the iPhone.
A source tells us that the startup has raised an initial round of financing from Benchmark Capital’s Israel fund. General Partner Michael Eisenberg joined the board of directors. We’re still trying to track down the size of the round, and if there were any other investors.
Song Lyrics are still relatively hard to find legally on the Internet. Last year Yahoo began publishing lyrics for hundreds of thousands of songs in image format (to reduce copying and scraping, through a partnership with Gracenote.
TuneWiki as a legal song lyric wiki alone is an interesting site (they recently announced that Universal Music is permitting usage). The syncing software can turn it into a real business. Look for it to take off when official third party applications on the iPhone are released this summer. For now, though, the hacked application is one of the feature applications on the iPhone installer.