So many of us have remarkably messed up iTunes libraries; artists written in the track names or missing altogether, grey music notes for album art, and an absence of album or genre information. I’ve always been pretty meticulous about my iTunes library, but I wish I’d discovered this application earlier – TuneUp is a brilliant extension to iTunes which can automatically look through your library and clean everything up!
If your iTunes library is a bit of a hodgepodge, then TuneUp could be exactly what you need to sort it out. Read on to see what the app is capable of and find out whether it’s worth purchasing.
TuneUp is its own application, but latches on to the right edge of iTunes. It boasts a number of great features, separated by tabs at the top of it’s window. Amongst others, TuneUp can “automagically” fix up all song information, add cover art, display a rundown of videos, news, artist bios, and let you know of upcoming concerts. And it does almost work like magic.
The ‘Clean’ tab of TuneUp works simply by dragging your “dirty” songs from iTunes and dropping them into the TuneUp window. TuneUp then analyses the audio and compares it with a database of over 90 million tracks, as well as looking at the details already in the track to work out exactly what song it is… all within a matter of seconds.
You can then save TuneUp’s fixes, although it pays to check through the track info because it doesn’t always get it perfect. There’s also an Undo button, and a library Analyzer which looks through your entire library for clean and dirty tracks, dishes out some statistics and sorts your songs into three playlists: Cleaned, Dirty, and Not Found.
In the Clean Preferences you can customize exactly what TuneUp changes to your songs, including avoiding tagging tracks to compilations, setting how specific you want your genres to be, and picking which metadata information to save.
The Clean tab actually adds cover art to your dirty tracks, but the Cover Art tab is exclusively for making cover-flow look like it should. Tuneup looks through your library for missing art and does what appears to be a Google image search for the album art. It shows up with it’s best guess but also offers three others for when it gets it wrong – which it does (I was offered a picture of Ronan Keating for a Green Day album).
Because these pictures are simply taken from the internet, the image quality is often poor so I’d be inclined to just use the “Get Album Artwork” button under ‘Advanced’ in the iTunes menu as long as the album is listed in iTunes.
Tuniverse, Concerts & Share
TuneUp is more than just an iTunes fixer. The final three tabs, Tuniverse, Concerts, and Share let you discover more about the music you’re listening to and share it to the world, without ever leaving iTunes.
The Tuniverse tab offers videos straight from YouTube which are playable within TuneUp, a Biography of the band, News, Album Recommendations and even Merchandise from eBay.
Concerts gives you a run down of upcoming concerts in your area and “Share” offers Facebook publishing of posts such as “Songs Most Played”.
TuneUp is undoubtably a remarkable application, but there are a few things that need work. One of the first things I noticed was that it definitely doesn’t like Spaces. If you drag the iTunes window into a different space, TuneUp will just disappear until you place iTunes back to where it was opened.
I also found the Cover Art feature to often yield disappointing results due to the fact that it simply performs an image search across the internet rather than looking at it’s own server of high quality album art.
One other quirk is that when scrolling around TuneUp with my Magic Mouse, it often does some funny stuff and messes up how it displays the content, but this issue goes away when dragging the scroll bar.
All in all, TuneUp is truly impressive and does a superb job of identifying music tracks and assigning the correct information to them. It makes the odd mistake, and the Cover Art feature doesn’t always come out with quite what your after, but it is so much faster than filling in this information manually. The Tuniverse is also a fun way to discover more about artists.
TuneUp can be downloaded for free with 100 track cleans, 50 cover-arts, and unlimited access to Tuniverse, Concerts and Share.
For $19.95 you get everything for a year, and for $29.95 it’s all unlimited forever. I’d definitely recommend giving TuneUp a go if your iTunes library is a mess and needs cleaning.
Let us know your thoughts on TuneUp in the comments below!