Your iTunes library can turn into an unsightly mess far quicker than most of us would like to admit. By the time you’ve ripped CD collections, purchased albums, and dragged in the random online mp3 download, odds are you’ve got a lot of music with missing cover art, artist info, and more.
Tunes Cleaner aims to make sorting and tidying your iTunes library easy and painless, along with helping you reorganize and repair your music using its ‘powerful online database’. Is it what you’ve been needing to keep your iTunes library tidy? Let’s dive in and see.
When you first launch Tunes Cleaner, it automatically starts scanning your library for duplicates, missing album artwork, song, artist and album information and then if you have any of this information missing, it automatically takes the information from its online database and applies it to your music.
Going through your music can be tiresome, boring and a lengthy process and this is why Tunes Cleaner is so appealing to someone that has huge amounts of music that simply doesn’t want to have to go through it all in order to keep it accurate and find problems. This application gives your music a list score, this is a rating out of 100 and is a rating of the current state of your library, the closer to 100, the cleaner your library – the first time I scanned my library, I got a score of 100; mainly because I have an obsession with keeping it clean but upon scanning again, Tunes Cleaner found an album that didn’t have a name and attempted to match the artist and the song name to an album, this failed completely, aside from the last song.
I then removed a well-known artist to see if there was still hope for Tunes Cleaner and it correctly changed 7 out of 10 songs, which is somewhat disappointing considering the album and artist are well-known.
Tunes Cleaner’s interface seems to be adequate and nothing more. It doesn’t appear to be surprising or particularly well designed, of course the application is functional and does work for what it’s suppose to do but it would be nice to see a more refined and cleaned up interface. When Tunes Cleaner finds various songs that don’t seem right, you can either have Tunes Cleaner fix them up for you by checking some rather standard checkboxes so overall, the interface is nothing to scream about.
What’s more, the interface doesn’t seem to be that of OS X Lion quality. In fact, when first opening Tunes Cleaner, you’re prompted that you’re required to install X11 in order for the app to function. With a minimum requirement of Mac OS X 10.5, it’s easy to see that this application isn’t making use of the new technologies of OS X Lion and Mountain Lion. That said, however, the application doesn’t have any problems running or operating with OS X 10.8.2.
The most evident problem present within Tunes Cleaner is its ability to match song and artist names with an album name, after testing out various different artist names and trying to get Tunes Cleaner to find the album name, it didn’t do too well.
The problem here is not that it didn’t recognize the artist, the problem was that it didn’t seem to take into account that I was matching a whole album and not just a couple of songs so it seems strange that Tunes Cleaner would match EP and single titles to the songs. Tunes Cleaner is marketed as an intelligent assistant that will help you clean your library but the fact it’s unable to differentiate between an album, EP and a single does beg the question of whether or not it’s actually as intelligent as it’s said to be.
One way to overcome this problem is to manually enter the information yourself but then this diminishes the need for Tunes Cleaner in the first place, as you can easily add this information within iTunes.
Tunes Cleaner has some pretty hefty competing applications that fulfill the same task, one of which is Dupin. Dupin is able to find duplicated tracks, missing artwork and discrepancies with artist, album and song name and then attempts to amend it correctly, although I haven’t tried out Dupin yet, it does seem to be a contender and appears to put up a good fight with Tunes Cleaner and generally has positive reviews around the web.
With everything considered, it’s hard to ignore Tunes Cleaner’s lack of accuracy when locating and retrieving track information. If you’re willing to pay a price of $19.99 for a tool that simply locates tracks that it deems as problematic then Tunes Cleaner is something that should be considered but if you’re the person that wants something that will not only find discrepancies but also accurately fix them, maybe it’s time to wait for the next update.
The developers, Leawo Software Co., have announced that they have indeed submitted version 2 and that it should be available soon so it’s probably a good idea to hang on to your $19.99 until then.