How to Clean Up Your iTunes Library With TuneUp

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.

Overview

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.

Messed up iTunes before using TuneUp

Messed up iTunes before using TuneUp

Cleaning in action

Cleaning in action

Clean

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.

Cover Art

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.

Finding missing Cover Art

Finding missing Cover Art

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”.

Discover more about what you're listening to

Discover more about what you're listening to

Drawbacks

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.

Conclusion

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!


Summary

TuneUp is an application that works with iTunes to clean up and sort out all your track information and cover art automatically. A great time saver, if like most people, your iTunes is a mess.

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  • http://www.pixel-formation.ca Ben

    I have been using TuneUp for more than a year now.
    Really impressed by how it works although I get some surprises now and again.
    Really useful to get informations about a group or a singer or the upcoming concerts in your city.
    Always opened with my iTunes!

  • http://daniellink.tumblr.com Daniel

    I bought TuneUp after receiving several thousand new music files that were badly tagged. The good thing was, I could use TuneUp to tag many of them well, although some of them were tagged just wrong. However, I discovered a few downsides:

    TuneUp is incredibly slow. It can only handle 500 files at a time, and it’s prone to crashes. When it crashes while performing a clean-up, chances are high that you cannot use it again before deleting the TuneUp directory, as told by the support. This makes you lose all your settings and stack of uncleaned files of course.

    For a Mac application it behaves in a weird way. I hate their updates. Once TuneUp decides that you need to update, you’re forced to update. It needs to sit in the Application folder. What is this? Why does it force me to do anything when it’s just a small, relatively unimportant tool, while all the other applications don’t?

    Half-belonging to the previous point I’ll mention it in an extra one: iTunes hardly fits on one screen if you’re using a small display MacBook. Why does TuneUp dock itself to the iTunes window? Does this do any good, or does it only use precious space? I still don’t get it. Why?

    Last point: I’m unhappy with their support. If you ever have a problem, I hope you’ll find a quick and easy way to reach them, and receive a quick reply. I didn’t…

    • http://www.foxyup.com Yigit Ozdamar

      You’re 100% right! Can’t stop myself to agree with you! I’m using it because once I paid it.

  • Brian

    I tried TuneUp but was dissatisfied. Incorrect tagging and labeling was one of the biggest issues unfortunately. Software by Equinux (coverscout and song genie) are a great combo… albeit they aren’t free nor are they rolled into one application.

  • Tonijn

    Who needs iTunes when there’s Spotify!

    • Bdon

      Americans…

    • dev

      people who don’t listen to lady gaga and rihanna

    • xce

      Because this message: Not available in your country yet

  • Ribena

    I have been using TuneUp for almost a year and I love it. Have cleaned most of my huge library and haven’t had any problems yet.

    The only drawback for me is cover art – I recommend ignoring it in TuneUp as well and using iTunes Get album artwork instead as they have the best quality.

  • http://taraschultz.co.cc/ Tara Schultz

    I have been using TuneUp for more than a year now. Really impressed by how it works although I get some surprises now and again. Really useful to get informations about a group or a singer or the upcoming concerts in your city. Always opened with my iTunes!

  • Benji

    I use Tagalicious, which is a simple beautiful app that does what it says it does…

  • Steve

    I bought this app and was very disappointed in its performance. It runs extremely slow…if you have a larger library you’re going to wait a long, long, long time. The “fix” feature “fixed” my songs by incorrectly re-naming several of them (about 1 in 8). The remove duplicates feature works but it lacks sophisticated/advanced features for finding duplicate songs across albums, differing bitrates, and track runtimes. I contacted support for assistance, their only solution has been that I uninstall and re-download the application. Waste of money, there are plenty of apps out there that do the same thing…try your luck with them and avoid this application.

  • amit

    Listen guys , use spotify (http://www.spotify.com/int/help/faq/local-files/) it organises even the local files (using gracenote.com database). The 14 day trial period of the free version of spotify will do the trick .
    I have used all available organizers from musicbrainz to pollux /tuneup etc etc and i find spotify the best.

    contactlawzeus.com

  • Mike

    TuneUp constantly crashes on me. I really hate that. I like the app, I just hate how I constantly have to force quit then restart. It makes using it a real hassle.

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