Improve iTunes with GimmeSomeTunes – part 1 [Mac only]

I love music. It’s a part of life that I can’t live without. As a Mac user, I use iTunes to manage my music collection and I don’t think I’ve found any other music manager and player better than iTunes.

I’m sure that most people’s music collection are coming from various source with different standard in the completeness of the package. Some music has full info tagged to them, some has completely none.

If you could live with just “Track 15″ for your song, then you could skip this article completely. But if you are the kind of person who like to sing along while enjoying the nice cover art of your collection, I think I have a nice story to tell.

GimmeSomeTunes - blank lyric n artwork.jpg

Give me GimmeSomeTunes

Every time you use iTunes to rip your music CDs to MP3s, you’ll notice that it will always try to acquire the songs data from Gracenote.

This feature only will make every music lover’s life a lot easier. Can you imagine typing thousands of song titles, artist names, and album titles; choosing song genre; numbering the song; manually one by one?

If your collection consists of only ten to twenty tunes, you’ll go through the manual data entering just fine, but I don’t know anybody with less than few hundreds items in their library.

My shrinked library – after deleting more than half of the collection – still contains over 2500 songs.

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Even with the help of Gracenote, the songs in the library are still incomplete. The service could not help with Cover Art images and Lyrics. I’ve heard rumors about the possibility of Gracenote providing lyric in the future. But until that day come, we need the help of GimmeSomeTunes.

The word and the image

Not everybody knows that iTunes has the capability of adding missing CoverArts by downloading them from the music store. You can do this by right clicking on the song with the blank cover image and choose “Get Album Artwork”.

GimmeSomeTunes - iTunes Get Album Artwork.jpg

The tagging system of iTunes also allows users to add Lyric information to a song. If you right click on a song and choose “Get Info” (or select a song and hit Command + I), iTunes will open the info window of that song. You can select the “Lyric” tab and put the text there.

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The drawback of these neat feature is that you have to do it manually. Not to mention the steps needed to acquire the lyrics and the artworks from the internet. No wonder that music lovers really appreciate the automation provided by GimmeSomeTunes.

After the installation, GimmeSomeTunes will reside in the menubar. For the basic level of usage, you don’t have to do anything. Just forget about it, let iTunes play your songs and turn on the internet connection.

At the beginning of each song, GimmeSomeTunes will automatically fetch the lyric and artwork for that song.

In my experiment under a decent internet connection, the fetching process will take about 3 to 6 seconds. It may go to about 20 seconds for “difficult song” (a.k.a: not so popular song or a very old one).

Don’t be discourage if the lyrics and/or the artworks for some songs are not acquired. While there’s a possibility that no lyrics and artworks are available on the net for those songs, it’s also possible that the songs have incorrect title, artist, or album name. Try correcting them before moving on to another song.

During my few days of using GimmeSomeTunes, I’ve successfully added lyrics and album artwork – automatically and on the first try – to almost all songs in my iTunes library. There are some that required a little editing before the second try, but the numbers are minor.

It’s worth noting that GimmeSomeTunes also give good result for non-English songs.

Now, I can comfortably browse my iTunes library in the Cover Flow mode and enjoy the view.

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On the next part, we will dig deeper into other powerful features of GimmeSomeTunes. You’ll have enough time to perfect your collection until then.