TuneUp is an application that integrates with iTunes to fill up your music collection’s metadata, album info and album arts. If you have a huge music collection and have been lazy in maintaining them over the years, now is a good chance for you to get them clean up once and for all.
TuneUp started off as a Windows-based application, but the developers have recently launched a version for Mac. I tested this application on my Mac (since that is where all my music collection are kept).
After you have installed TuneUp, you will find a new pane alongside iTunes when you open your iTunes.
Drag any song(s) into this pane and TuneUp will retrieve the songs record, metadata and album art from the Web. I have a huge library of Chinese and Latin songs and I was amazed that TuneUp is able to retrieve the respective information correctly. What is missing and what I wanted to see most is to automatically search and add lyrics to the songs, something like the LyricsMaster addon in Songbird.
The free version of TuneUp gives you a clean up limit of 500 tracks. When you drag the songs to the Clean pane, it does not add to the 500 count. Only when you save the information to your database then it is counted toward the 500 limit. Once the limit is reached, you won’t be able to get it to clean your track, unless you upgrade. If you have added the wrong information, there is also an Undo button to reverse the changes.
On the sub menu of the Clean pane is an Analyze button nicely tucked in a small hidden corner. This Analyze function scans your entire collection and compile the statistics of the number of uncleaned tracks (see left image). I have found this to be rather useless since it provides no information on which track is uncleaned. I have over 800 tracks in my collection and the Analyze feature stated that I have more than 590 tracks that are uncleaned. How am I going to identify which track is the one one that i need to clean up?
The cover art pane automatically scan your collection for missing album art and retrieve it the relevant album art from the Web. This is a nice little feature that can save you hours to find the particular album art. The free version only allows 50 cover art download.
When you play a song in iTunes, the Now playing pane will fetch a list of YouTube videos that are related to the singer. Instead of loading the video in a browser, you can click on the image to play the video with in TuneUp. List of MP3 recommendations from Amazon and Ebay is also available in this pane.
Concerts scans your collection for the artists you love, then displays concert listings for your chosen location. This is useful if you are a concert lover. Not for me though.
Overall, TuneUp provides a quick and easy way to retrieve your songs’ metadata from the Web. If you have a huge collection that you never maintained in your life, this app can be very useful for you. You won’t get 100% accuracy for the information retrieved, but the result won’t be too far off.
Things that I don’t like
1) After the TuneUp installation, I found that the loading time of my iTunes has increased. It takes a much longer time for my iTunes to load now. I guess that the reason for this is that TuneUp needs to access the Internet to check your login credential and that really take up lot of time and resources.
2) In the Clean pane, it is stated that it works best if you drag up to 500 songs in it. Looking at the 500 songs limitation for the free version, I am wondering if this is a trick the developers use to make people like us to utilize the 500 free cleanup at one go. I have no doubt about the quality of the application, but I am not sure if that is truth when it says it works best with 500 tracks at one go. Maybe you can try it and let me know.
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