I’m hoping I’m not alone on this one, but mislabeled music, or all of those Track 01/Unknown Album/Unknown Artist labels drive me kind of crazy, especially when they’re transferred to my iPod. I’ve spent an embarrassing number of hours over the years trying to clean up iTunes, trying to avoid N’Sync and N*Sync and N Sync, to name one especially obnoxious example. (yes, I have more than one album from the aforementioned group. admitting it here.)
We seem to be continuing with the OCD theme this week, but I am weirdly excited to tell you about TuneUp, a plug-in for iTunes or Windows Media Player. I saw an ad for it on 8tracks.com and was curious about whether it would really work – it claims it “automagically” cleans up track names, adds album art, artists, even genres in iTunes. Plus it says it gets rid of duplicate tracks, of which I have many. MANY. Plus it’s supposed to tell you about upcoming local concerts for any artists in your iTunes library, and I like knowing those kinds of things.
I downloaded the free trial, which allows for 50 cleaned tracks, 25 album covers added, 25 duplicate removals, and access to concert alerts (plus artist bios, music videos, things like that).
I started simple, adding artist and track info to pretty well known songs. No problem. Then I picked some Spanish music – sin problema. Even got the accents right, which made me weirdly giddy.
And then I really tried to trick it.
I looked all over for the weird stuff. Lithuanian music from a former roommate? Had no trouble finding Jūratė ir Kastytis. OK…
SNL clips? Figured out the “The Chanukah Song” (not Hanukkah) is from Adam Sandler’s Thanksgiving & Chanukah Songs album.
Obscure live acoustic version of Mr. Big’s “To Be With You?” Nailed it.
Punk rock cover of Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now?” Easy.
Bad reggaetón song I only had listed as “Toma, toma?” All over it. And even put the accent on the genre.
You can choose the fields it updates, so I can keep the compilation name Fish Magic is Birthday Magic (thanks, Rhiannon!) but update the tracks and artists, all within a minute or two.
I am smitten.
So then I tried cleaning up duplicates. I wanted to keep Ani DiFranco’s “Both Hands” from her self-titled album (but not all three copies) but also have the live version from Living in Clip. Yes! Yes! Yes!
Not only did it show concerts in town from now until September, it let me know when bands I like are opening acts or are even playing in small, basement bars. Crazy.
You can buy the various tools a la carte- Clean for artists and track names, DeDuper for duplicates, Cover Art – or you buy the whole package, either as a one-year subscription (with new settings NOT reverting at the end of the year) or lifetime membership, even allowing one license switch if you get a new computer. And right now they’re offering 25% off any of the products using the promo code CLEANSE.
Initially, even the $37.50 sale cost seemed like a high price for my anal retentiveness. But it’s making me so happy. SO HAPPY. Best money I’ve spent in a little while, really. It’s like the computer version of getting your teeth cleaned, but with no excessive drooling or judgmental questions about flossing. I’m so psyched that I set up a referral link. If you are catching my drift and want this same OCD high, use this link: http://tuneup.tellapal.com/a/clk/6BXcD and I’ll even get a kickback. Or just go directly to TuneUp’s website and have a look around. I don’t even care – I feel like I was just handed hours of my life back.
Give this a try if you’re a detail freak like me. Then let’s talk about how fresh and so clean, clean (that’s Outkast, not OutKast, y’all) we feel!
(Update: I’ve now been using this for a couple of days and am still very pleased. It’s not 100% perfect – it’s recommended a couple of songs that have nothing to do with the ones I’m looking for [though I guess they must have similar “musical DNA”] – but I just skipped over those. I think it’s been wrong about 5 times, and I’ve cleaned up about 4,000 tracks so far. And my library was a lot more in line than most people’s I know. It’s sometimes a little slow, but still 100x faster than trying to do this by hand – easy to sit down with a movie and power through approving them. I’ve removed about 500 duplicate songs from my library, and hope to have everything in order by the end of the weekend. And now newly added albums and mixes are going to be perfectly labeled, with cover art. I never thought this day would come!)