In preparing for a new year, I have been performing some usual maintenance on my PC like archiving old e-mails, deleting useless documents, etc. One task is cleaning my music library which has become quite disorganized over time. While looking through iTunes I see many music files incorrectly tagged, mismatched album names, and missing or incorrect album art. Some of this is because I purchase music from several different places such as Amazon, and each music service seems to have different song/album info so it’s not hard for things to get disorganized quickly.
I have a moderately sized music library so doing it all manually wasn’t desirable, so after a bit of research I decided to give TuneUp Media a try. Reading through the features it seemed that it was developed to do exactly what I needed, so now we just need to see if they deliver. TuneUp works with both iTunes and Windows Media Player, and is compatible with both PC and Mac. For this review I used the latest version of iTunes on my Windows 8 PC.
After a quick install, TuneUp Media starts and is a small window that sits next to the iTunes window. The interface has four main tabs that give you access to the main features which are Clean, Cover art, DeDuper, and Tuniverse. Since cleaning my library was my primary concern, this is where I started. TuneUp can analyze your music files and let you know how many are “dirty”, and all you have to do is select the files in iTunes and drag them into the TuneUp window. The song files are then scanned and analyzed and then you are presented with the results. You can review the results of the cleaning and choose to save or cancel the changes. TuneUp did such a good job that I almost always went with it’s changes, and there were only a few songs out of thousands that it incorrectly labeled. It fixed the mismatched file names and also did a great job at putting them in the right genre.
You can drag up to 1000 songs at at time to clean, but I ended up doing a few artists at a time. I found that way was the easiest to manage as I still wanted to verify what was being changed, but the entire process went fairly quickly.
After the cleaning was done I moved on to the next feature which is Cover Art. As the name implies this helps you find music files that are missing their cover art, and then finds the right artwork and applies it to the files. I was quite surprised that I had so many missing, and it only took a few seconds to fix the missing artwork.
The final two features I checked out was the DeDuper and Tuniverse. DeDuper scans your library and shows any duplicate files. As with all the other scans TuneUp performed, it performed them very quickly. This is an area I paid particular attention to as I have lots of songs with duplicate titles, but are just different versions of the songs. It did a pretty good job at knowing the difference, but it also marked several of them as duplicates even though they weren’t. This happens with the duplicate finder in iTunes as well, so I would never recommended deleting duplicate songs unless you are absolutely sure they are actual duplicates.
Last up is Tuniverse, which I didn’t pay much attention to at first, but once I did I found this to be a very handy tool. This is kind of a social and information feature that takes the artists in your music library and displays a bunch of useful information. For instance, in one of the sub-tabs it will show upcoming concerts for artists in your library, with links to more information and ticketing. The Now Playing tab shows other information such as lyrics, music videos, related artist information, and links to merchandise. You can even share info via Twitter or Facebook.
Overall, TuneUp did a fantastic job at cleaning up my music library and fixing all the inconsistencies and missing information in my music files. This app saved me probably hours of time which I would have used going through files manually, and that is good enough for me to recommend this app for anyone who needs to clean their music library.
TuneUp Media has a free trial available, and price for the full version starts at $39.99. At the time of this posting, they are offering a 30% holiday discount. Also, TuneUp is included in the Ultimate Music App Bundle for a couple more days which you can get more info about here.