Review: TuneUp for iTunes


If you’re like me, your entire music collection has been downloaded/ripped willy-nilly between hits of nitrous oxide and sips of Colt .45. While this does makes for an extensive and fascinating music collection, the resulting mash of nameless tracks, albums without cover art, and songs with the title of the album in the song title (“Yanni – Ethnicity – Almost A Whisper.mp3,” for example), is hardly conducive to absolute listening pleasure.

That’s why I’m glad to report that TuneUp for iTunes is a great service/system. It fixes broken song titles and adds album art and even gives full info on each artist you listen to an offers information on shows they’re playing in your area. Cool, non?

Does it work? It does. I had about a thousands songs with crazy titles. The system cleaned most of them up in about ten minutes, and then I spent the rest of the time looking for one-off songs that needed cleaning. There is even an automatic mode that simply digs through all of your songs and tries to fix them automatically, but that process is much less satisfying than the drag-and-drop model. It’s nice to see the junk titles disappear, replaced by real titles.

The system can clean up 100 songs for free or an unlimited number for $19.95 a year or $29.95 for a lifetime. The “Tuniverse” music info and concert reminders are always free.

This brings up an interesting point: once you clean up your library, you really don’t need the software. The Tuniverse stuff is pretty cool – sort of like Genius suggestions with a little more multimedia – but for $29.95 you’re basically paying for a massive clean-up. Granted, it is a great feeling to have your entire collection nice and clean.

In terms of repair quality, the system uses GraceNote for all of the data. However, it can mess up. For example, it thought the Morells were Sammi Morelli, resulting in an odd situation in my iTunes queue. These errors were few but troubling.

Overall, this is product will do your music collection a great service. In most cases it works perfectly and in rare cases it works comically. The added value of concert information and song info is a plus, but you’re really paying for a nice, clean, sane music collection. Now, back to that remix of Schnappi by Armin Van Buuren. Nitrous is rough stuff.