-Doesn't work so well with more obscure music
-Can be slow while working
Picture it. 6,000 music tracks in your collection, 200-some artists, 500-some albums. Strewn about your iTunes library like your 7-year-old’s room. But wait, you don’t have to picture it, do you? Because this, friends, is reality. Tidy Songs would have you believe it will selflessly slave over your music collection, scrubbing down the dirty tags and misspellings like some kind of clean freak. But can it live up to our demands?
Tidy Songs is an Adobe Air app that loads to a simple welcome screen which lets you get started pretty quickly. There’s no setup to do. Just click Start and you’re whisked off to the Main Menu where you select from 4 options: Add Album Art, Find Duplicates, Fix Your Songs, and Organize Genres. They’re all pretty self explanatory, so let’s get right into it.
Add Album Art works like a charm. It looks up the songs in a selected playlist (you can choose to scan your entire library as well) and checks them against it’s sources (I’m assuming one of them to be Amazon). When a discrepancy is detected, it presents its findings to you and you can choose to keep the current artwork, add the new artwork, or input your own URL where the correct artwork is located, and it will download it for you.
Find Duplicates worked well in my tests as well. There is the option to automatically delete these duplicates according to bit rate and song length, however this one you’ll probably need to manually approve each change, especially if you have a lot of live albums where song titles are exactly the same.
Fixing songs themselves proved to be a little tricky for me. To test this functionality, I made some changes to my song titles and documented each change. All of my semi-popular music was recognized and fixed without a hitch. However, my problems arose when summoning information on more obscure bands, and if you have a lot of this kind of music, you may have to use the Manual mode here as well. I don’t fault Tidy Songs for this, as I would think this is a problem with the tracklist and information in the public database it is querying. However, if you’ve got a lot of well to semi-well-known artists in your library, Tidy Songs should have no problem clearing up any weird titles and information. Speed-wise, if you’re going to let it do its thing automatically, and depending on how many songs you have, I’d let it go overnight. In my own library of a few thousand songs, it took quite a few hours to complete its scans and fixes. Also, you can’t listen to music through iTunes while it’s cleaning, so either do it while you won’t be home, or fire up Pandora and check out some new music while you wait.
Probably the feature I found the least use for was Organize Genres. It simply allows you to change all of the variations on a genre to one. For example, I have varying genres of Rock in my library such as Alternative-Rock, Alt-punk, Indie, Indie-Pop, Rock/Pop, Indie Rock¦you get the picture. It offers to take all of these and combine them into one category of its or your choosing.
While fixing, you can tell Tidy Songs to skip songs with certain words as well, giving you an added “Don’t touch” filter. All in all, the app works great. Compared to TuneUp, my experience was above and beyond what I ever expected it to be, and that experience comes with a price tag. $39 to be exact. Worth it? I’d say yes. Especially if your library is big and in rough shape. You could spend days retagging and reorganizing a large iTunes library- let Tidy Songs do it for you.