iTunes – for all its warts – is probably the best media player on the market right now. What makes it so great? Well, for starters, it’s tightly integrated with the world’s largest music store. Radio junkie? It also allows you to create and manage a library of podcasts.
As a product, it’s pretty much perfect for what it does. So, why on Earth would anyone need to install Tune Sweeper 4 – an iTunes plugin from Wide Angle Software that adds additional functionality to Apple’s flagship media platform?
Meet Tune Sweeper
Tune Sweeper adds functionality to iTunes that should have been there from the first instance. Duplicate files? It removes them. Ripped a CD to iTunes and the artwork isn’t there? Tune Sweeper will fetch it for you. Are there items in your iTunes library that you’ve deleted through Windows Explorer? Tune Sweeper will remove these orphaned tracks.
iTunes makes an effort of fetching track information for any CDs you rip. Despite its better efforts, it occasionally fails to download the correct – or any – ID5 information. Tune Sweeper will endeavor to get the right track information for you.
It’s easy to see why someone might find Tune Sweeper useful. But does it actually deliver, or is it a bum note?
Using Tune Sweeper
Tune Sweeper is delivered as a MSI, weighing in at 7MB. It installs within a matter of minutes, and once downloaded will require being activated.
The majority of the music I listen to is obscure, independent music. With that in mind, I tested Tune Sweeper with a wide range of popular, mainstream music, since I imagine the majority of users will be listening to that type of music.
As you can see from the above picture, the majority of tracks in my library are lacking an album sleeve. Fixing this is mostly automated, and requires me to press ‘Download All Missing Artwork’.
This process took all of 30 seconds. That doesn’t sound like much, but bear in mind that I tested Tune Sweeper on a relatively small library. However, whilst not exactly expedient, it managed to find all missing artwork.
Tune Sweeper also managed to find forty cases of duplicated tracks. The criteria it uses to find duplicated tracks is particularly interesting. The default search is by track name, although you can refine this to also search by artist name, album and track number.
This is handy for identifying tracks that appear on multiple albums, and for avoiding removing tracks which have the same name, but are different songs by different artists. Personally speaking, this is pretty useful as my iTunes library has two songs called ‘Covered In Snow’, each performed by two different artists – William Fitzsimmons and Laura Marling.
Another useful piece of functionality in Tune Sweeper is the ability to identify tracks that are present in the iTunes database, yet have been removed from your hard drive. Again, Tune Sweeper delivers, finding tracks that have been orphaned in a matter of nanoseconds.
Should You Get Tune Sweeper?
Tune Sweeper is amazingly simple. A significant proportion of using the application is reduced to pressing a button and waiting for Tune Sweeper to do its magic; a welcome addition to iTunes. And if that’s not enough, check out these eight awesome iTunes tips.
The full package costs roughly £15. Have you used it before? Let me know in the comments box below.