My iTunes library is in a bit of a mess. I’ve got duplicated music files – which irritates me immensely when I use shuffle in the car and the same song comes on within about 4 of each other. Most of my music is ripped from my own CD collection (and the occasional vinyl too – yes, I am that old!) and a lot of it is missing album covers which whilst it’s not a deal breaker, it’s nice to have the album covers come up on my iPhone while I’m listening to music – especially if I’m using AirPlay to my media centre.
So, I decided it was time to find something that would clean it all up and organise it a bit better for me.
Enter Leawo Tunes Cleaner for Mac – which although it appears to be quite powerful, is extremely simple to use. The opening screen presents 4 simple options. The first of which is the “Start to Clean iTunes” option. Clicking on this opens up an equally simple looking window with (in the case of my library) 2 further options. I suspect that if your library has different issues you would see different things here. In my case I had “Songs without Artist” and “Songs Without Artwork”. This is of course after a scan has completed of your iTunes library.
Selecting Fix All will grab the album artwork and download it into your iTunes library, and in my case, the Song Without Artist was detected by Tunes Cleaner and the metadata for the track was updated. Or, it would have been if it weren’t for the fact that my version is purely a demo version. Which is a little bit frustrating – although I do understand the authors need to convince people to part with their cash and I’m not sure I could come up with a better method for so doing. Having said that, I think I need to add that I feel this product, whilst smooth, polished, easy to use and functional, is a little overpriced at nearly $40 for a tool you might only use once or twice a year. $7.50 to $10.00 might be more of an appropriate figure in my humble opinion.
To the left is how my library album covers looked before Tunes Cleaner got hold of the library. To the right, how it would look afterwards if I paid for the full licence.
Despite the cost, Tunes Cleaner is by far the easiest to use iTunes library cleaner I’ve played with, which brings me to the next part of the cleanup process, which is the duplicate finder. Clicking the ‘Clean Up Duplicates’ button from the front screen will open up the duplicate finder. This is where the Tunes Cleaner software is quite elaborate. You can choose to have the duplicates checked quickly, purely by comparing file names (and probably size?) or the software will do some fairly clever sounding sound processing on the files to see if they appear to sound the same. Indeed, as the image on the right shows, it’s found some songs that were named quite radically differently to each other but obviously sound similar. In one instance it got it completely wrong – suggesting that two different Olly Murs songs were in fact the same. Though perhaps that says more about modern music than the software! In all, the software found 24 duplicates in my library and only got one of them wrong – I don’t mind taking the tick out of the box for that one to ensure it doesn’t delete them.
Whilst in my case, this feature won’t save me a great deal of hard drive space (maybe about 100 megabytes), it does save me frustration when I’m in the car and put my playlist on shuffle.
So, to sum up, the application looks nice, works well and is very easy to use. It’s only down side is perhaps the cost.
Further information, and downloading of a free trial can be obtained at http://www.leawo.org/tunes-cleaner-mac/
Positives: easy to use, nice user interface
Negatives: a bit expensive
Trial Available: Yes – but limited
Price: $39.99 USD