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TuneUp - The Results, Additional Features and Verdict

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
TuneUp

Summary

Our Score:

8

Adopt a little patience and let TuneUp do its thing and we think you'll be impressed with the results. Its database is very impressive, its "best guesses" of what was what were invariably spot-on and it integrates additional artwork seamlessly into your library. Even tracks with absolutely no worthwhile ID3 information were successfully identified.

Perhaps the most useful feature of TuneUp though is the ability to re-purpose information already present in your current library. Ever put a compilation on your iPod only to have it create an additional 30 artist entries, each with a single track? Within the settings menu here you can stop this from happening, as well as blasting away any "artist X featuring artist Y headaches". TuneUp 2

The de-duper function removes any doubled-up tracks or albums - another feature of our test collection that was successfully zapped. It shows you the two (or more) different versions, including their bitrates, to help make sure you don't zap the new 320kbps version rather than that 128kbps rip from back in 2005.

The Tuniverse feature is the one tacked-on bit that might be argued to be superfluous, but it's neat enough not to irritate even if it's of no interest. It offers information and videos from the artist, and concert dates. This isn't particularly tailored for us UK folk though, so you're probably better off with a standard web search for the latter.

It does the job, and does it well. But is it worth it?

TuneUp

TuneUp sells for $50 online, for a life-time "subscription" to all four services - the cleaning of track info, cover art gathering, the Deduper and Tuniverse. You can opt for a year's functionality for $10 less, or buy one of the three key library-changing features for $30. However, as there's no bundle that offers cover art and track cleaning - the essential bits - the full package is by far the best bet. A boxed version is also available for £17.99 from some of the major online retailers - although it's not clear whether this includes the Deduper function.

It's the cleanest, most enjoyable solution of this kind we've come across, but we can't ignore solutions like Magicbrainz's Magic MP3 Tagger, which uses CDDB information to get the same results. The UI is not a patch on TuneUp's of course, and TuneUp will link-in with bit-torrent clients to pre-process new tunes (clearly aimed at folks who get their tracks from less-than-entirely-legit sources), but you're paying a premium - for a premium service. If you're not convinced it's worth it - having suffered with the irritations of a disorganised music library daily we think it is - there's a demo version that maxes-out at a limited number of actions.

Verdict

Reliable, easy to use and boasting an attractive interface, this is the most pleasant MP3-fixing tool we've used yet. It's not quite as quick as advertised and has to compete with some completely free alternatives, but if you're a music nut who nabs tunes from a wide array of sources it's well worth dipping your hand into your pocket for.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • Performance 8
  • Value 7

Bugblatter

July 18, 2011, 12:55 pm

Shouldn't it be a con that it only works with iTunes? I know it's free, but many (like me) won't install it.

PoisonJam

July 18, 2011, 2:53 pm

FYI the site isn't centre-aligning in the latest version of Chrome like it does in FF and IE.

Cliff

July 18, 2011, 4:50 pm

That's all its designed to do, at this stage. We wouldn't mark down and iPad accesory if it didn't work with other tablets.

Ed

July 18, 2011, 5:51 pm

If you're ad blocking it breaks the centre alignment on all browsers. Otherwise seems to work fine on my version of Chrome.

PoisonJam

July 19, 2011, 1:09 am

@Ed Thanks for responding. Now I'm home I see it's working fine in Chrome here, must just be my work config.

Another thing though - with the pop-up window log-in I can't have the browser to remember my username and password, which is a bit of a nuisance as no one else has access to my PC.

Digital Fury

July 19, 2011, 9:24 pm

I'm a TuneUp client myself, but while it's rather good, the client is buggy and hangs from time to time for no good reason.

It could be great but it's not there yet.

mikfrak

December 17, 2011, 12:28 pm

So what happens to iTunes library after a year when licence runs out? Surely sorting out library is something most people will only have to do once? Does something happen after a year so I have to buy a new licence?

Horst

August 14, 2012, 4:24 pm

I like that it operates side-by side with iTunes so you can see exactly what gets changed. However, I used a free BETA of a tool called CopyTrans TuneTastic to remove duplicates and fix missing tracks from my iTunes library.

redkruser

September 2, 2013, 3:25 pm

Don't download the new version 3.0 until they get it to run. You will only be frustrated. If you can get version 2.4 that seemed to work

RNo

September 13, 2013, 3:21 pm

new version is awful. a massive backwards step. Has screwed up my music library. AVOID.

Jardastudio

September 23, 2013, 9:39 pm

Terrible software! No support. Don't use.

Thom Gregory

November 15, 2013, 10:38 pm

Well Tuneup has completed messed up my entire music library and actually made it even worst than it was before. For example I had all the Nirvana studio albums, but then it decided to divide them all up into bootleg eps and best of compilations rather than the albums they were originally categorised in. Nirvana is just one example of many, also complete albums and tracks are now missing. it's a complete disaster. the software simply doesn't work and is not fit for purpose and I will be deleting immediately.

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