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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tune Up Digital Music Manager

TuneUp Tune Up Digital Music ManagerSoftware that plugs the gaps in our digital music libraries has been around for years and in this regard Tune Up Digital Music Manager is nothing different, but like all digital music maintenance software it needs to set itself apart from the competition, and this it does rather well with a series of very useful additions.

The software plugs into either Windows Media Player or iTunes on your PC and appears as a side-panel in the software. You need to create an account with the software, all will become clear why in a bit, and you’re in business. It really is a very simple piece of software to set up.

In fact I only experienced one glitch when the Tune Up software failed to appear next to Windows Media Player on my PC. A quick visit to the WMP options though revealed that the Tune Up plug-in had been deactivated. A simple case of ticking a box and pressing the apply button rectified the situation, and the next time I started WMP, there is was.

TuneUp 14 Tune Up Digital Music ManagerThe basic tools of finding missing information and album art from your music collection work well. You simply right-click on a track or album and send it to Tune Up. Just a few seconds later and you get back information that I found to be very accurate and up to date. It does this by digitally listening to your music collection and comparing the tracks to details in online databases.

One of the nicest features I found in this was the album art chooser. This isn’t something I’d come across in media management software before as it presented several different album art choices, sometimes the same art in different resolutions, sometimes different album art from around the world.

So far as the media information tools work then Tune Up does exactly what its supposed to, and does so very quickly.

This software still needs to set itself apart from the competition though, especially as the free version will only allow you to clean up 100 tracks and add 50 pieces of missing album art.

How it does this is its party trick, and I was really quite impressed by what it was able to do and how quickly it was able to do it.

TuneUp 15 Tune Up Digital Music ManagerTuniverse is Tune Up’s social integration and, while it allows you to share you playlists with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and more, it can also provide you with a wealth of information about the artist(s) you’re listening to.

This information includes videos, biographies, discographies including live previews of tracks, Album recommendations, artist news and band merchandise. The system automatically integrates with popular websites including Amazon, YouTube and eBay rather than rely on its own store that perhaps you might be wary of.

This is a nice move, while some media players such as Microsoft’s Zune player offer some of this functionality, Tune Up brings it all together in a friendly panel with collapsible sections.

TuneUp 8 Tune Up Digital Music ManagerIf you’re still not impressed by the software then the last feature I found particularly impressive, and here’s where your Tune Up account comes into play.

Simply by signing up with the service and providing a small amount of information as simple as your home town, the software can scan your entire music collection and in just a few short seconds get you details on upcoming gigs and concerts for all the artists you like the most.

I’ve found even knowing when artists are playing near me to be a nightmare and the number of times I’ve missed a concert or three because I took my eye off the ball are too numerous to count.

Tune Up makes this easy and simple. All you need to do is press one button, yep, you heard me right, one button and within a few seconds all the relevant information about concerts and gigs is provided for you right in your media player.

I was very cautious when I first heard about this software that it’s claim that…

  • TuneUp digitally “listens” to your music to identify it
  • No more “Track 01″! No more “Unknown Artist”!

…would just make it like any other piece of media management software in that you’d use it once, perhaps twice and then forget about it. This simply wouldn’t justify the cost of $19.95 for a year or $29.95 for a lifetime’s licence.

I genuinely believe though that the cost of a lifetime subscription is easily outweighed, not just by the integration with band news, new music recommendations and merchandising suggestions, but the one click concert feature is almost enough to justify the cost of the software on its own.

If you’re a serious music fan and want to find out more about your favourite artists, a casual listener who likes to explore new artists based on what you already like or a concert goer, there’s definitely something in Tune Up for you. Recommended!


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