At the risk of sounding older than my twenty-something years, how we acquire and enjoy music has changed significantly. We have graduated from mix tapes with handwritten track lists, to CDs covered in scrapes and accompanied by beer stained sleeves from student parties, and now most of us are digitally managing our music from computers, iPods and smart phones. I have a substantial collection of random tracks that I have gathered over the years stored in my iTunes without track or artist names and I can never be bothered to sit down and spend an evening manually updating them. Now I don’t have to – SongGenie can do it all for me.
In short, SongGenie organises your iTunes library by identifying unknown or incorrectly logged songs and tags, finding song lyrics and more. When you log in, you receive an overview of the shape your music collection is in via guitar ratings: one guitar signifies you have a correct track name, a second the lyrics and a third is for cover art. You work through your tracks, updating them as required either one by one, or using command, click to select multiple tracks. This is all done on your computer but you can update your iPod or iPhone by just connecting your device and synchronizing.
I like the fact that I can filter and focus solely on certain things. I’m not overly fussed on lyrics, but I loved updating all the track names so I can now shuffle my iPod and know what I’m about to listen to instead of ‘Track 2’. You can use the playback feature to check that it has correctly recognised a track before applying the results. Of course, it won’t recognize every single track – if, for example, you have friends or family who are in bands that haven’t officially released tracks yet, it obviously won’t find a match for them. But I found that it was pretty spot on with everything else.
Missing album cover art can be found by downloading the sister program CoverScout. CoverScout can be accessed via SongGenie, but you will need to buy it separately. You can scroll through your music and select an album that has no cover, then hit search. The search will bring up a selection of covers for each album so you can choose which cover you prefer and even save the extras for a revamp later. If you are as lazy as me and want CoverScout to automatically select covers, you can change your preferences to make it do so. An interesting feature of this is the ability to edit cover art also – you can rotate, scale and crop covers. I loved playing around with this. You can even print your own CD booklets using a template, complete with track information and crop marks to make your life even easier!
Admittedly you do have to fork out a bit, but in reality it adds up to the price of a few albums. Well worth it – I have discovered there is a real sense of smug satisfaction to having a well-organised music collection! Oh, and a full 3 guitar rating for every track you own means you are officially a rock God. Well, not really. But it means you have a seriously organised music collection. Which I’m sure all genuine rock Gods do.
Pros: Both apps come with detailed instructions and the installation process was straightforward. They were both easy to find my way around and, although the first time you log in it takes a while to load, after that it is quite quick.
Cons: The price and the fact that you have to download and pay for a separate program just to work on cover art might put some people off.