I have added a few more screen shots and additional comments to the original showdown posting. You can find it here:
Tag Archives: iTunes tagging
So, you’ve been sitting there on pins and needles, checking the site on breaks, gnashing your teeth when you weren’t on break…
I know this because my web page views have spiked at eight and how many breaks can the two of you possibly have?
The refrain that pounded in your brain was, “I wonder where mgrego2 is with his comparison of the song scrubbers? Oh, yeah, and what about global warming/non-warming/rain/not-rain/snow/not-snow?”
Did your brain see the end of that last sentence as snot-now?
Anyway, the work continues and I’ll share some thoughts.
I have continued to work with CoverScout, Pollux, and TuneUp. SongGenie? Nope. SongGenie can kiss me in places no mortal has ever seen. It is dead to me.
I bit the bullet and picked up TuneUp while I could get the discount. Then, I started comparing TuneUp and Pollux some more. No tables or charts this time.
My process was to switch iTunes to the mode where you view albums in a grid. I would select an album and then have Pollux identify it. If I didn’t like the results, I would undo them and then drag the album to TuneUp. If I thought they were OK, I would still drag the album to TuneUp and compare. The result is that none of these programs are flawless. It is clear that TuneUp remains more accurate than Pollux and, based on my limited experience with SongGenie, more accurate than SongGenie. My confidence in TuneUp has gotten to the point that I use it as my baseline for the other programs; It continues to pull up results that are more accurate than Pollux. And, it gives multiple cover art options, as opposed to the one cover you get with Pollux. However, to the credit of Pollux, TuneUp doesn’t provide an “Oh Shit” button and Pollux does. Of course, there is the possibility to save the results one at a time, rather than all at once, so maybe you should have been more careful before hitting the “Save All” button in TuneUp. The bottom line is that TuneUp isn’t perfect either. Software is written by peeps and peeps ain’t perfect.
My experience was that Pollux is generally correct. However, it was wrong often enough to make me a little uncomfortable. TuneUp pulled up better art work, provided better genre tagging, and was much faster. CoverScout? It actually has turned out to be useful as a means of finding BETTER cover art. When you select an album in CoverScout, it tells you the current size in pixels and shows what it looks like. It then finds other art work. I found that I could, based on the star rating that CoverScout provides, grab better art work than any covers that are at 150×200, 200×240, or whatever. So, it has actually served its purpose. Would I spend the asking price for that functionality? Hell no. And, it should be noted that I cleaned out the CoverScout directory after generating the chart. It’s now back up to 663 MB. There IS something that grows faster than my gut.
So far, TuneUp is maintaining its edge. I could live with Pollux but the genre tagging sucks and I would never feel fully confident in the results I’m getting. If it were my money, and it was, I would go for TuneUp. Since I own them all, I’ll probably continue to pull up CoverScout whenever I’m not happy with the cover art (but then, only when I’m confident that the cover art I currently have is correct but suboptimal). I will use TuneUp for the heavy lifting and then switch to Pollux to snag my lyrics. I mean, really, for years I was singing things for “Blinded by the Light” that were just plain WRONG!!!!!!!!
I’d be very interested in seeing the opinions of others.
Maybe I’m more anal than I thought. Since putting the song scrubber comparison together, the genre tagging has begun to eat at me more. I mean, if you ever want to take advantage of Smart Playlists, it would be helpful to have decent genre tagging, right? Trying to evoke a certain mood is going to fail miserably if the bulk of your tags are the same general value! With that in mind, I decided to put together a table that compares the tagging produced by Pollux and TuneUp. What you’ll see is that Pollux is, for the most part, very generic. TuneUp, on the other hand might be too granular.
Below is the table. I tried to cross a variety of genres to give a representative sampling of the tagging that takes place. My process was:
- If the song already has a genre, clear it.
- Use Pollux to update the tags.
- Record the value from Pollux.
- Undo the tag update in Pollux.
- Drag the song into TuneUp.
- Record the value from TuneUp.
You can be the judge for yourself. For me, erring on the side of too granular seems more useful.
Apparently, the EYES of TuneUp is everywhere! Tiffany from TuneUp Media posted a comment that linked to a method for controlling the level of genre tagging in TuneUp. I have looked for similar functionality in Pollux but don’t find it. For the record, it is under preferences.
If you right-click on the TuneUp window, you get a pop-up that allows you to set preferences. Under the “Clean” tag you’ll see that there are three levels of genre assignment. Although it isn’t clear how the levels are determined, you can certainly loosen up (or tighten down) the number of genres available from Level 2 (the level at which the above table was generated). Thanks, Tiffany!