SongGenie 1.1 review

SongGenie can help tidy up your music library. The program analyses all your tracks using ‘acoustic fingerprints’ to compare them with information in the online MusicIP database, which contains some 8 million tracks (and apparently works with MusicBrainz.org), to find missing tags or discrepancies.

The initial process of loading all your tracks can take quite a while if you have a lot of music, but after that first loading subsequent launches of SongGenie are much faster. When you select tracks SongGenie checks them with MusicIP and compares what it finds with the files on your hard drive. If the results differ, blue result arrows display next to the song, artist, and/or album name. Click on an arrow to apply that tag to your version of the track.

Sometimes suggested changes are as minimal as differences in capitalisation or abbreviations. If you tag your files using Gracenote, the online database that iTunes uses to grab track info when you rip a CD, SongGenie can help you standardise or improve those tags. Like the process of loading your music, checking tracks for missing data is slow, as well as processor-intensive.

In our tests – with an admittedly eclectic music library – SongGenie didn’t find information for much of the untagged or imperfectly tagged music, and at times even claimed that correctly tagged music was missing information. SongGenie found tags for only a tiny amount of classical music.

It’s worth noting that most of these issues aren’t the fault of SongGenie; there is clearly a lack of coherence in the MusicIP database. Another shortcoming of MusicIP is that its database contains mostly music released on CD; don’t count on SongGenie to help you tag lots of live music distributed over the net.

OUR VERDICT

SongGenie generally performs as advertised, but since it depends on the MusicIP database, it can find only what’s available in that database. If you have a lot of music without tag information, or with incorrect tags, SongGenie can save you the trouble of finding the correct information, as well as the time it takes to enter that information by hand. Just don’t expect miracles.

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