Creatures of musical habit sometimes need to be nudged out of their rut, and BeaTunes is the perfect tool for this. It can recommend tracks based on the songs you are playing, and make those recommendations across different genres and musical styles.
BeaTunes is a Java-based application that integrates with iTunes. It analyses your music library, assessing each song’s beats per minute, tempo and mood, using mathematical algorithms. It then gives each song a colour, which represents how it relates to other tracks. Red songs, for example, will complement one another in a playlist. (Note that songs purchased through iTunes cannot be analysed because Apple’s digital rights-management technology forbids it.)
You can also manually input information about songs on a per-track basis. BeaTunes uses this data (which must be added consistently across the collection for best results) when it assembles playlists for you.
Once your library has been analysed, BeaTunes can take a look at any chosen song and suggest other tracks that match the mood and ‘colour’ of the tune you’re playing. As well as helping with the creation of playlists for special occasions, it will get you off the beaten track of songs you usually play. You can also use BeaTunes to organise playlists into the most pleasing order of play.
BeaTunes is a promising application, among the first of its kind for the Mac. Its potential for intelligent music-library analysis is exciting. However, it is limited by its interface, which isn’t sufficiently intuitive.