Media Rage 1.9 full review

Anyone with a large digital-music collection has likely struggled to keep it organized. Fortunately, Media Rage 1.9.3 provides a suite of powerful tools that are capable of tidying even the most chaotic of music collections. Expanding on its predecessor, MP3 Rage, Media Rage handles most major audio formats – MP3, AAC (including iTMS files), FLAC and Ogg Vorbis – editing and organizing each with aplomb.

The two most useful editing tools in Media Rage are Media Scrubber and Quick Edit Multiple Files. Media Scrubber is the closest thing Media Rage has to a main window. Drag-&-drop a folder of files to Media Scrubber and you can individually edit tag data and make batch edits, copy and delete files, and more.

The Quick Edit Multiple Files tool will make both individual and universal changes to a folder of media files via ‘pins’ – markers that selectively change some tag data in all the files you are editing. For example, recordings of live performances often have incorrect track names, which might need to be individually renamed, while other changes – such as recordingdate or artist – can be applied to all tracks. By setting a pin for certain fields, such as genre, you can make universal changes to those fields, while changingothers manually.

The Catalog Creator tool has greater flexibility than iTunes’ Export feature, offering more options of what data to include or omit, as well as more exporting options. This is an excellent tool if you want to keep track of your files in a separate database. The Artwork Search tools will search the Internet for album art, or extract it from a file on your hard drive. The powerful Organizer will automatically refile media on your hard drive with user-defined settings, such as Artist and Album. Other tools include a track-numbering tool, lyrics browser, FreeDB Tagger, File Renamer, and a Duplicate Finder to help you rid your system of evil musical twins.

Media Rage does have one glaring flaw – a convoluted interface. You can use one of two launcher applications, the Dashboard or the Toolbar, but there is no main window. Each tool launches separately and acts as a stand-alone application. Each also has its own look and feel, which takes time to get the hang of. The lyrics browser could also be improved were it tied to one or more of the many online lyrics databases rather than forcing users to look up lyrics for themselves.

Not all of Media Rage’s tools will edit or organize media stored on your iPod – in fact, most won’t due to Apple’s piracy protections. However, Media Scrubber and Catalog Creator will work on iPod-dwelling music files, and so Media Rage remains a useful enhancement for users who store all their music on an iPod.

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