If you're anything like me (and seriously, I hope you're not), then you have hundreds, perhaps thousands, or even tens of thousands of songs in your iTunes that look something like "Song 01" or claim to be by a band called "the Nerds" (actually N.E.R.D.).
Whether you ripped them from a CD, downloaded them from a blog or got them from a friend's hard drive, these mislabeled songs or artist names are almost impossible to search for and disturb the natural order of digital things. Enter TuneUp, a new company whose tagline is "Your Music's New Best Friend."
Aside from its cool retro rocket-man logo, the service offers nothing short of a complete overhaul of your iTunes library. Using their plug-in application, TuneUp can go into your iTunes and clean up all (or most) of the mislabeled items, automatically search for cover art, tell you if you're missing other songs from a particular album, suggest relevant YouTube videos, Google News and eBay merchandise tied to the song currently playing, and offer automatic concert alerts based on your collection, with the option to purchase tickets directly through TuneUp.
The service grabs an "audio fingerprint" of each song and within a few seconds retrieves the correct data from the Global Media Database belonging to Gracenote (the same company that identifies songs when you put a disc into your hard drive, and where founder Gabe Adiv — a friend of this writer — used to work).
The company claims their correction rate is around 85-90 percent. The service, which costs $12 a year or $20 for a lifetime subscription, only works for Windows at the moment, but a Mac version is slated to be released this fall. A free demo version is currently available that cleans 500 songs and 50 pieces of cover art.