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How Safe Is Your iTunes Library?

David Silversmith
David Silversmith

Once upon a time all our music was on physical media - records, tapes or CDs.  But today, many of us have our valuable music all on digital media and as much as we like the digital world - stuff happens to technology.  But, meta-Ipod is a tool that can bring piece of mind to even the most fanatical iTunes users.

The bigger your iTunes library, the more difficult it is to locate and fix problems that arise, whether you're faced with ratings gone awry, missing or duplicate tracks, or missing album art. That's where diagnostic tool meta-iPod the iTunes Cleaner comes in.  Meta-iPod diagnoses a host of iTunes issues to keep your iTunes library running smoothly.

Meta-iPod is a free application that you download to your PC. Unfortunately, for Mac users, this is one instance where Windows has an iTunes-related tool the Mac doesn't: meta-iPod is Windows-only. You install the application, start it up, point it at your iTunes library and let it analyze your music library for any of several fixes. From recovering ratings and play counts from your iPod to tracking down files or folders gone missing, meta-iPod analyzes all data sources containing your music to put the pieces of the puzzle back together. 

The software has duplicate track removal - my favorite utility. If you have ever tried to remove duplicate tracks from iTunes than you know that this is a tedious task to do manually. The automated duplicate track analysis feature will automatically guess which track to delete so you can clean your duplicates in one fell swoop.

iPod Only Tracks are songs that are on your iPod, but not found in iTunes. This feature lets you quickly and easily transfer tracks from your iPod into iTunes, without having to figure out how to create and use a .txt file. Transferring tracks using this feature you will also keep your ratings and play counts.  Additionally with regards to syncing itunes and your iPod, did you transfer music from your iPod to your computer and lose your ratings and labels? Or did you rate a track on your iPod and can't get that rating into iTunes? The Better Metadata feature chooses which play count or ratings are most up to date and applies that to iTunes.

The iPod to iTunes Playlist Copy is another great function if you want to recover a playlist from your iPod. This feature lets you transfer a playlist from your iPod to iTunes. The playlist transfer will automatically determine if the tracks are in iTunes or not. If they're not in iTunes, they will be transferred, then added to the playlist.

Version 1.6 was just released and is now compatible with the iPhone & iTouch 3.0 firmware. While meta-iPod is free, it looks like the author is moving to a freemium model where some of the features are free and some are premium features that require either registration or payment.  For now, meta-iPod is only talking registration which is required to use the track transfer features (2 of the program's 9 features).

If you are a heavy iTunes user you will love this utility - many of the little annoying features of iTunes will suddenly and easily be repaired within minutes of setting up meta-Ipod

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