TuneUp Shot Down

So lately I have been opening iTunes to get a Vista security message telling me that TuneUpUpdater.exe wants to run. My first thought was “What crap did Apple force onto my computer now?” I mean they make good stuff it’s just that I want to install the software I want. I do not want QuickTime, or Bonjour, or the other thing I always uncheck when I update iTunes. I finally got around to googling it and found out that the internet doesn’t have too much on this software.
TuneUp is a add-on for iTunes that claims to go through your iTunes library and fix all the metadata, thereby correcting the genres, the “track01″, and of course the dreaded missing “The” before bands (such as The Beatles.) First thing’s first; the reviews I was able to find said it had about an 85-90 percent correction rate. If you are normal your list of songs spans a minimum of thousands and more likely reaches tens or hundreds of thousands. If you only had 5,000 songs that’s still up to 750 songs labeled incorrectly. That could mean they were changed from being correct to being wrong, or not corrected at all. The software uses the Gracenote database which in theory is a good idea but in practice it often does not work. Software such as this has been around a while and each one has failed in one key area: same exact songs on different albums. To test it I always used my Radiohead discography since they have the same song on a few albums. Each time GraceNote identified the song correctly but in each case it picked the wrong album (ie: everything was album x instead of x, y and z. One software had such poor implementation that it overwrote their studio albums with live recordings.
The second problem I have with this software is that I have no idea how it got on my computer. I am very careful about what I put on here, reading all boxes and checking/unchecking on installation screens, like when an installer tries to add the Yahoo! Toolbar to my browsers. If I was the one that asked to get the TuneUp Companion installed to my computer then I have myself to be annoyed at. But this one was a stealth installation which greatly offends me. It’s not as bad as ad-ware or mal-ware but it may as well be, for as far as I know I did not knowingly accept any terms of use, or for that matter neither do I know what information I am giving them.
So in short, be wary of products that “help” your music library and make promises that, when mathematically analyzed, are far-fetched and have the possibility to do more harm than good. If you really have that many bad tracks 1: Stop power torrenting and 2: spend 30 minutes a day working through your current library. This is going to be one of the few times I thank Vista’s annoying security feature.

~Absolut Lush
[The wonder! The wonder! Noooo the wonder!]

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