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TuneTags

Version 0.93 beta is a Universal build, and incorporates several other improvements - see Version History below.

Download TuneTags 0.93 beta

What is it?

TuneTags is an application that works with iTunes to let you add keywords, or "tunetags" to your music.

Have you ever realized that many songs do not fit into just ONE Genre? Or, you want to note which songs are good for Driving, are Romantic, or just about anything else useful to know? You can make playlists for these things, but it would be better if the song itself could be marked with many different keywords, or "tunetags" that let you know more about each song. Then, smart playlists could be made that show you all your good 80's Driving music, or Romantic Folk music, or Defiant Rock music or even music good for getting psyched before a competition.

TuneTags lets you mark each song using many tags from a list, or Library, of tags. It comes with a starting Library of tags, but you can add your your own to the Library as you think of new tunetags that describe your music.

Installation

TuneTags does not require installation in a special location, simply copy it where you want it to be.

How do I use it?

There are two tag-lists in TuneTags: the one on the right shows the tags for the currently playing song in iTunes. The one on the right shows the tags in the TuneTags Library. You can Copy tunetags over to the song, or enter in completely new tags in the box below the song. Any new tag will also be added to your TuneTags Library. You can also change the iTunes Rating from the popup menu under the song's Title and Artist. Simple controls for iTunes are located in the upper-right corner as you may want to pause a song if you aren't done adding tags before it will end.

You can build a smart playlist by referencing the Comment for tagged songs in iTunes. If you wanted Romantic Folk music, you could simply make a playlist that uses:

Match All of the following conditions:
  Comment contains <T>Romantic 
  Comment contains <T>Folk
Make it Live Updating, and you can decide whether to limit it to a certain # of songs or not.

Tag Format

I suppose it would be helpful to explain how/where TuneTags writes the tunetags.

They are saved into the Comment field, preserving whatever custom Comment is already there. Song's are only tagged once you have added at least one tag to a song. TuneTags doesn't add its block until needed. The TuneTags block look something like this:

My old collection  
<TuneTags v1.1><T>Tough<T>80s<T>Acoustic</TuneTags>
Where "my old collection" was the origial Comment. The TuneTags block is not valid XML, as I found that used far too many of the 256 characters allowed in the Comment field. When the tunetags are changed, only the TuneTags block is changed. There can be problems if the existing comment is much larger (so there isn't room for the TuneTags, but it should only mangle the TuneTags block, not the existing comment.

Known Issues & Future Plans

If iTunes has a dialog box of some kind open (for example, if you used Get Info or Edit Smart Playlist), TuneTags will not be responsive. Close any Info window in iTunes for TuneTags to respond. This should be removed in later versions of TuneTags

A slight pause may occur when adding tags to a song. TuneTags stores the tags in the Comment of the track itself, which means it is written to disk, rather than stored outside of the file. This means that your tags will remain intact if you move the song file.

Version History

0.93 Universal build; Can now add multiple tags by typing in text box and separating with commas
0.92 some interface improvements
0.91 made interface brushed-metal. Yeah, will mimic iTunes 5.0/6.0 look as soon as possible.
0.90 fixed the AppleScript version-checking to work with Tiger.
0.89 fixed the "Remove" buttons to properly display the tag removed (it removed the correct tag before, but displayed the wrong tag removed). Other preparation for new features.
0.88 Changed the "copy from library" button to a graphic, rather than ugly text
0.87 Improved interface response by lengthening auto-refresh times; allowed the Refresh button to force a refresh even when the song has not changed; if a song has tags new to the library, they are added to the library; help is opened via the open command, not the Finder (so a busy Finder does not block opening the Help file)
0.86 Removed some debugging code; improved interface response when iTunes is busy and cannot respond to TuneTag's requests for information; improved speed when deleting tags; no longer allows overlapped commands that cause display glitches; other optimization improvements; fixed bug on reveal from hidden.
0.85 Changed the tag-format to use fewer characters to deal with 255-character limit in MP3 Comments field - this version will update the TuneTags for any track using the old format (only applies if you ran an earlier beta); Added this Read Me as the Help menu item; Included timeouts in calls to iTunes; Updating the tag-list for a song occurs before the name/artist are changed, so they display in proper sync; Other optimizations and bug-fixes.
0.84 Used more internal preferences for future pref panel; speed-optimized table selection.
0.83 REALLY fixed empty-Library-on-first-launch bug.
0.82 Fixed empty-Library-on-first-launch bug.
0.81 Added better scroll-to action in Library
Will not launch iTunes unless user initiates action
0.80 initial private beta-test release

License & Copyright

© 2004 Daniel A. Shockley. All rights reserved. Permission to use, copy, and distribute this software and its documentation is hereby granted, provided that both the copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies of the software, and that both notices appear in supporting documentation, and that credit is given to Daniel A. Shockley in all documents and publicity pertaining to direct or indirect use of this software.

Warranty

THIS IS EXPERIMENTAL SOFTWARE AND IS LIKELY TO HAVE BUGS, SOME OF WHICH MAY HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES. THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER ALLOWS FREE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE IN ITS "AS IS" CONDITION. THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY OF ANY KIND FOR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY FROM THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE.

For more information, please

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TuneTags is free and no payment is required. You can send a message of TuneTag's value by passing on encouragement via PayPal. Maybe I can buy another AppleScript/Cocoa book. *grin*

Daniel A. Shockley on July 18, 2004, using BBEdit for Macintosh.
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