10 Plugins For Making iTunes Not Suck

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It’s hard to believe that iTunes started out as a meager music store. Today, it’s a full-on media player, all-in-one store for everything on your iOS devices, and even a file manager. The years have not been kind to this bloated program, but here are some addons to make iTunes stop sucking.

Okay, so it may not be possible to make iTunes not suck — at least not without a major program re-write from the ground up, by Apple itself. But in the meantime, here are ten apps, addons, and plugins that do a terrific job of filling in some of iTunes’ gaping holes.

Cover Artwork Finder

The Problem: iTunes never can seem to find the correct cover art for anything that’s not a modern bestseller.
The Solution: This gem of an app does exactly what you want it to do — and most of it is done automatically — and then some. In addition to the right cover artwork, it’ll also find lyrics for most of your songs, and correct inconsistencies in your library.
Perfect For: Highly visual connoisseurs, Cover Flow completionists.
Price: $5.99
Download It Here


The Problem: Thanks to “best of” albums and radio hit Singles purchases, you’ve got lots of duplicate songs in your iTunes library.
The Solution: A one-stop shop for eliminating all of those duplicate files — without having to hunt them down one-by-one.
Perfect For: Collectors with an extremely extensive library of music.
Price: $15
Download It Here

DRM Dumpster

The Problem: You’re sick of having to play by Apple’s rules when it comes to where and how you can listen to your digital music.
The Solution: Stick it to The Man and claim that music as your own, with this robust converter that will transform those purchased-on-iTunes tracks to DRM-free files.
Perfect For: Rebels who don’t live by anybody’s rules but their own.
Price: $24.95
Download It Here


The Problem: You love collecting music by your favorite artists, but want to see them perform live-and-in-concert.
The Solution: A plugin that regularly scans your iTunes library and creates a personalized calendar of upcoming concerts that are scheduled for your corner of the U.S., Canada, or the U.K. It even provides direct links for purchasing your concert tickets online.
Perfect For: Groupies. Or wannabe groupies. Or anyone who just wants to rock out.
Price: Free
Download It Here


The Problem: You use iTunes to organize your music collection, but your MP3 player or cell phone doesn’t have an Apple logo on the back.
The Solution: This open source app helps synchronize your iTunes library/playlists to the non-Apple portable device of your choice. Just like if you were using an iPhone or iPod, iTuneMyWalkman can recognize your device when it’s connected to your computer, and will automatically synchronize your media files.
Perfect For: Non-Apple fans. (You probably found this website by accident… Just breathe! You’ll get through this. We don’t bite, promise. Unless you touch our hardware. Then we cut you.)
Price: Free
Download It Here


The Problem: Dumb ol’ iTunes can’t tell when songs play at volume levels that are all over the map.
The Solution: This auto-gain app scans your music files and ensures that every song on your computer plays just as loud (or soft) as everything else.
Perfect For: Pretty much everyone.
Price: $29.99
Download It Here


The Problem: Sometimes “Smart Playlists” are dumber than a sack of hammers.
The Solution: Color-code your songs! This little app runs side-by-side with iTunes, and lets you pick a color for each song that matches the mood it evokes in you. Intense music you’d probably mark as bright red, for example. Then use those colors to compile playlists for whatever mood you’re in — or want to be in.
Perfect For: It’s like tagging, only without words, so it’s perfect for those who value visuals above all else.
Price: Free ($9 donation suggested)
Download It Here

Quick Tag

The Problem: If you have a lot of music, it’s not always easy to remember much about that single you downloaded five years ago — or why you downloaded it.
The Solution: Tag your music! We tag pretty much everything else these days — Tweets, photos, every single flipping thing on Facebook — so why not music? Adding keywords to your song’s meta data is an easy way of jogging your memory, not to mention sorting and grouping similar tracks. It’s quick-and-dirty, so don’t expect any bells or whistles.
Perfect For: Chronic catalogers, or anyone without a photographic memory.
Price: Free (donation requested)
Download It Here


The Problem: See above.
The Solution: Do the same stuff as Quick Tag but entirely hands-free. That’s right, it scans your library and assigns tags to all your music automatically.
Perfect For: Same as above, but for those who need a no-muss-no-fuss solution. Plus, you get to tell people you own an app that ends with “licious.”
Price: $9.99
Download It Here


The Problem: You’re too lazy to pick from the apps above and want an all-in-one option.
The Solution: Part suite of apps, part “service,” TuneUp performs a lot of the same functions as those listed above. “Clean” scans and fixes your meta data, “Cover Art” supplies missing album artwork, “DeDuper” takes care of those pesky duplicate files, and more. Tuniverse sends you alerts about concerts of interest in your area. There’s even some social networking integration built in.
Perfect For: They who have money to burn.
Price: as a service, TuneUp charges membership fees instead of purchase prices. So a year’s worth of TuneUp runs $39.95, while a lifetime membership is $49.95.
Download It Here

Got a favorite iTunes addon that’s not listed here? Tell us about it in the Comments!

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

13 thoughts on “10 Plugins For Making iTunes Not Suck

  1. > It’s hard to believe that iTunes started out as a meager music store.

    No, it didn’t start out as a music store, meager or otherwise. It started out as a music player and CD burner and was based on the SoundJam mp3 player which Apple bought from Casady & Greene in 2000. ref: .

    The iTunes Music Store didn’t get added until 2003.

  2. OK, seems like URLs aren’t allowed/stripped from comments, so look up iTunes on wikipedia for the history.

  3. BeaTunes is $31.95 but does many things like BPM (through various methods, you can pick the one you like), can help clean up a library, has “colouring” options as well. (Analyze, Inspect, Create are the 3 major categories of features listed on the BeaTunes website)
    (I don’t work for beatunes, it is the only program I use in combination with iTunes, even then I don’t use it very often)

    1. I was about to drop a nod for beaTunes, but Brian beat me to it.

      OMFG, spontaneous pun!

  4. You wrote:

    “It’s hard to believe that iTunes started out as a meager music store.”

    Seriously? Dude, what are you, 6 years old? What kind of reporting is this?

    1. A “figure of speech?” Saying something wrong is not a figure of speech, it’s an error.

  5. $25 for DRM Dumpster? iTunes Store hasn’t carried DRMed music for years! Judging by their website it can also transcode to & from various formats – maybe useful for players that wont handle M4A; but it will also detrimentally affect quality. Exactly what is there to recommend in this expensive product?

    1. True that Apple’s been DRM-free for a while now, but that doesn’t cover music purchased before that change took effect. Or music bought from other online music sources (though yes, I’m aware that Amazon is DRM-free). The point of including a de-DRM-ing app was that iTunes won’t convert your existing DRM files for you.

    2. AFAIK, only subscription music services are still using DRM, and that’s because of the nature of time-limited subscriptions. I don’t know of any other music seller that has DRM any more. When Apple dropped it, the others, who had it, dropped it as well.

  6. I miss a sleep-timer in your list! I often listened to relaxing music from iTunes when I went to sleep and forgot to shut down my Mac. So, I built a little app long ago to fulfill this task. The app is called Hypnos and I still use it nearly every (or rather every night). It is very handy!
    You can find more information on my website.

    (This is no spam, simply a little tip)

    1. There is a mistake in my post: The app is called Hypnos and I still use it nearly every DAY …

      I forgot to write the word “day”. Can you add it, please? Thanks!

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