Use TrackSift to tidy up your iTunes library
At a Glance
Editor’s note: The following review is part of Macworld’s GemFest 2012 series. Every weekday from mid June through mid August, the Macworld staff will use the Mac Gems blog to briefly cover a favorite free or low-cost program. Visit the Mac Gems homepage for a list of past Mac Gems.
No matter how hard you try to keep your iTunes library tidy, sooner or later you’ll find cobwebs growing in its corners. TrackSift 1.2.2 (Mac App Store link) helps you take a broom and dustpan to the far reaches of your digital music collection.
For a set of iTunes-tweaking Perl scripts, TrackSift offers a handsome front end. Creator Doug Adams has given it a clean, pleasantly animated interface that occasionally gets crowded, but always presents its options clearly. The program takes a minute or so to scan your library the first time it opens, plus a few seconds on each subsequent launch, but the delay never proved tedious.
The app’s skills occupy three categories. Under the Clean tab, you can delete any track listings that point to now-nonexistent files, sweep away empty playlists, or remove needless genres from your library’s listings by shifting them en masse into another genre.
Under Find Tracks Without, you can create playlists of all the songs that have no lyrics and no album art, or a list of songs you haven’t added to any other playlist. (Note that TrackSift won’t automatically fetch art or add lyrics to any of the tracks it gathers.) Its Preferences let you specify which genres to include or exclude in your search, and set length limits for the songs it compiles.
In the “Make Special Playlists” category, “One Hit Wonders” scooped up all the artists in my library with just one track to their names, while “Two-Fers” and “Three-Fers” create fun compilations with two or three consecutive tracks from each artist.
TrackSift won’t work miracles on your music, but it does what it promises, quickly and well. For such a minuscule price, it’s a reasonably big hit.
[Nathan Alderman is a writer, copy editor, and owner of more girl-group power pop tracks than he’d care to admit, based in Alexandria, Virginia.]