Average iTunes Library = 3K Songs And Is Heavily Mislabeled [And Other Interesting Stats]


TuneUp founder and CEO Gabe Adiv. Photo by Isaac Wexman: http://www.flickr.com/photos/isaacwexman/3555918326/in/set-72157618654001924/
TuneUp founder and CEO Gabe Adiv. Photo by Isaac Wexman: http://www.flickr.com/photos/isaacwexman/3555918326/in/set-72157618654001924/

TuneUp is the #1 add-on for iTunes. It cleans up song metadata like missing album info or misspelled names. It also delivers related music videos, and alerts you when favorite artists are playing in town.

It’s easy to use and can do a quick job of cleaning up the messiest library. But it’s not perfect: songs can be mislabeled and there’s been complaints of bugs and crashes. TuneUp costs $39.95/yr or $49.95 one time fee for a bundle. TuneUp also offers a la carte pricing for individual products. A free demo cleans up to 50 songs and removes 25 duplicates.

Yesterday I got a chance to talk to Gabe Adiv, founder and CEO of TuneUp Media,company behind the plug-in.

He gave me some interesting statistics about iTunes and listening habits, as well as thoughts about Apple moving music into the cloud.

Talking Wednesday from the company’s San Francisco headquarters, CEO Adiv said there’s been a 20% increase in sales since Apple’s iCloud announcement, which is surprising.

When it’s rolled out in the fall, Apple’s iTunes Match will use audio fingerprinting technology — not music metadata — to identify tunes (it’s using Gracenote’s MusicMatch, as we exclusively revealed). Which means it doesn’t make much difference whether your song and artist info is in order. Apple will recognize your music library by the songs’ fingerprints, and will presumably clean up any mislabeling when it reflects your library in the cloud. So why the sudden interest in cleaning up iTunes using TuneUp?

It’s because users want to see parity between their local collections and cloud collections, Adiv said. They want Apple’s iCloud to accurately reflect their music collections when they’re whisked up into the cloud. So they’re cleaning their libraries up now to make the transition smoother and cleaner.

“TuneUp serves as a laundry service before you pack your music up in to the cloud suitcase,” he said.

Here are some other stats Adiv mentioned:

  • 3,000 tracks — the average iTunes library for TuneUp customers (who tend to skew to serious music listeners with bigger collections)
  • 100,000 songs — the size of some of the biggest libraries, which run to terabytes of data
  • 90 percent of iTunes music libraries have missing or incorrect metadata
  • 30 percent of songs in those libraries are mislabeled
  • 4 million registered users use TuneUp
  • 3 billion tracks — the number of songs TuneUp has cleaned up
  • 6x conversion rate — TuneUp compared to similar metadata meat grinders (because it’s well-integrated into iTunes, Adiv says)
  • 10 files, or 1 CD — the number of files most trial users clean before buying full product
  • 5 percent — the percentage of songs purchased from iTunes in the average iTunes library

Adiv said most people listen only to a fraction of their music libraries, even if they run to thousands of tracks. It’s the exact same consumption pattern as CDs and LPs. People tend to listen mostly to new stuff. They obsess over a new track or album and play it to death until the are sick of it.

Adiv personally uses Pandora to find new music but he buys songs he likes because he wants to listen to it on demand.

This is why streaming services will not have a massive impact on music-buying habits just yet: people like to own music collections.

“People like to have a collection of music and they like to listen to it on demand,” he said. “The cloud and streaming technology hasn’t caught up yet.”