CS and the City Sean Lynch

Tangerine goes Beta

I wonder why it is that Windows apps have brutally straight forward names like MP3 Tagger and Windows Journal and Mac apps have names like Tangerine. Do Mac developers strive to make their names as unrelated as possible? I have to know these things if I’m going to become one :-)

Here’s the money shot: Tangerine does cool stuff with your iTunes library that would have taken you way to long to do yourself. Sort of like SoundFlavor (I guess… my PC owning buddies have been rubbing that one in my face for a few days now). Get on the free beta here or better yet, get yourself a license for blogging about it.

Tangerine is a tool that analyzes the songs in your iTunes music library by beat intensity (amplitude?) and allows you to create playlists by specifying ranges of BPM and intensity and then making arrangements of songs based on your parameters. For example, you can create a playlist that starts with slow tempo music and then builds in the middle, effectively making a perfect (and random) workout soundtrack.

But keep in mind, it’s beta software. It’s hard to tell at first though (I’m really impressed how fast it flew through my music collection).

Things to watch out for:

  • Since Apple in their infinite wisdom decided to store album art work outside of files, it appears that any albums you’ve tagged with Artwork using the iTunes get album feature won’t properly display in Tangerine. It’s too bad too, the playlist view is very very cool. It would be even cooler without all the ‘?’. Hey, do Apple one better, want to go populate those BPM fields on my songs for me? I know I’m not going to…
  • Tangerine seems to have trouble with some of my songs. Sometimes it evaluates the BPM incorrectly (fast for slow, slow for fast), but worse is that I think it fails on some of my songs. Instead of indicating that, however, it just doesn’t show them in the library. I can only assume that’s why they aren’t here.
  • I really wish I could simply drag a song in and then have Tangerine generate a playlist based on that first song. Sort of like Pandora but for iTunes. I don’t really need songs that rise and fall over the course of the playlist, but if it’s raining in the morning. I’d love to be able to tell Tangerine just to give me a bunch of songs based on this one Sufjan Stevens track and throw it on my iPod. Which leads me to…
  • Yep it’ll save the playlists back to iTunes, but I wish I could save it directly to the iPod. Technically Tangerine should just be a plug-in to iTunes, but I think they’re quite limited by Apple’s API so I understand why it’s a seperate app. Still, I don’t want to have to switch between them if I can avoid it.

As always, things are bound to change between now and 1.0. I’ll give you an update once it comes out. Definitely give it a sneak peak while you can though. The UI is tres pretty (as Potion Factory apps seem to be). Man, who needs all those Web 2.0 apps anyway?