Turns out RealNetworks isn’t just getting into the business of cleaning up iTunes music libraries. The digital media pioneer, trying to turn around its broader business, also plans new photo and video tools as part of its effort to reinvent itself for the age of cloud computing.
The new $39 “Rinse” music cleanup program from RealNetworks, unveiled this week, is part of an effort to create a series of utilities that will work in conjunction with the company’s upcoming Unifi online media management service, an executive with the Seattle company says. Unifi, set to debut later this year, is a cloud-based program that will let consumers manage photos, music and videos across different devices and services.
“What we see developing and delivering are a series of products that enhance your music experience, your photo experience and your video experience,” says Peter Kellogg Smith, a RealNetworks vice president.
News of the Rinse utility for Mac and Windows broke over the weekend when GeekWire spotted the product page online. The utility can find artwork, remove duplicates and organize an iTunes library even if song names are misspelled or incomplete. Kellogg said future capabilities of Rinse will include the ability to identify songs based on their digital fingerprints, even if the song name or artist isn’t listed on the track.
Rinse is based on technology acquired by RealNetworks in an asset purchase from a company called TidySongs. Kellogg confirmed the $39 price, saying it’s a one-time license (not a subscription) that gives purchasers rights to future upgrades, as well.
The idea was to create “a utility that would clean up your music collection, in particular replace missing album art and remove duplicates, prior to putting things in the cloud,” he says. The company will ultimately offer a version for Unifi but decided to come out with the utility for iTunes first.