RealNetworks has developed a new program called Rinse for cleaning up and organizing Apple iTunes libraries on Windows PCs and Macs — automatically adding album artwork, fixing song names, organizing music libraries by genre, and finding and removing duplicate tracks.

The official Rinse product site touts the software as “smarter than other programs,” including iTunes itself. The site says Rinse’s “intelligent database technology” finds artwork, remove duplicates and organize an iTunes library even if song names are misspelled or incomplete.

The support page explains how it works.

Rinse uses the information already in your file (such as the filename or existing tags) to look up your songs. The identification algorithm is complex and will compensate for missing information and misspellings. Rinse will extract the information from your songs and submit it to our Identification Server. The server will then return the correct song information, along with an accuracy level for the new information.

However, if your iTunes library is full of those vague “Track 001″ file names, you’ll need help the Rinse program out a little by adding at least part of the track name. The site says the program “needs at least one correctly spelled word from the artist and song names.”

Rinse will sell for $39 after a free trial that allows people to fix up to 50 tracks, according to the site, although the company hasn’t separately confirmed the price.

The program is part of the Seattle technology company’s bid to reinvent itself by providing technologies for managing and distributing digital media — shifting away from being an actual content provider. Other examples include RealNetworks’ Unifi cloud-based media management service, currently in beta.

RealNetworks hasn’t yet announced Rinse officially, but GeekWire received an automated Google Alert this weekend pointing to a blog that features the program and links to the official product site, which in turn links to new Twitter and Facebook accounts for the service, as well.

After checking out the site, we were able to download the trial and run Rinse this morning, and it appears to work well based on our initial usage.

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  • Quinn S

    This is what it’s come to for RealNetworks? The company that once controlled the most prevalent video standard on the web is now building run-of-the-mill housekeeping tools?

  • Anonymous

    This is the kind of app that should sell for between $2 and $5 in the App Store. NOONE will pay $39.

  • LL

    Tidysongs was bought by Real to yield Rinse. They were at CES – they had a booth with lots of laundry machines and CDs coming out of them. It was an attention-grabbing booth.

    • Anonymous

      Good catch, thanks for the help. I poked around a little based on your comment, and you’re right, the Tidy Songs site now directs people to Rinse … Also, it looks essentially the same …

  • Jason Warren

    They couldn’t be bothered to run track samples through a music fingerprinting service (Rovi, Gracenote, etc)? Requiring track names is lame.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    lol, OK now that makes a lot of sense dude.

  • vinniv

    Can we expect the standard RealNetwork approach here? Modify your DNS settings to capture mispelled domain names? Adding a toolbar and default search engines to all your web browsers? Install domain tracking tools to sell your data to partners like BlueKai? Set all programs to start when windows launches by default?

  • Bill

    Who needs this product, particularly for $39 which is more than I’ve paid for any single software program in three years? After years of using iTunes, most people have either cleaned up their data or decided they really don’t care.

  • WashDC

    eh, does it offer anything more than Tuneup?

  • Max Maxloz

    Unfortunately Rinse is a feature, not a product.

  • Michelle

    Tune Sweeper is a better app for tidying up iTunes and it costs less too – $19.99.

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