Whether you use iTunes to manage the apps and music on your iPhone or iPod, or you simply use it to play digital content stored on your PC, Apple's music management software is use by plenty of computer owners. Here's five free downloads, plus a piece of software you can trial, that help makes iTunes better.
iTunes Agent 1.3.3
While iTunes is generally pretty good at what it does, there is one major downside - if you own a different type of MP3 player you are not able to make use of iTunes. Or at least that was the case until iTunes Agent was developed.
The program can be used to make it possible to used iTunes to synchronise a music collection with virtually any MP3 player, not just iPods. Whether you have a PSP, an MP3 player made by Creative or another manufacturer, or a mobile phone that doubles up as an MP3 player, once you have installed iTunes Agent, you're in business.
If you use iTunes to manage your music collection, you will no doubt have been frustrated by the fact that it is necessary to switch to from the program you are working with back to iTunes to switch to another track or pause playback. SizzlingKeys is a simple little app that makes it possible to do just this no matter which program you are using.
SizzlingKeys installs as a preferences panel and it allow for the creation of customisable keyboard shortcuts to access common iTunes controls. In terms of playback, you have the option of pausing and un-pausing playback, skipping back and forth between tracks and adjusting volume.
TuneUp Lite 1.8.1
TuneUp is an iTunes companion tool that will quickly organise, clean up and generally tidy even the largest and most cluttered of iTunes libraries.
Whether you've mislabelled tracks ('Unknown artist' or 'track 01'), metadata that's incorrect or missing entirely, it's all very easy to fix. Just drag and drop your songs onto the program, and TuneUp will take an acoustic fingerprint of each one, check this against a database of more than 90 million tracks, and retrieve and set the correct metadata.
MediaRover is a free tool that can be used to play and manage your media collection.
The program has been designed to make it possible to synchronise the iTunes libraries of everyone in the home - when a song or album is added to a library, it will automatically be made available to everyone. Similarly, when you edit MP3 tags or re-organise the library, the changes can be seen by everyone in the family.
With Remote installed on your iPhone or iPad, you can use your device as a remote control for iTunes and Apple TV. Making use of a Wi-Fi connection, Remote enables you to navigate tracks, albums and plyalists as if you were sat in front of your computer - this means that no matter where you are in the home, you can remain in control of your music and video entertainment.
Trial Software: Synergy 4.4.3
Many people make use of iTunes to listen to music while they work or surf the internet. If you have fastidiously configured a series of perfect playlists, you may find that you never need to skip tracks, but most people will find that they are constantly switching from the application they are using to iTunes.
This is something Synergy can help you to avoid, making it possible to control iTunes whatever application you may be working in. You can also keep track of what is currently playing, thanks to the semi-transparent floating window that is always available.