We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

RealNetworks Rinse review

$39 (around £24)

Manufacturer: RealNetworks

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Rinse is software that cleans up messy iTunes libraries.

Rinse is software that cleans up messy iTunes libraries.

I consider myself a pretty tidy person, but if you ever took a peek at my iTunes library you'd likely disagree. It's one big, ugly, disorganized mess. It has one artist called "Simon and Garfunkel" and another called "Simon & Garfunkel." It has one song called "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" and another called "Are You Going to Go My Way?" And it has, for some unknown reason, five different copies of the Tori Amos song "Crucify."

I could sit down and clean out the music library myself - if I ever found myself with five hours to spare. Or I could speed things along significantly by using RealNetworks' Rinse, a handy utility that automates the process of cleaning out an iTunes library. Rinse is easy to use and indisputably useful for iTunes users, but it's not always accurate when making changes to your music collection.

Rinse offers four different ways to clean up your iTunes music collection to make browsing through its contents quicker, easier, and more visually appealing (especially if you're accessing it on a mobile device): Add Album Art, Find Duplicates, Fix Your Songs, and Organize Genres. It analyzes the information about your music, including the artist name, track name, and album name, and compares it against the information in the Gracenote database. When suggesting fixes, Rinse gives you a confidence rating about its solutions, helping you figure out if you want to accept its suggestions

Adding album art is a straightforward process: Rinse scans a selected playlist or your entire music collection, and suggests album art where it's lacking. You can let Rinse assign the art it considers its "best guess" or you can review its suggested art before accepting it. Rinse calculates its confidence level based on the information it has and displays it as a percentage; you can set a minimum confidence level that must be reached before it makes an automatic fixes. In my casual tests, Rinse added the correct album art to all of the titles it processed.

The application did not demonstrate the same accuracy when it came to the "Fix Your Songs" option. This process is designed to assign the correct artist name, track title, album name, and album art, to your songs, and you can, again, choose to let Rinse proceed automatically or you can review suggested changes before approving them. Rinse was able to fix the majority of songs in my library, but when it went wrong, it went really wrong. For example, it suggested that the song "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga was actually a song called "Just Dance" by DJ MAKIDAI. Rinse did warn me that its confidence level in suggesting this change was only at 56 percent, and the problem likely occurred because the song had been ripped from a CD that lacked an album name.

The Find Duplicates option also comes with a safeguard; it doesn't automatically remove any songs from your computer. You can opt to have duplicates marked in their iTunes comment field, or removed from iTunes but placed in a folder on your computer.

See all: PC Advisor software downloads

Rinse Expert Verdict »

Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
Adobe AIR (will install if you don't already have it), iTunes
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Even with its missteps, Rinse proved to be a useful companion in my battle against digital clutter. It's made my iTunes library easier to browse and easier on the eyes - whether that's worth around £24 to you, only you can decide.

  • Apple iTunes 8 review

    Apple iTunes 8

    Apple iTunes 8 offers a fresh way to browse music, improved accessibility for the vision-impaired, and an automatic playlist-generation feature dubbed Genius.

  • Apple iTunes 9 review

    Apple iTunes 9

    iTunes 9 has a number of new features, such as iTunes LP, Home Sharing, and the redesigned Apple iTunes Store.

  • iTunes 11 review

    iTunes 11

    iTunes 11 is a major upgrade for Apple's music playing and synching software. Here's our iTunes 11 review.

  • Apple iTunes Plus review

    Apple iTunes Plus

    Apple and EMI recently announced that EMI would offer its entire catalogue without DRM (digital rights management) protection at the iTunes store, sometime in May. With just a full day left in the month, Apple made good on the promise, adding unprotected tracks - iTunes Plus - to its online digital media store yesterday. We reviewed the process of downloading iTunes Plus tracks, and assessed whether the extra outlay makes Apple iTunes Plus tracks a worthy upgrade.

  • TuneUp 2.4 review

    TuneUp 2.4

    TuneUp is a plugin for iTunes and Windows Media Player that cleans up your misnamed music files with a few clicks. Here's our TuneUp review.


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

LED vs Halogen: Why now could be the right time to invest in LED bulbs

IDG UK Sites

Christmas' best ads: See great festive spots studios have created to promote themselves and clients

IDG UK Sites

Ultimate iOS 8 Tips: 35 awesome and advanced tips for using iOS 8 on iPhone and iPad