13 Great iTunes Add-ons for Free
Last.fm (Mac and PC)
Last.fm analyses the music in your iTunes library and finds similar music from other artists that you might like and / or shares your musical tastes with other Last.fm members. Key features include the ability to create custom radio stations and playlists. Different versions of the app are available for iPhone and iPod Touch users too.
The Filter (Mac and PC)
Just like the new Genius feature in iTunes 8 and Last.fm, The Filter serves up music recommendations based on your musical tastes - but can also serve up TV programmes, movies and web video too.
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When The Filter runs for the first time it will scan your music library and send back the data to The Filter servers. This will mean that we don’t recommend you music that you already own and will also result in The Filter giving you more accurate daily recommendations.
The Filter will then sit in your task bar and can display notifications when you start playing a new song. The Filter also has a social networking element - which is great if you're struggling to find fellow enjoyers online.
Magnetosphere (Mac and PC)
The best ever visualiser for iTunes is now included with iTunes 8, but if you don't like the changes Apple has made, we have good news - you can still download the original version from the Barbarian Group's website. Just scroll down the Software page to find some carefully buried links hidden in replies to customer questions.
MetaX (Mac only)
If your iTunes library is stuffed with music videos, TV shows and movies, you'll be familiar with one of the most frustrating aspects of iTunes - its wilful tendency to classify everything as a 'movie', while also leaving out most of the metadata (artist, album, etc). MetaX solves all these problems and more.
AutoRate (Mac only)
This plug-in automates the tedious task of rating iTunes tracks. Getting the most from Smart Playlists in iTunes depends to a certain extent on the star ratings you give to your content. AutoRate analyses your entire library and then rates your songs according to how often you've played or skipped them.
iTunes Library Manager (Mac only)
Although you can create multiple libraries in iTunes, Apple's solution doesn't work particularly well. This app enables you to create separate libraries with accompanying Preferences files for each. The free version enables you to create two different libraries, stumping up the $10 shareware fee enables you to create many more.
Remote (Mac and PC)
If you're lucky enough to own an iPhone or iPod Touch, this little app gives you playback control over your entire iTunes library using both devices' built-in Wi-Fi connection. Artist, album and track info is displayed right on your iPhone or iPod Touch, along with cover art.
Senuti (Mac only)
One of the worst things about iTunes is that you can't easily transfer content from your iPod into it - which you might need to do if your iTunes library goes 'phut' for some reason. Senuti's solution makes iPod to iTunes transfers a breeze, enabling you to synchronise individual tracks, playlists and metadata.
iConcertCal (Mac and PC)
This visualiser plug-in doesn't dazzle you with hyperactive visual effects, but rather serves up a list of upcoming concerts and album releases in your area. Clicking a link kicks you over to Amazon.com (where iConcertCal's creators get a cut if you buy something), or to a suitable concert promo site. UK integration is limited, but it's a great idea that works well.
iGenres (Mac only)
iTunes 8 now lets you view your music and movie library by genre, complete with artwork for each one. The problem is iTunes genres are pretty broad, which can be frustrating if your tastes are more specialised. iGenres gets around that problem by serving up artwork for a wide variety of sub-genres using user-generated content.
WhiteCap iTunes Visualiser (Mac and PC)
Another great alternative to the visualisers found in iTunes. This one uses wire-frame animation to create amazing 3D visuals - and even works well on a flat panel TV. It includes a wide-range of customisation options and a screensaver.
iTuny (PC only)
Launchy is the nearest thing Windows has to QuickSilver - an app that enables you to fire up applications using a few simple keystrokes. iTuny integrates iTunes control into Launchy, letting you play, pause, skip tracks and so on without having to resort to iTunes.
FoxyTunes (Windows only)
If you like to listen to music while you surf, this plug-in for Firefox and Internet Explorer could be just what you need. It offers basic playback controls for iTunes, as well as a wide variety of other media players. It even enables you to get access to related web content simply by using the right-click menu.
Do you know any other cool iTunes addons that are free? Drop a comment and let us all know!
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