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New (to me) and Useful: Tangerine

I want a MacBook Air. I don’t need it, and I can’t afford it, but I want it. Badly. So, I got myself some new toys for my MacBook instead. Free toys (well, toys with free trials). The first is Tangerine.

Those of you who have seen me in person lately know that I’ve been spending a lot of time at the gym. I walk a little funny. I sleep a lot more. My workouts have been pretty intense. I’d like them to stay that way, but first I need better soundtracks. It’s tough to power through the stairmaster or some spinning torture when the beat drops to 90 beats per minute (BPM). Tangerine is a rockin’ bit of software that analyzes the BPM and beat intensity of your iTunes music. Exporting that info to iTunes is as easy and clicking “File” and “Export BPM Values to iTunes” (that feature is available only after you pay the $24.95 license fee).

Tangerine’s playlist generation and display options are killer. First, when you create a playlist, you select a duration, BPM, beat intensity, and pattern. The BPM and beat intensity selections use range bars with sliders, so that’s easy enough. Then, you pick a pattern (these look a lot like the programs on the elliptical trainers at the Ann Arbor YMCA). I do a bunch of interval training when I work out, so I picked the pattern closest to intervals. You can also tell Tangerine not to use duplicate songs and to select songs for a playlist based on their ratings. I haven’t rated many songs in iTunes, so that’s not useful for me, but it’s a nice add-on nonetheless.

I started downloading Tangerine at 7:55pm, and by 7:56pm, it was downloaded, installed, and analyzing songs for BPM and beat intensity. In fact, by the time I opened the Tangerine window it had already analyzed at least 50 songs. That’s crazy fast. Here we are at 8:24pm, and it’s already in the “S’s” (2/3 of 4312 songs). I’ve used DeKstasy, beaTunes, and some tapping thing to get BPM data before, and none of them are near as blazing as Tangerine. I still like DeKstasy for remixing (GarageBand and I are not friends), but I’ll stick with Tangerine for analyzing BPM and probably for making mixes.

I need 2 playlists per week for those non-spinning class sessions at the Y. Hopefully Tangerine delivers after such a great start.

UPDATE: As of 8:47pm, Tangerine done analyzing my whole library. My dad called, so I’m not sure when exactly it finished, but that’s crazy fast.

UPDATE: Making playlists was a easy as it looked. Some of the songs had the wrong BPM, but you can fix it by clicking “Window -> BPM Calculator” (or Apple+D) and clicking the beat. Not ideal, but I’ve had to fix only a few songs so far.

So, what do you think ?

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