While preparing for a DJ set at a recent dance event, I wanted to get tempo information for a bunch of songs I was thinking of playing. After a bit of research and advice from a friend, I found a couple of tools that might fit the bill: MixMeister’s BPM Analyzer, and Potion Factory’s Tangerine!.
BPM Analyzer got ruled out pretty much immediately, as it can’t update metadata in AAC files, and actually managed to hang my Mac—a rare feat.
Tangerine!, as advertised, was much more polished. The iTunes integration was slick, and it could update the metadata on the audio files, and fairly quickly at that. After I ran it, though, I found one problem…it’s not very good at finding tempos. :-/. I ended up having to manually time the playlist anyway. It got a few songs right, and a few more it came up with half the right tempo, but the bulk of them were wildly off. It’s not like these were overly “tricky” songs either: most were swinging jazz or gypsy jazz with a very solid beat. I emailed Potion Factory offering to share my playlist if they wanted to improve their product, but so far no response (over a week now).
For now, it seems, we’re stuck with timing or tapping to find our tempos.