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Keeping time in iTunes

Question : Is there a way to get the "beats per minute" information for a song automatically filled in for iTunes tracks ?

Answer : The iTunes program is a little database and can display information like the track's title, artiste and album information, as well as the tempo ( beats per minute ) and other details.

If you want to see the text and art embedded with a song, select the track in the iTunes window. Go to the File menu and select the Get Info option to see several tabs worth of data on that particular song. The beats-per-minute field -- abbreviated as "BPM" -- is on the Info tab.

Having the beats per minute field filled in can be helpful, say, if you want to round up a bunch of fast songs in your library to make a playlist for a cardio workout at the gym.

While iTunes can display the beats-per-minute information, it doesn't actually calculate a song's tempo itself. If you have a large library and don't want to sit there tapping the table so you can type in the beats yourself, you can have software handle the job.

For example, the US$25 beaTunes program ( www.beatunes.com; free one-week trial version available ) for Windows and Mac OS X systems has an automatic BPM detection feature that can analyse the tempo of all the tracks in your iTunes library and fill in the BPM field for you. ( The program does more than just count beats -- you can also use it to scan and fix typos and inconsistencies in song tags, as well as other library maintenance chores. )

You can find a list of other programs, widgets and plug-ins for calculating beats per minute in your iTunes or Winamp music library on the BPM Detection page at http://snipurl.com/228ai.

If the beats-per-minute rating is not showing up as a column in your list of songs in iTunes, you can get it by going to the View menu, selecting "View Options" and checking the box next to "BPM."

 
 

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