Today I discovered Tangerine, a BPM (Beats Per Minute) analyzer for use with iTunes on a mac. I downloaded it, and it works as advertised. It scans your iTunes music library, and analyzes the BPM (and intensity of the pattern) of each track. It does this in the background, and on my Mac mini Core duo I can continue wih my normal programs while Tangerine analyzes the tracks. The BPM values get saved to your iTunes library, so they will also show up in iTunes if you have the BPM column visible there. The “Intensity” will not be visible in your normal iTunes lists.
Tangerine presents itself with a very iTunes like feel, showing your iTunes playlists on the left, and a track listing will eat the larger part of the top right side. Directly beneath the playlist and track list there is a space in which you can build your playlist. This is a new way of presenting a playlist, which I think is a very welcome way of editting playlists for Nike+ owners (which I am not by the way). It shows the tracks played in chronological order, with a timeline at the top (numbers displayed are minutes, see screenshot). This will enable you to plan your workout, since you will know when that 160 BPM track will hit your ears. The only suggestion I have to the evelopers is to put the BPM of the added track below the image, so you can see where the BPM’s are going in the playlist. And the “180” I see displayed in the top left makes no sense to me, maybe this needs polishing in the 1.0 version.
For me as a programmer, this saves me a lot of time finding my “getting in the zone” tracks. It will also prove to be a good tool while creating your iDVD movies or slideshows, helping you find that uptempo track for your great surfing shots.
For some tracks Tangerine tends to miscalculate the BPM, resulting in values like “4” or “3491234” as BPM. Luckaly, the “intensity” value not only tells something about the contrast the bassdrum has with the rest of the music, but also on how sure Tangerine is about the accuracy of the BPMs. The higher the “intensity”, the more sure Tangerine is about it’s BPM. Intensities of 60 and higher are pretty accurate most of the time.
This release of Tangerine (0.9.2) is a free beta, so start downloading now! The next release will probably cost a few dollars, I don’t expect it to eat your yearly income. As with most Apple software I expect it to sell for between 10 and 30 euro’s.