Fat Cat Software

Announcing PowerTunes private beta

You may have noticed things have been a bit quiet around here lately. The biggest reason for that is that I've been working on a brand new product for the last several months, called PowerTunes. The number one request I get from people who use iPhoto Library Manager is to have a similar program that lets you have multiple iTunes libraries. I've wanted to do this for a while, and finally started development on PowerTunes last year, in parallel with continuing work on iPhoto Library Manager and PlistEdit Pro. Today, it's getting close to being ready to release, but I still need to do some further testing on it, so I've decided to run a (hopefully short) private beta to help work out any remaining kinks.The basic idea behind PowerTunes is quite similar to iPhoto Library Manager: instead of just having one monolithic iTunes library where you dump all your music and video, you can instead split your stuff up among multiple libraries and switch between them. This can be useful for simple organizational purposes, and can allow you to do things such as allow multiple people to keep separate iTunes collections (and sync them with their respective iPods) without having to go through the hassle of setting up multiple user accounts to do so.Like iPhoto Library Manager, not only does PowerTunes let you set up multiple libraries, but it also offers additional features that let you copy music and playlists between libraries, organize multiple music folders, clean out unwanted files from your music folder, fix dead tracks in your library, and much more.iTunes 7 actually added for the first time the ability to place your iTunes library file in a different location from the default location by holding down the option key when you launch iTunes, just the same as you can in iPhoto (previously, the only way you could shift your iTunes library location was by using aliases and such). PowerTunes actually utilizes this mechanism itself, and thus requires iTunes 7 or later. Unlike iTunes, PowerTunes also ties each library to a particular music folder, so if you have music stored in separate places, it will switch the music folder location along with the library location when you change back and forth.The main reason for want to have some other testers before a final release is that there are many possible ways one could go about setting up their iTunes libraries and music folders, including putting stuff on external hard drives, accessing stuff over file sharing or an Airport Disk, and so on. I've tested as much of this as I can, but there will always be setups I either can't test or haven't even thought of.So, if you're interested in helping to test PowerTunes, I've set up a form that you can fill out to sign up for the beta. I don't know how many testers I'll need or how long the testing period will take at this point. If everything works fine, it could be as brief as a couple weeks, or it could take longer if more things need fixing. So, depending on how many testers I need, not all those who signup will necessarily become testers.Like I said before, I've done a lot of testing so far, but the possibility of bugs occurring still remains, so all testers will be encouraged to back up their iTunes library and music, just in case. Those who do help in testing will get a free PowerTunes license and the thrill that comes from running beta software. :-)So, if you're interested, head on over to the signup form and sign up to be a beta tester. Oh, and I almost forgot, a couple obligatory screenshots. :-)