TuneUp, a company that has built a business on providing iTunes users with a desktop application that helps clean up music libraries and provide supplemental information about music and artists, is today unveiling its new TuneUp iOS app. The app, TuneUp Mobile, takes a page out of Shazam’s book and provides music identification services via the iPhone’s built-in mic, but it does so without fees or limitations on non-paying users.
TuneUp Mobile doesn’t even include ads, because as company founder and CEO Gabriel Adiv told BetaKit in an interview, it’s only one piece of their larger puzzle. TuneUp, the iTunes desktop companion bundle of TuneUp Media’s three standalone apps, retails for $39.95 for an annual license or $49.95 for lifetime access, and is where the company derives its revenue. TuneUp Mobile is intended to provide the company with a mobile presence and drive users back to the desktop to complete the picture.
“Creating a mobile extension to what we’ve done so successfully on the desktop is what we’re doing, and this is the first phase of that,” Adiv said. “Specifically, the inclusion of the mobile library diagnostic, which can identify gaps or missing info in a user’s iOS device library.” TuneUp Mobile offers library scanning tech in addition to music tagging services, which help it show where the desktop services might come in handy for a user. In this way, the app acts as a kind of single-focus advertising tie-in for the TuneUp brand, but the practical tagging features definitely go beyond mere marketing.
TuneUp Mobile has a roadmap that includes things like potentially providing concert and biographical information for artists tagged, but Adiv emphasized that the intent was to start slow, rather than overwhelm users by porting the entirety of TuneUp’s desktop functionality to the iOS platform. “We really wanted, at launch, to present the cleanest experience possible and then add features as users are asking for them,” he said. “Initially, we wanted to provide the ability to effectively identify songs, add lyrics, and then share them with their friends.”
Of course, Shazam has recently been experimenting with broadcast television integration, to take its audio fingerprinting tech beyond just music through partnerships with the GRAMMY Awards and Fox’s American Idol. Adiv suggested that TuneUp would consider “partnerships that make sense” in terms of potential expansion of its focus, saying that while his company doesn’t have any formal relationships with labels or artists, “integrating folks’ services that do have relationships with the labels could be the best way to go about doing that.” That opens up the possibility of using something like the Spotify API to provide mobile listeners not only with tagging, but also with actual access to tracks on demand, but Adiv wouldn’t comment specifically on any particular companies or their tech.
Despite a historically strong presence on the desktop, TuneUp has a lot to gain from going mobile, since that’s where users’ music libraries are headed, too, thanks to services like iTunes Match and Spotify. Starting in an area like mobile music ID where there’s already been a demonstrated interest is wise, but TuneUp’s long-term success as it moves to mobile will be dependent on its ability to find new ways to deliver value to mobile listeners as music storage and buying habits shift as a result of smartphones and the cloud.