A must-have for any sports fan, ESPN’s ScoreCenter brings you up-to-the-minute scores from over 500 sport leagues around the world. The soccer portion of the app is fairly comprehensive, allowing you to follow the major soccer leagues including MLS, the English Premier League, Championship League, La Liga, Bundesliga, and Series A. You can follow soccer around the world, or focus in on your favorite country or team.
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Wunder Radio is one of the best streaming radio apps available. It’s great to have when you’re traveling or at work and want to listen to a live match. Wunder Radio boasts over 30,000 radio stations worldwide. It allows you to search by location and genre, and then build a list of your favorite stations. When I typed in “soccer,” it turned up 6 results. But when I searched on “football” (what the rest of the world calls the sport), it listed over 30 international radio stations.
SoccerCard SKS lets you create an unlimited number of personalized virtual soccer cards of you and/or your favorite players. The interface is pretty slick and very easy to use, and each card is formatted to look like an actual trading card. The “front” displays the player’s photo and basic info. You can use the iPhone’s camera to take a player’s photo, or you can upload a photo from your library.
Real Soccer is the only game in this review, and I can’t believe it only costs 99 cents. Its graphics are top-notch, game play is incredible, and the details and customization are unreal. One person can play this game, but it also has multiplayer functionality. You can choose which team you want to be on (USA, Manchester United, and dozens of others).
TVULite lets you watch your favorite team play anytime you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. This app gives you access to 300 TVU Network channels from around the world. Don’t even think about using this app without a broadband Wi-Fi connection—EDGE and 3G aren’t fast enough for the feeds. Also, due to the limited processing power of the iPhone/iPod touch, some of the feeds may load slowly and playback might be a bit choppy at times. (A few channels might not even display at all.) However, for the most part, you can easily find your favorite soccer match and watch it in real time.
The name of this program stands for iTunes Store File Validator, and its principal use is to standardize all the metadata in your tracks according to the iTunes file standard. It has many other features, including automatic genre tagging from Last.fm, exporting iTunes Store artwork, and downloading lyrics from LyricsWiki. It also gives an automatic rating according to how often a track is played, creates statistics for your music library, and more. Like many open source applications, iTSfv has a lot of features, but they’re not always easy to find.
While much of the discussion above is related to cleaning up the metadata associated with MP3 files, similar utilities exist for cleaning up MP4 metadata, which is very useful if you have a lot of music videos, TV shows, and movies in iTunes. In particular, iTunes tends to classify music videos as movies and leaves out metadata such as the artist and album. MetaX can fix this as well as do a host of other things. For example, it lets you grab a frame from the video to serve as the poster, and automatically searches for posters online.
This application has nearly 300,000 downloads on VersionTracker alone, and many more on other sites, so it certainly must be one of the more widely used for retrieving album art. You control it using the Script menu in iTunes. Simply select one or more songs in iTunes, select Fetch Art from the script menu, and it searches Amazon.com for the album art. As with other add-ons, Fetch Art only works well if the music’s metadata is accurate, so use one of the add-ons mentioned above before you use it.
GimmeSomeTune runs in the background when iTunes is open. It automatically fetches missing cover art and lyrics and adds them to your library of music. You simply start playing a song, and the software does the fetching. You can also have the application display a song’s lyrics in a separate window. If the program can’t find the lyrics, it lets you quickly do a Google search for them.
Similar to TuneUp, SongGenie (above left) creates an acoustic fingerprint of your tracks to identify them and fill in missing or incorrect metadata information. It works with most standard music file formats (MP3, M4P, MP4A, etc.) and gets its metadata information from the MusicIP database. The same company also offers CoverScout (above right), which uses the corrected metadata to find album covers.