Reasons To Avoid TidySongs iTunes Duplicates Detector & Clickbank

Last October, I wanted to deal with duplicates within my iTunes library. I tried several options. Among them was the mistake of buying TidySongs. The software failed to work as advertised. Moreover, both TidySongs & Clickbank failed to refund the $39 I paid as promised.

“Free” Download

I really should have known better. The web site was the first warning. Right at the top, it promises a free download:

Sure, the software will download for free. But what you get is a trial that does nothing. “Free demo download” would be more accurate.

Duplicates Not Found

Still, I decided to throw the dice and spend the money. I was tired of all those duplicates cluttering up my library. I ran the full software against my library. Disappointing. With around 1,600 duplicate songs, it found only 120 of those using the Name, Artist and Album options. Shifting to just Name and Artist only took the figure up to 150.

Refund Offered!

Suffice to say, a duplicate detection tool that only detects about 10% of the duplicates in my library isn’t that great. It kind of sucks. I emailed my results to TidySongs, and the customer experience manager Kelly McPhee seemed pretty nice and reasonable about the entire thing. She wrote back:

You can request a refund through  Clickbank since you used them to make the purchase.  They are a TidySongs affiliate.  You’ll request a refund through their website. TidySongs will only be able to identify duplicates that are exact duplicates.  I’m sorry that TidySongs was not the right program for you.

Then again, this was kind of odd. I didn’t buy from a “TidySongs affiliate.” I bought from TidySongs itself, using a link off the TidySongs web site. ClickBank appeared to be the way TidySongs sold direct.

I used the Customer Support form she pointed me at and never heard back. This was in mid-October. In mid-December, still wondering about that refund, I went back to the form again.

Second Time Not A Charm

This time, I found no option on the form to request a refund. Everything simply pointed over as if there was a technical support issue. Nonetheless, I diligently entered my information. This time, unlike the first time, I got an automated support ticket.

Every two days after that, I got a prompt asking me if I wanted to close that ticket, because no one had acted upon it. I ended up renewing it about five times in a row.

I also went back to Kelly, saying nothing was happening with the ticket. Her response?

The refund will need to be made through Clickbank since you used them to make the purchase

Passing The Refund Buck

Now kind of losing my mind, I went through the ClickBank site. As it turns out, no, I didn’t need to request a refund through them. At any point, TidySongs (or CloudBrain, the company that makes TidySongs), could have issued a refund. I pointed Kelly to the page advising ClickBank vendors about this:

If a customer contacts you directly to request a refund or cancelation, you can initiate a refund or cancelation ticket from within your ClickBank account. A link to open a ticket on any order is available when you search for transactions (orders) from the Transaction page under the Reporting tab. Simply click on the T in the left hand column.

Way back in October, when I first contacted TidySongs, it could have issued a refund right then, rather than send me on a merry dance through ClickBank. That it didn’t speaks volumes about the company and kind of feels like a scam.

Escalating The Refund Request

After the New Year, I closed the original support ticket, which was going nowhere. I think there was a prompt to escalate the issue. I did that. Now someone from ClickBank finally got involved — going back to TidySongs asking for permission to issue a refund, since it was now outside ClickBank’s 60 day window.

No response. Instead, one of those two day prompts to keep the ticket going started up. And again. And again. The last time it happened, I emailed both ClickBank and TidySongs to say I didn’t care how it happened, someone should issue me a refund. And if I didn’t get the refund as promised, I’d just channel my future energies into a blog post about my experience with both companies.

My ticket was closed today, due to inactivity. Well, at least I got $39 of ranting out of the experience, I suppose.


  1. Cloudy McNoggin says


    I’ve had your site bookmarked for a month or so. Good stuff. Had to respond to your Tidy Songs piece. Drag to hear that happened. I actully purchased the service too and i had a much better experience. Worked good for me. Hope they see your post and take care of you.
    (And screw Microsoft 7) :)

  2. says

    Hey Danny,

    My name is Daniel and I run things at Cloudbrain / TidySongs (and I sit next to Kelly in our office). I apologize for the bad experience.

    Regarding the duplicates: Many people that have lots of iTunes duplicates actually don’t have duplicate song files, just lots of “ghost” entries in their iTunes database that point to no-longer-existing-song-files. This usually happens when you move your song files outside of iTunes (like, to an external drive). TidySongs should have pointed this out to you and asked you to first use the “Find Missing Songs” feature. We have changed this functionality in recent versions to simply remove missing songs during the de-duping process so that users don’t need an extra step (and to remove confusion).

    Regarding refunds and Clickbank: Clickbank handles one of our affiliate programs. Based on what website directed you to TidySongs, you may have to purchase the program on Clickbank’s site (most of our customers pay directly on our website with PayPal). We have much less information and control over customers that go through Clickbank and your refund mess is a good example. Most people are able to get refunds from Clickbank easily by simply asking (and that is what we tell them to do), but we are still learning how to work with Clickbank on the exceptions. Either way, that is no excuse, and I apologize for your issue. If you email me directly (email address on this comment) I’ll take care of you.

  3. says

    Hi Danny,

    I’d also like to add my apologies on behalf of ClickBank. Our refund process normally works very smoothly, so I’m sorry you didn’t get the level of customer service you deserve.

    If you have any trouble getting your refund processed, please contact me directly through the email address I left and I’ll help you out. I’ve also forwarded this post on to our customer service supervisor to review.

    Once again, I sincerely apologize.

  4. Anna says

    I am getting concerned now. I have purchased Tidysongs in December and have not been able to get it to work. Tidysongs freezes after scanning 34%-36% of my library. I have send a support request but the last I heard from kelly from Tidysongs (after several reminders) is she will get back to me. That is now 3 weeks ago and I am tired of waiting and lost confidence in both the product and customer support so I requested a refund today. I sincerely hope my refund request will not end up to be such a painful and lenghty eperience as yours was

  5. says

    Look up Chargebacks – the Americans use them all the time to settle disputes. You can open one with your card issuer. Normally the vendor and the bank do not like to do this as they incur fees etc

  6. Dermot Golden says

    I bought a copy too and it had no problem finding duplicate songs but wouldn’t delete them. I sent Kelly an email on Jan 16th and never heard back. I might have to go the chargeback route as I didn’t purchase through ClickBank not that the above would give me any confidence there.

  7. Sarah says

    I have tidysongs and I searched and searched trying to determine if I should buy it…. seemed like a good idea but alas! I hat this program. I have tried to use it to both fix songs and to delete duplicates but I has failed in both (deleting songs that are not duplicates (and therefore causing more headache) and renaming songs inaccurately (even with %80 certainly checked) If you like obscure music or world music forget it! It will ruin your music library. This program seems to be only for people with very limited music libraries and not for those of us that really need it with 40,000 songs to organize. :( I want a refund too.

  8. Dylan says

    Also, something I forgot to point out, the Customer Service is amazing with these guys. While I was still trying to decide which program to get, I asked the TuneUp Media support and the TidySongs support some questions. This was a few days ago, TuneUp Media has been hot on answering any question I’ve had and has been a huge support. TidySongs hasn’t replied, but maybe they’re busy, it’s only been about 3 work days… I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here. :/ I asked for a refund from TidySongs, we’ll see how that goes. If they don’t want to, I paid with paypal, so I’ll be able to take up a dispute with them.

  9. says

    I wrote a rather lengthy comment last night before the one just above this one, but it didn’t go through. Basically, I’m in the same boat as the people who wanted the refunds. It was screwing up all my tags, yadda yadda. I found this other program called TuneUp Media, which is INFINITELY better from my experience. Definitely worth checking out. I put up a real quick youtube video showing it off a bit. The link is set as my website. You can use a promo code “TUIT2011″ to save 20%. Makes it $23.94 or something. Very nice program. It knew EVERYTHING I through at it(with the exception of my Super Meat Boy soundtrack. Got my ZeRO soundtracks though! :O) It even got some of my japanese music, I really wasn’t expecting that. ^_^

    I contacted TidySongs last night, after buying it and realizing it didn’t work for me, and requested a refund. They got back to me today with a refund request number and directed me to their refund link. You need a refund request id and your e-mail you used to buy it to ask for a refund, but it’s pretty straight forward. I got the refund basically right as soon as I asked for it.

  10. Dermot Golden says

    I asked for a refund and got it no hassle. The software didn’t work for me but they gave me a full refund promptly so fair play.

  11. John says

    I just wanted to add my 2 cents. I purchased TidySongs after endless searching on the internet for something that could help clean up my iTunes Library – I have close to 90,000 songs which I have amassed over 15 years of ripping CDs etc. Suffice it to say, my library was / is a complete mess.

    Although painfully slow, I have actually found it to be fairly useful. It has found about 80% of my missing information – and that is after setting the confidence level at 90%. I didn’t try the remove duplicates tool – but instead used Dupin and another script to remove any duplicates and dead links prior to running TidySongs. I have also had to set the “timing” fix on TidySongs to 10 seconds to allow the ID Tag to be updated before moving on to the next album. All in all, for the 30 bucks – it has saved me months and months of manual labor – I would like to think my free time is worth at least 30 bucks!

    Once it is finally updating my library (in another couple of days – I hope!) – I will run another script to find any missing media in my media folder and add it back in. I have put the “unable to find” stuff in a separate playlist and might try ieatbrainz or media monkey to find those missing albums – who knows, perhaps two programs are better than one.

    In any event, I haven’t found any silver bullet out there to help manage my libraries – and TidySongs is at least more useful than not. It would be nice however if it was multithreaded and utilized more than one core at a time on my Mac – but for $30 bucks I guess you can’t expect the moon – or can you?

  12. jim says

    That stuff just shows how messy iTunes itself is.

    That few pseudo programmers around programming those iTunes library organizers should really do some other things than messing up iTunes library more than it already is.

    iTunes suck but tidysongs and dougs duplicate script sucks even more! Muhaha….

  13. pherb says

    I am very disappointed about Tidy songs. I can only agree with what other people already wrote: (i) TS only found some of the dupes but instead (ii) when berserk on other files (iii) support is slow and useless.

    What a waste of time and money!

  14. Courtney says

    TidySongs is one of the worst pieces of software I have ever purchased. I can’t believe they are getting away with selling it for $39. I’ve had it for months and have patiently tried, on a weekly basis, to get it to fix my songs, and the software always crashes about half-way through, giving me an error message.

    Of the songs it does fix, there’s MAYBE 10% are correct. When I finally went in to manually approve of the song fixes, I was appalled that the software only checks for the TITLE of the song, as opposed to be the artist and the title, which is why it’s wrong 90% of the time. I have about 3,600 songs on my system, and it was only able to fix about 1,000 of them, and of those thousand, about 700 were incorrect, and my music is VERY mainstream.

    I guess I’ll give TuneUp another shot.

  15. Rusty shackleford says

    I am glad I found these postings as I just can tolerate ignorant people,customer service and companies.
    I myself have posted a few of these type of complaints as well about other company’s with poor customer support.
    I also just love it when they reply to your complaint to cover their arse to try to get away with smelling like roses.

    I will suggest to document your time, who you spoke to, any replies, to show how much of YOUR valuable time was spent trying to resolve the issue.
    We all make mistakes, however ones integrity shows in the effort to correct them.
    To all that read this…..You are a consumer. These companies need your business to make money. Do your research boys and girls on anyone you plan to do business with as it could have been you who got screwed or the short end of the stick.
    There are many people who just give up with the due diligence to try and resolve their issue.
    I am sure there were many others who just gave up and never told of the experiences they had.
    So thanks Danny, along with the rest for your comments as I was ready to purchase this product and will now search for something better.

  16. Courtney says

    Rusty, I went ahead and purchased TuneUp Media. It’s far superior, it works great, has many more features, and is actually cheaper (there’s promo codes all over the net for 15% off and they all work).

    After typing my previous post, I contacted TidySongs and let them know how disappointed I was with the software. I wasn’t even a jerk about it–I was actually quite nice. I simply requested a refund and explained to them how poorly the software performed and specifically what issues I had with it.

    Instead of getting an apology, an explanation, or even an acknowledgement, they sent me back a generic email which only listed instructions for requesting a refund. I’m shocked. TidySongs does not value their customers and I will tell everyone I know to steer clear of their software.

    TuneUp is just far superior.

  17. Charles Fathy says

    This company is so unprofessionnal, their software doesn’t work, their billing system is such a mess that they can’t track your purchase even when you send them a copy of your CC statement and it is impossible to get a refund. Waste of time and money!
    Now Danny, I would expect you to put some action behind your words…

  18. says

    Well, my actions were that if they didn’t get me a refund, I’d do a blog post about the terrible experience. They didn’t; I did. And despite the post — and despite both Tidysongs and Clickbank both commenting — neither has still managed to get me a refund issued. So I’d still recommend people avoid either company.

  19. Charles Fathy says

    Sorry Danny, I was talking about Daniel, the guy “running things” at CloudBrain. I was so pissed that I said Danny, but the remark was ABSOLUTELY not for you, to the contrary. Hope they go down with their scam…

  20. Jeff says

    I have to say, after reading the initial article, I was about to do the same thing, as my duplicate remover in TidySongs wasn’t actually removing anything. But then read through the comments and came across Daniel’s post, and did exactly what he said. I ran the “Find Missing Songs” option, and when I was done with that, it asked me to restart both iTunes and TidySongs, so I did. When I started it back up, I ran the “Find Duplicates” and it removed over 2000 duplicates. The program works!

  21. Da Bozz says


    I purchased the program last christmas and after setting up my new PC I recognized that TidySongs was no longer available.

    I tried to use my code with new Rinse which is shown on their website, but it didn’t work.

    I hope the support answers my email and gives me a solution – but one thing I know:
    Cloudbrain is a fraudulent company! That cheats should all be locked up!

  22. Paul says

    I wish I had read this before I purchased TidySongs (3/25/2011). With the Real Networks purchase of TidySongs, there is no support for a TidySongs customer (per Rinse Support) and your TidySongs copy no longer works because your key can not validate against the server (which now points to Rinse Network).

    My favorite comment from Rinse Support is that Rinse is not TidySongs and it is a completely different product… of course the UI is the same and clicking on the help button takes you to which points the Rinse application.

    I almost bought tuneup when I was trying to clean up my iTunes library and now I’m regretting my choice of not going with tuneup.

  23. another one says

    Similar topic, was a paying customer and tidysong stopped working, but no support from the posted support line…. I feel like robbed as the company sold me the Tidysong application but now refuses to support at all. Never buy RINSE which looks like the Tidysong app. This might be their pattern of scam.

  24. Tom says

    I find it hilarious that neither Cloudbrain nor Clickbank has refunded you yet.

    Can they really be that stupid to let this go on this long?

    Apparently so.