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Mobile Apps

Music Bleeper bleeps the bad words from your music library

This free iOS app can help parents rest easy, but it needs work.

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Music Bleeper needs work if it can't even identify these songs. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

As the parent of two kids, ages 14 and 12, I can't help noticing that every single pop song these days contains bad language. And I'm not wild about that, no, sir.

Music Bleeper (iOS) caters to concerned parents like myself by filtering offensive and/or inappropriate words from the songs stored on an iDevice. In fact, it pulls no punches in describing itself: "a user-defined censorship app."

It works like this: The first time you run the app, it scans your music library against its own database. Depending on how many songs you have, this can take some time. I carry about a thousand, for example, and the initial scan took a good half hour.

According to the developer, any songs not detected right away will be added to the database and "scrubbed" within about 24 hours.

From there you simply use Music Bleeper as your player. When it encounters a bad word, it skips past it. By default, it nips just about every bit of bad language you can imagine, but you can customize the filters to your liking if you find it overly aggressive.

Unfortunately, the app needs work. It's slow to load and slow to "update Bleep status," which it does on every launch. As a player, it's buggy: On numerous occasions, pausing a song caused it to skip ahead one or more tracks. And it lacks a shuffle-play option, which is fairly ridiculous.

What's more, Music Bleeper missed a few tracks it most certainly should be bleeping -- namely Amy Winehouse and Cee-Lo Green songs that both begin with the F-word. These weren't waiting to be scrubbed; the app just didn't seem to recognize them.

Another issue: In Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," it seemed a little out of sync, bleep-wise. Instead of, "You're the hottest [bleep] in this place," I heard, "You're the hot [bleep] 'itch in this place."

Your mileage may vary, of course. And because the app is free, there's no harm in trying it.

Indeed, for a parent who wants to play his or her own music collection without worrying about their kids hearing unwanted words, or who wants to filter their kids' own music, Music Bleeper offers a solution -- buggy though it may be.