iTunes - Organization of files

tarponchaser

Registered
I am getting used to Mac and really like it. However, I am having some trouble organizing my files properly. On my XP system i labeled all the songs within explorer like this: U2 - With or Without You

Once I add all my songs into the library they are not in the same organization and extremely difficult to find. Is there a way to get iTunes to sort my songs by the way I have brought them over from my external drive? The way it is now they are all over the place. Using WinAmp in windows worked fine this way, but I'm stumped here. Thanks in advance.
 

symphonix

Scratch & Sniff Committee
Whta you really need is a good ID3 tag management program. iTunes uses ID3 tags, which are little tags kept inside the song file, to store information such as artist, album and so on. Once this information is entered, iTunes automatically sorts songs into folder by artist and then album.

What I would recommend doing is ensuring that all songs have correct artist and album information attached to them in iTunes, and then the sorting will work perfectly. Remember that you can select multiple songs, and press Command-I to edit the information for all of them.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Yep -- symphonix has got it. Edit the ID3 tags to perfection, and forget about managing the files manually in the Finder -- let iTunes do it.

If you wish to locate a particular MP3/AAC file, simply highlight it in iTunes and press Command-R ("Reveal"). A new Finder window will open with the song highlighted.
 

bpenrod

Registered
tarponchaser said:
Is there a way to get iTunes to sort my songs by the way I have brought them over from my external drive? The way it is now they are all over the place. Using WinAmp in windows worked fine this way, but I'm stumped here. Thanks in advance.
I recently switched to Mac also, and iTunes has been my number one frustration. I spent a lot of time organizing, renaming, and properly labeling my 4000 mp3s, and iTunes spent about 15 seconds making everything confusing and harder to use.

As I understand it, there are two problems:
1-iTunes renames all files you import to this format: "track number song title.mp3" or just "song title.mp3" I think this is a bad idea*, but what are you gonna do?
2-iTunes, by default, splits all your files into subfolders based on artist name. Which is a bad thing if you like them to be organized some other way.

Here's what I would suggest:
If you still have the mp3s on your external drive, delete all of them from your Mac.
Open iTunes and go to Preferences>Advanced and turn off "Keep iTunes music folder organized" and "Copy files to iTunes music folder..."
Go to Preferences>Importing and turn off "Create file names with track names". (This will force iTunes to use "U2 - One.mp3" format instead of "01 One.mp3" format when you rip a CD.)
Manually drag-and-drop the mp3s from your external drive to the /Users/yourname/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music folder.
This should keep iTunes from renaming the files and creating a million sub-folders that you might not like.

Hope this helps.

* Here's why I don't like it: when I want to put two versions of the same song on an mp3 CD, they conflict because they both have the same name: "01 wild horses.mp3" And I know I'm supposed to stop worrying about folder organization and all that because I have Spotlight. But Spotlight doesn't help here, because when I search for a track name, I will not be able to tell which song is by the original artist and which is by a cover band without clicking the info button for each one. How is this easier than having the artist name as part of the filename?
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
"And I know I'm supposed to stop worrying about (...) But Spotlight doesn't help here, because when I search for a track name, I will not be able to tell which song is by the original artist and which is by a cover band without clicking the info button for each one. How is this easier than having the artist name as part of the filename?" - That's what you've got iTunes for. If you search for "wild horses" in iTunes, it shows you the artist and all other relevant metadata.

It's really simple: Either you use iTunes and adapt to its system (and let it do all it wants, don't mess with the file system anymore) or you better _don't_ use iTunes, but then I advise you to rather find a different playlist program. Audion is free by now, I've heard.
 

bpenrod

Registered
fryke said:
It's really simple: Either you use iTunes and adapt to its system (and let it do all it wants, don't mess with the file system anymore) or you better _don't_ use iTunes, but then I advise you to rather find a different playlist program. Audion is free by now, I've heard.
I understand what you're saying. There are certain aspects of iTunes that I don't like because I'm used to winamp and the way things were on my old pc laptop: being able to browse through file lists quickly and find the one I want, being able to write CD-TEXT on a burned CD so I can tell what song I'm listening to without needing a printed list, etc. On the other hand, there are some nice things about iTunes, like the smart playlists. And, of course, I bought Toast so I can have CD-TEXT.

I just spent 10 seconds with Audion. tarponchaser might like it because it is a little closer to Winamp than iTunes. Thanks for the tip.
 

jh2112

Registered
What I did was to copy my music from the external drive into the music folder and then used add to library rather than importing. As I used Winamp the metadata was already there for itunes to use.
Also turn off Keep iTunes music folder organized in the preferences
 
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