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View Full Version : iTunes Advice for a digital hoarder




Smeaton1724
Oct 17, 2012, 04:20 AM
My journey with iTunes started from the 2nd gen iPod, at the time I ripped all my CD's, then as the years have progressed and I've built up collections in various genres the library has grown massively, especially downloading complete albums and not just singles and is now varied in not only genre but quality 128kbps to 320kbps which obviously affects size of the library. Then through my trance/electronic phases I've got anything upto 12 mixes of the same song from various albums.

So my iTunes library is around 200GB of music which is far too monstrous to manage so I always end up syncing songs rated "4 or above" in iTunes to my iPhone/iPod - about 5GB made up of various genres. On the whole I feel myself reverting back to the same playlists or spending more time searching for songs than listening.

Now do I continue to keep albums complete as they would be on a CD - is that the 'old fashioned' way?
or
sort through and weed out the filler songs?
or
Keep the library as it is and just re-do my playlists?
or
Start a fresh?

Up to now I've held the belief a large library is a good thing as it gives choice, if anything it's becoming a hindrance with the use of SSD's in smaller capacities, device flash memory not increasing that much in the last few years i.e only upto 64GB options.



melchior
Oct 17, 2012, 05:19 AM
the only standard options are to sync specific albums from the device sync dialog, or to create smart playlists for album titles, or to create static playlists for albums.

a feature i have always craved is something that would solve your problem which is the ability to create a smartlist that says "if %song% has >3 stars, add whole album to playlist"

i speak from experience with a library well over twice as large as yours. in practice I tend to utilise genius playlists and smart playlists of music I feel like listening to lately and change them up from time to time.

it is one thing to 'hoard' music if you like listening to a wide variety, but when it comes to trance, while there is some good stuff the vast majority is utter drivel. cut it out, or set yourself a system of smart playlists not syncing anything tagged with trance, etc.

mully1121
Oct 17, 2012, 10:42 AM
I also have a large library (not quite as big as either of you) that's mostly housed on my iPod classic. I also have an iPhone and a nano and the way I make sure I have a decent (and rotating supply) of music on both of those devices is the heavy use of smart playlists. I have everything in my library tagged and starred and just for some examples I have what I call a daily listening playlist. Its any 50 songs, rated 3 stars or higher that haven't been played in a week. I also have a greatest hits which is any song rated 5 stars and played more than 100 times. Basically stuff like that and on my 2 smaller devices I don't have any playlists I created manually (I find I listen to those to much and end up ignoring all my other music), just the smart playlists. This means I'm rotating through my music somewhat and I always have something new to listen to.

It can take some time to set up (especially if things aren't starred or tagged appropriately) but if you have a large library its definitely worth it.

dXTC
Oct 17, 2012, 01:40 PM
it is one thing to 'hoard' music if you like listening to a wide variety, but when it comes to trance, while there is some good stuff the vast majority is utter drivel. cut it out, or set yourself a system of smart playlists not syncing anything tagged with trance, etc.

One of my favorite genres is trance. I wouldn't say that the "vast" majority is utter drivel (as you call it), but yes, there is a considerable amount of filler used in trance remix compilations. It's been my unfortunate experience that remix compilations comprise most trance "albums" on the market-- so many trance tracks are one-off studio projects by DJs that never release a full album-- and because of their remixed nature, the individual tracks end too abruptly, often mid-beat.

Even so, I have no problems with weeding out the filler tracks and syncing only the good stuff from a given compilation. In the case of a couple of really good songs thrown into an otherwise mediocre mix, I'll throw them into my Sound Studio application and do a little bit of cleanup (remove 8 measures' worth of unneeded intro beats, add fake fades, etc), and sync those instead of the original tracks.

As to the OP's comments: Yeah, what's up with those umpteen different remixes of one trance track from different DJs? That gets on my nerves, too. Isolating the melody part from the original and setting it atop a lame-a** Fruity Loops track does not make you a master remixer. Just... just stop it.

That goes for you Skrillex wub-wub-wannabes as well. I liked Bridesmaids, too, but we do NOT need a dubstep remix of Wilson Phillips' "Hold On".

</end soapbox>

mostlynameless
Oct 17, 2012, 04:41 PM
My library isn't nearly that large, but I have the same problem, with a lot of junk filler from albums I bought electronically. (If I bought it on a CD, I most likely just didn't import the junk tracks.)

I've sorted the library so that stuff I'm pretty sure I don't want is 1-star and hasn't been played in months (since I listened and sorted it out).

But, is there an easy way to:
Delete the 1-star tracks from the library -then-
Find the 1-star FILES in windows and move them to a separate folder,
so I can back them up somewhere and delete them from my computer?

zhenya
Oct 17, 2012, 04:49 PM
Having also used iTunes and various iPods for over 10 years, my library has also seemed to stay slightly larger than the device that I own at any given time. I've had a series of playlists for years, some manual, some smart, that I used to manage music. All of that has gone by the wayside since iTunes Match was released. I realize that Match is really only practical on an iPhone (and you don't say what kind of device you are using), but it really is everything I'd ever wanted - I keep a subset of music on my phone, but have access to ALL of it from everywhere. Well worth the $25/yr. price.

On the other hand I also find myself listening to Spotify more and more. Even my huge library in iTunes now seems so limiting compared to having the entire Spotify library at hand...

melchior
Oct 18, 2012, 05:07 AM
My library isn't nearly that large, but I have the same problem, with a lot of junk filler from albums I bought electronically. (If I bought it on a CD, I most likely just didn't import the junk tracks.)

I've sorted the library so that stuff I'm pretty sure I don't want is 1-star and hasn't been played in months (since I listened and sorted it out).

But, is there an easy way to:
Delete the 1-star tracks from the library -then-
Find the 1-star FILES in windows and move them to a separate folder,
so I can back them up somewhere and delete them from my computer?

you can make a copy of all your 1-star tracks, then remove them from itunes. make a smart playlist for 1 star. select all and drag them to an explorer folder. then delete them in itunes. easy.

Having also used iTunes and various iPods for over 10 years, my library has also seemed to stay slightly larger than the device that I own at any given time. I've had a series of playlists for years, some manual, some smart, that I used to manage music. All of that has gone by the wayside since iTunes Match was released. I realize that Match is really only practical on an iPhone (and you don't say what kind of device you are using), but it really is everything I'd ever wanted - I keep a subset of music on my phone, but have access to ALL of it from everywhere. Well worth the $25/yr. price.

On the other hand I also find myself listening to Spotify more and more. Even my huge library in iTunes now seems so limiting compared to having the entire Spotify library at hand...

wish apple allowed users to pay more for more songs. limiting it doesn't make sense. i think most with a large library would happily pay $50 or $75 or $100 a year.

spotify is great, but we don't all live in an always on internet environment. at least not all the time.

zhenya
Oct 18, 2012, 07:44 AM
spotify is great, but we don't all live in an always on internet environment. at least not all the time.

Fwiw, Spotify does allow offline listening. I've never tried it as my sole source, so I don't know what kind of limitations there are, but it basically works as expected.

Jessica Lares
Oct 18, 2012, 08:20 AM
Get what you like out, and discard the rest. Yes, it's hard, being someone who does the same as you, but it's needed. Eventually the hard drive will die and you'll lose everything anyway, so it's best to get it over with now.

Exporting a list of tracks will be very beneficial to you if you ever need to find stuff again. Especially the mixes.

It's great to have a lot of choice, but in the end you find yourself skipping through whatever Genius and smart playlists will give you, so there's no point in it.