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Old Sep 12, 2008, 02:26 PM   #1
salvatore
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Reloading iTunes Library

A bit of research didn't reveal anything, so Im creating a new post in hopes of solving a simple issue.

I use iTunes 8 on my MBP with my library of about 19,000 MP3s hosted on an external system (Fedora Core box on the same network). When I make changes to the music outside of iTunes (updating tags, adding songs, et cetera) and then launch iTunes it doesn't appear to refresh its understanding of the library; it marks many of the changed songs as missing and does not see the newly added songs.

The SMB share iTunes uses to access the library is read-only because I dont want it adjusting the files themselves, but I do want iTunes to recognize changes to the underlying library. Is such a thing possible?

Thanks.
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 02:36 PM   #2
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iTunes is not intended to work in the way you describe. There may be third party scripts that can help, but I'm not sure.

I'm not sure what your reasons are for your approach, but tags can be edited within iTunes. And there is a check box to keep iTunes from reorganizing your file system. You would either need to drag new files into iTunes, or find a script that will monitor a folder and do it for you.
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 02:42 PM   #3
salvatore
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I'm not sure what your reasons are for your approach, but tags can be edited within iTunes.
Yes, but one-by-one manual editing of tags is not very efficient.

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And there is a check box to keep iTunes from reorganizing your file system. You would either need to drag new files into iTunes, or find a script that will monitor a folder and do it for you.
I have this checked, but that's in conflict with adding new music to my library directly in iTunes, right? It wont be able to create the folder structure necessary to house the new files on the network drive if I drop new MP3s into iTunes. Am I missing something?
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 02:53 PM   #4
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Yes, but one-by-one manual editing of tags is not very efficient.
iEatBrainz
http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/14605

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I have this checked, but that's in conflict with adding new music to my library directly in iTunes, right? It wont be able to create the folder structure necessary to house the new files on the network drive if I drop new MP3s into iTunes. Am I missing something?
What do you mean by "necessary"? iTunes can manage the folder structure automatically by artist and album OR you can create your own folder structure and drag new tracks from the folder you filed them in to iTunes.
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 02:58 PM   #5
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You can set up a Folder Action to watch for changes and trigger an action in OS X - but I'm not sure how it would work over a SMB share. It would work with an external drive.

You would need to sit down and plan this out. I've played around with this with an external drive but haven't implemented it fully yet. The following script (modified from the last post here):
Code:
property ScriptName : "Subfolder detection.scpt"
property ScriptPath : ((path to Folder Action scripts) as text) & ScriptName

on adding folder items to thisfolder after receiving theseitems
    tell application "Finder"
        repeat with thisItem in theseitems
            if (class of item thisItem is folder) then
                tell application "System Events"
                    attach action to thisItem using ScriptPath
                end tell
            end if
        end repeat
    end tell
    tell application "iTunes"
        import from theseitems
    end tell
end adding folder items to
when assigned as a Folder Action to a folder will add itself as a Folder Action to any subfolders added, as well as import any non folder items into iTunes.
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 03:01 PM   #6
salvatore
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Originally Posted by BaldiMac View Post
Unfortunately iEatBrainz has crashed on me on several occasions. Still searching for a competent mass-tag editor.

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Originally Posted by BaldiMac View Post
What do you mean by "necessary"? iTunes can manage the folder structure automatically by artist and album OR you can create your own folder structure and drag new tracks from the folder you filed them in to iTunes.
I may be misunderstanding the process. Here's my workflow:

* Obtain new music.
* Copy music to folder structure on networked machine's drive.
* Tag music.
* I want iTunes to recognize the newly added files; it sounds like it won't on its own. Are you saying I need to, after I have the external folders and files the way I want them, drag them into iTunes?
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 03:12 PM   #7
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* I want iTunes to recognize the newly added files; it sounds like it won't on its own. Are you saying I need to, after I have the external folders and files the way I want them, drag them into iTunes?
Yes. That is my understanding. Although scripts such as the one above may automate the process.

I don't mean this question in a derogatory manner, I'm just curious.

Why do you create a manual folder structure rather than letting iTunes manage the files itself? I know other people do it your way as well, and it seems to be more work.
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 03:35 PM   #8
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Yes. That is my understanding. Although scripts such as the one above may automate the process.

I don't mean this question in a derogatory manner, I'm just curious.

Why do you create a manual folder structure rather than letting iTunes manage the files itself? I know other people do it your way as well, and it seems to be more work.
I want my folder and file structure to be very specific. Ive let iTunes handle things in the past and end up with multiple Artist/Album paths with one or two files in them instead of everything in the same folder; same goes for how things are represented from within iTunes. For example, despite having all the tracks for a specific album, iTunes shows them to me as parts of disparate albums, with only one or two tracks each, despite having them well-tagged. This is maddening when browsing full albums.
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 03:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by salvatore View Post
I want my folder and file structure to be very specific. Ive let iTunes handle things in the past and end up with multiple Artist/Album paths with one or two files in them instead of everything in the same folder; same goes for how things are represented from within iTunes. For example, despite having all the tracks for a specific album, iTunes shows them to me as parts of disparate albums, with only one or two tracks each, despite having them well-tagged. This is maddening when browsing full albums.
The only reason that iTunes would split up an album (assuming the album title is the same on each track) is if the artist (or possibly album artist) was different on each track. In that case, you would just need to check the "Part of a compilation" box in the Get Info window for all tracks on the album. Also, "Group Compilations when Browsing" should be checked in preferences. These steps would also cause the album to be together in the finder under "compilations".

I understand that you do want your folder structure in a particular way, but why? Is there an actual benefit, or is it just "because I like it that way." I've never found the need to access my music through the finder.
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 03:55 PM   #10
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I understand that you do want your folder structure in a particular way, but why? Is there an actual benefit, or is it just "because I like it that way." I've never found the need to access my music through the finder.
Because I won't be using iTunes forever. If I could tell iTunes how to name files and folders like most tagging applications, I'd set it and forget it. When the day comes Im not using iTunes for my ever-increasing library, Id prefer to have an easily-navigated folder structure instead of having to interpret how iTunes chose to handle things.

Perhaps my question should be: can I tell iTunes how to name folders and files when its set to manage my library for me?
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 04:00 PM   #11
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iTunes already forms the directory structure in an easily understandable way. If you set it to manage your music you get a directory structure like:
Code:
Music
  |
  iTunes
    |
    iTunes Music
      |
      Movies
      Tv Shows
      Podcasts
      Artist1
        |
        Album1
           |
           song1 ... songN
        Album2
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 04:02 PM   #12
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How iTunes works when you have the checkbox clicked to manually manage files and folders, when you add a song to iTunes it creates a link to it where ever it is at that moment. So as long as you don't change the name or location of the file iTunes can still find it.

What this means to you: To have your files be in the folder structure and naming scheme you want and have them in iTunes, you must name and place the files BEFORE you add them to iTunes. Then when you add them, iTunes won't change them, only tag the metadata, and you should be good to go.

If you do change a files name/location after you add it to iTunes, I believe iTunes will give you the option to locate the file when you try to play that song, thus recreating the link I mentioned earlier.
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 04:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salvatore View Post
Because I won't be using iTunes forever. If I could tell iTunes how to name files and folders like most tagging applications, I'd set it and forget it. When the day comes Im not using iTunes for my ever-increasing library, Id prefer to have an easily-navigated folder structure instead of having to interpret how iTunes chose to handle things.

Perhaps my question should be: can I tell iTunes how to name folders and files when its set to manage my library for me?
That makes sense. Although, I am pretty comfortable myself with the assumption that any future music application that I choose to move to would be able to organize my music by the embedded tags.
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