Do you let iTunes organize your music files?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by DramaLLama, May 9, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #1
    Do you have the "Keep iTunes media folder organized" box checked or not in the iTunes preferences?

    I find that it actually messes stuff up, anyone else?
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    tkermit

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    #2
    Yes I do.

    What do you mean by "messes stuff up". It will organize and rename your music files according to the tags saved with each file. That's the whole point of the setting. You should make sure that your music is tagged correctly. Of course, personally, I don't even care anymore what the actual files are named.
     
  3. macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Location:
    Hogtown
    #3
    yes ... iTunes keeps them in the order of Artist and Album ... however I only have 1900 songs and just play them in random ... works for me
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    #4
    No. I have mine organized in folders. iTunes might work well with a coullection of singles, but not albums organized in folders.
     
  5. macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #5
    Yes. iTunes is a much better media manager than Windows Explorer or Finder. If I can let a dedicated app handle the organization I will. I haven't manually named and organized my media since I was using Winamp 3 on XP. Seriously.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Jolly Jimmy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    #6
    Yes, absolutely. I spend enough time as it is keeping my library perfectly organised.
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #7
    I do! I didn't used to, but I started focusing on good ID3 tags and letting iTunes manage the locations. I'm sooooooo glad I did. iTunes does a great job.

    Unfortunately, my library is getting to the size where I'm going to need to split it up onto 2 drives. That's probably going to require some manual management.
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Location:
    Around
    #8
    I have nothing but full albums and I think it does a great job. The only thing I don't like is how it does compilation albums.
     
  9. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    This is actually the method iTunes uses to organize files. It will place them in album folders inside artist folders.

    But WHY CARE? Who would ever want to look at the files, or care about what folder they are in? I use the iTunes interface and with that you have "smart play lists" and the tracks can go into as many as places as y ou want, but there is still one copy on the disk.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Jolly Jimmy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    #10
    I am in the same boat. Only full albums. And it took me ages to find a way to organise compilations to my liking.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #11
    So wait could you guys explain to me how exactly it organizes?

    .. I haven't let iTunes organize my files in a LONG time and from what I remember it would just seem to mix things up where I couldn't find them or they were in the wrong 'area' or whatever..

    Does it organize like this?:

    music > artist > album > song



    ..and for compilations will it always split those up and put them into the individual artists folders?.. that's probably what I didn't' like about it.. is there a way to 'fix' this?
     
  12. macrumors 68030

    tkermit

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    #12
    That's right.

    For Compilations it appears to organize it like this:
    Music -> Compilations -> Compilation X -> Song
     
  13. Primejimbo, May 10, 2011
    Last edited: May 10, 2011

    macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Location:
    Around
    #13
    What I do for example, A Judas Priest Tribute album that has different bands playing songs. In the song title I rename the song then the band in ( ), and delete the band in where it says in "Artist" and just put "Judas Priest Tribute" so the whole albume stays under 1 "artist". I do the same for soundtracks also. It's a pain, but I only have to do it once.

    When I ripped the CD it 1st said for the song under info:

    Name:
    The Hellion - Electric Eye

    Artist:
    Helloween

    I changed it to:

    Name:
    The Hellion - Electric Eye (Helloween)

    Artist:
    Judas Priest Tribute

    Then uncheck "part of a compilation" at the lower right hand corner.

    So far this is working, but anyone has a different idea, I am open to them.
     
  14. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #14
    The iTunes method of organizing files is horrible. I manage my own, and have been doing so since before I switched to Mac and iTunes. My method is much better organized than iTunes.
    An easier and more effective approach is this:
    • Put only the song name in the Name field.
    • Put the actual artist performing in the Artist field.
    • Put "Various Artists" in the Album Artist field.
    For soundtracks, do the same thing. Soundtrack name in Album, song name in Name, artist name in Artist, and "Various Artists" in Album Artist.

    For a song to sort together, all tracks must have matching data in these fields:
    • Album
    • Album Artist
    • Sort Album
    • Sort Album Artist
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #15
    also have a look at this excellent user tip by Steve MacGuire.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    bpaluzzi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #16
    That's the way iTunes sorts my music automatically -- does it not sort that way for you? Or do you use another sorting method that you didn't mention here?


    What do you mean? It organizes albums in folders. What way would you suggest is better?
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    #17
    Can someone please explain why you would want to organize them yourself??

    Does it really matter how the folders are arranged? I can't think of a single reason to ever need to even look in the folders when you have the iTunes front end
     
  18. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #18
    You're confusing two different parts of my post. The first part refers to the way music files are organized on the drive. The 2nd part, after the quoted post, refers to how music is sorted within iTunes.
    If you let iTunes organize your files, it will create a folder for an artist, then a sub-folder for an album by that artist. For small libraries, that may be OK. For large libraries, you end up with a single music folder with hundreds or thousands of artist folders, all under the single music folder. In addition, if you rip a CD where the Album Artist is "Paul McCartney & Wings" and another CD where the Album Artist is "Paul McCartney and Wings", iTunes will create two separate artist folders, rather than put both albums under the same artist.

    I organize mine by genre, then artists within that genre, then album within that artist, with an " other" folder for singles that aren't part of an album.

    Because you may not always be using the iTunes front end. Also, it makes it easier if you want to divide your library between an internal and external drive, as I do, since it won't all fit on the internal drive. Also, if your iTunes library is lost or corrupt, it makes it easier to selectively add songs back.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    bpaluzzi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #19
    Ahh, gotcha about the confusion. I don't see why that method is any better or worse for small or large libraries, though. And sorting by genre always seemed like a subjective nightmare to me. :) Unless you have excessively large genres, it seems like a pain trying to find something. With the different (but similar) name things - I fix it in iTunes, as I'm OCD/anal about that too. But after I've fixed it in iTunes, it gets fixed in the folder structure, too.
     
  20. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #20
    I don't use the genres that iTunes selects. I change genres to match my preferences, so 7 albums by the same artist don't show up with 7 different genres. I have 49 genres established, so my music folder has 49 genre folders in it, rather than over 2300 artist folders. Then, each genre folder has artists in that genre.
    So you're saying that if you have two artist folders, like in my example, if you change the album artist to match in iTunes, it automatically moves the album of that artist into the other artist folder and then deletes the folder you changed?
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    bpaluzzi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #21
    No, understood that you're using your own. I'm too indecisive for it, I guess. Not sure what I'd put a lot of bands in. Flaming Lips - "rock", "pop", "progressive rock", etc...

    And yes, iTunes will "correct" any folders as you move them around. As you clean in the iTunes front end, it also keeps the folder structure in sync. Same with moving bits in/out of compilations, etc.
     
  22. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #22
    That's a perfect example of the genre problem. Wikipedia lists Flaming Lips with these genres:
    • Alternative rock
    • Dream pop
    • Neo-psychedelia
    • Psychedelic pop
    • Space rock
    • Punk rock
    • Noise pop
    • Experimental rock
    What do those even mean? I'd change them all to "Rock" and be done with it.
    That would be helpful if it would use genres as the primary folder, then artists within that genre. It would also be helpful if iTunes used my file naming convention. As it is, my method works fine for me, especially since my library is split between internal and external drives, and iTunes won't automatically manage that.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    bpaluzzi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #23
    That's my point though -- if you're going that generic in your genres, what benefit does it have over just having all artists in a single folder. Seems like it's just an added layer for not much benefit. *shrug*

    PS - Not trying to be a jerk, hope you know that -- I'm honestly interested in how you organize your library. My music library just passed 1.8 TB (just music, no videos), so I'm going to need to split it up onto multiple drives soon, I'd imagine
     
  24. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #24
    I use genres that are meaningful to me, so I know where to look for files if I need to. 2300 folders in one folder is way too cumbersome to browse through for me. Again, the assumption is that you will always use iTunes to manage your music. I had my music organized before iTunes even existed, and my method doesn't depend on me always using iTunes as the front end. YMMV
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Location:
    Turkey

Share This Page