Help needed with Automator/Spotlight/iTunes conundrum

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by TrenchcoatJedi, May 26, 2005.

  1. TrenchcoatJedi macrumors member

    TrenchcoatJedi

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    Ok people, I need some help here.

    I have an external firewire HD with a buttload of MP3s on it. I want to create an automator workflow to find all the MP3 files on that HD encoded at a bitrate higher than 128kbps, convert them to WAV format and then re-encode them at 128kbps and add them to the iTunes library.

    Machine specs (just in case this comes up):
    14" iBook G4 1 GHz
    640MB RAM
    55GB HD (30GB free)
    232GB external Firewire HD (Porsche LaCie)
    OS X 10.4.1
    iTunes 4.8

    I've been trying to figure this out for hours with no success. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #2
    Changing the encoding so much may lead to some very lossy music.

    As far as Automator goes, I'm not sure you can do it in one query.

    You might have to use a Smart Folder in Spotlight to get all the music files on that drive with kind:audio from a Finder window and selecting that drive.

    Then use the plus sign (next to the save button), Choose other and select the criteria you want (bit rate, I'd imagine) and then you should be able to tell it you want just the ones above 128. You'd have to do this as a Smart Folder since I don't think the Spotlight actions in Automator allow you access to the full range of options under 'other'.

    Then you'll need to figure out whether Automator can work from Smart Folders results. If not, then you'll have to save it as an Folder Action and highlight x number of the files in your folder at a time (if you've got that many mp3s, I don't think you want to be doing them all at once)

    So your first Automator action would be Get Finder items. The only trouble is that I think you'd have to convert them as you imported them to iTunes so not sure you could do WAV and then to whatever you wanted. if that's OK, then you just take the 'import audio' action and select format and bit rate.
     
  3. TrenchcoatJedi thread starter macrumors member

    TrenchcoatJedi

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    You see, I thought of creating a smart folder with those parameters but for some reason when I add the audio bit rate greater than 128 parameter, it doesn't seem to do anything. To test this, I created two smart folders:

    Folder A - Kind:audio, bitrate >128
    Folder B - Kind:audio

    Both folders had identical search results. They both found the 1,606 MP3 files on the drive but Folder A did not filter out those encoded at or below 128.

    The reason I want to write this out to WAV and then re-encode is that direct MP3 re-encoding is actually MORE lossy than writing out to WAV and re-encoding. Automator can work from smart folders, BTW.
     
  4. dav macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    #4
    MP3 to MP3 is a terrible sound... Regardless of how you do stuff in between.

    It is still Lossy to Lossy
     
  5. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #5
    Yeah what are proposing is surely going to produce some much worse sounding songs!
     
  6. TrenchcoatJedi thread starter macrumors member

    TrenchcoatJedi

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    These aren't my MP3s. This is for a client and these were his instructions. I don't care how the quality is, I'm being paid to get this done. Any ideas on how I can get Spotlight working to find the files I need?
     
  7. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #7
    Hmm, automator does pull out the right tracks from iTunes, just not from Finder.

    Archive your current iTunes library (by moving it elsewhere, I assume?) then start iTunes with a fresh one, import the songs and use Automator to do the rest? Do what you want with them and then swap iTunes folders again so that you have your old one back.
     

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