I'm redoing my entire iTunes library

Discussion in 'Mac Applications and Mac App Store' started by themoonisdown09, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #1
    I've dreaded this day, but I think it's time to redo my entire iTunes library. Most of my songs that I imported from my CD collection are from over 8 years ago and are only 128-Kbps.

    I'm going to re-import my entire CD collection using 256-Kbps AAC encoding and try to get all the album art from iTunes. For the tracks that are not on iTunes, I will try to find at least 500x500 album art photos.

    Just to give you an idea of how long this will take, I currently have 14,000 audio tracks in iTunes! I probably only have about 50 songs that were downloaded from Amazon.com, the rest are on CD.

    So... has anybody else recently decided to do this? Is anybody avoiding this because it's a long and tedious process?


    Edit: After all the suggestions, I've decided to rip all my CDs as Apple Lossless. Hopefully this will be my last time to ever have to do this again.
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    That's a long-term project.

    One day, when I get round to doing something similar moving everything back to lossless, I'll do the most frequently-played albums first. I'm happy with 400 x 400 artwork especially as much artwork was pulled from the web rather than scanned. That alone would take forever.

    At the mo, my library is about 60% 228AAC and 40% 320AAC, I moved a lot back from lossless to fit more onto my iPod. I haven't really got things as organised as I'd like but it's not a project I can get overly excited about, to be honest.

    Slowly but surely will do it. Set yourself a goal of 10 or 15 albums to do a week, perhaps.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #3
    I'm almost wondering if I should bring my Macbook Pro to work and import them while I'm programming. I'm hoping to have this completed by this summer... I guess we'll see how it goes.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Bobioden

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    #4
    If for some reason iTunes can't find the artwork, go to Amazon, and cut and paste it, after selecting all songs/get info.

    Their regular pic is usually small, but there are usually customers that added pics with are larger, better quality.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #5
    That's the way I've done it with my CDs in the past. Sometimes, they are not even on Amazon.com. If I get desperate, I'll scan them in myself, but I'd prefer not to do that.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    Bobioden

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    #6
    I re-imported my whole collection 14,000 songs over the past couple months. All are now 256 AAC. I would take a stack each night and do them. Once you get going it is not that bad. I hate compilations, so I made sure that the NO box was checked before I imported them. I had to scan very few CD covers, if you look they are out there.
     
  7. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
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    #7

    I think by the time I get round to doing something similar, I'll extract them to FLAC using XLD or Xact with logs and forth instead, scan artwork and all, and start archiving the whole lot onto dual-layer DVDs or Blu-Ray discs, making archival backup copies of those discs, indexing them and duplicating them every year or two, while dealing with upgrading the files in iTunes. One day...

    There will come a point when I don't want all those CDs hanging around anymore. I don't have a great deal of storage space.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #8
    Compilations are the worst. I usually change the Artist to the name of the CD (like Home Alone 2: Lost in New York) and then add the artist name in front of the track name.

    Unless there's another way out there that keeps all the tracks in order and together, that's how I guess I'll still be doing it.

    I was thinking about importing them as FLAC, but I don't know. Maybe that will be my next project years down the road. I just hope that my CDs are still playable by then!
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    Bobioden

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    #9

    I think I am at that point now, I have my collection on my iPod, Macbook Pro, iMac, and on external backups connected to each machine. I think I am covered if I ever lose anything. A lot of my friends have stored their CD's, never planning on using them again
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #10
    I have all my CDs in big Rubbermaid storage boxes down stairs. I have about 10 CDs in my car on my visor, but I don't use them... I use my iPod instead.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    Bobioden

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    #11

    That is exactly what I do, only I add the artist name AFTER the track name in ( ).
     
  12. Guest

    Sky Blue

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    #12
    I decided to do this back when iTunes Plus was first announced... nearly 2 years ago! I'm almost done.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #13
    I do have one question before I get too far into this project (I've already done 4 CDs!): Should I use variable bit rate (VBR) encoding?
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

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    #14
    I redid my iTunes library within the last couple of month's. Replaced everything with Apple Loseless files. I had just over 5000 tracks to reimport, I spread it out over a 2 week period. I just tried to do a stack of CD's every evening.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    #15
    Why not Apple lossless? I know it is awfully Apple-y, but it is lossless. I've started to use that with all new rips. Sure it is bigger, but I *never* expect to do what Blue Velvet suggested even though it is a good plan.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    xodonniedarko

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    #16
    I download most of my CD's but as soon as I do, I make a playlist with the CD/Artist name so when I go to upload music onto my ipod, it's an easy squeezy lemon peezy.

    I had to redo all of my playlists last Christmas because my brother got me Leopard and I ended up having to format-install D:

    I would surely dread 14,000 songs. Definitely do a little at a time.
    I'm having a hard enough time just importing 25 CDs that are the Harry Potter audio book...
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #17
    The only problem with Apple Lossless or any lossless format is the file size. I encoded a 4:15 song using 256-Kbps AAC and it was 8 MB. I encoded the same song with Apple Lossless and it was 30.4 MB!

    I don't know what to do now. I've already done about 20 CDs tonight using AAC. Do you think it's worth it to do everything with Apple Lossless? Also, for those of you that do lossless, do you encode it to something smaller when you put it on your iPod/iPhone?
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    #18
    Yeah, but what is cheaper your time or hard drive space? The answer, of course, won't be the same for everyone.

    I know the file sizes are bigger, but if I was going to take the time to do what your going to do I would do it once and for all with something lossless, but I'm too lazy to deal with ogg/flac/non-iTunes native formats.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    DaftUnion

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    #19
    Usually they have some decent artwork, but discogs.com has way better stuff that never shows up on google image search either.

    Try discogs though if iTunes doesn't have it and amazon's picture has the big block of white around the picture. A lot of the members actually do some extremly high quality scans of artwork.
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

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    #20
    When I redid my library I choose to sacrifice space for quality. And honestly I didn't want to do it again later, I figure that HDD are getting cheaper each year. As I need space I'll just buy more, Best Buy had 1TB WD Green Drives for $140 at X-Mas time for example. I have a FW Drobo for my media server so right now it has 3 1TB drives loaded into it.

    Because I travel a lot I made most of my sacrifice's with my iPod. I had to learn to carry less with me. In the end it works out well. I have a 32GB iPod Touch which I keep about 15GB of music on and leave the rest of the space for videos and apps. I did for a while carry a 160GB Classic, but honestly I never really needed that much music on the go.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #21
    So when you put music on your iPod, you leave the songs in the lossless format? The only problem with that is that it would cut down my music on my iPod by about 3 times.

    I will probably need to buy another hard drive if I decide to go lossless. Right now, I have a 750 GB internal hard drive on my iMac. I always keep all my music on that (at least for now). I keep a backup of all my music on my 500 GB external hard drive.

    I do have a question about Drobo... how long have you had it for and how do you like it? I was tempted to get it about a year ago, but for some reason I didn't get it. I think the reason that made me skip over it was because I heard that if the Drobo goes bad, you have to buy another Drobo to recover the data.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    DaftUnion

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    Location:
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    #22
    Let's just say I just cleared 9000 songs a couple of days ago starting from scratch in August 2005. But I was only doing about 8-10cd's a week. I ended up doing mine with Max in LAME 256kbps mp3 (compatibility reasons). AAC's equal though if not better.

    If you don't care about getting file names right and aren't super picky on quality artwork for the albums that iTunes doesn't have, you might be able to finish in a year. I know how you feel though. It's one hell of a long road;)
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

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    #23
    Yeah I had to really cut down what I carry to make it work at first. But to be completely honest I'm okay with that. I was carrying a lot of stuff I never listened too. Now I can shuffle and hear stuff I really want to listen too.

    I have had the Drobo for 5 month's now. I love the ease of use. It really is as simple as advertised. Just add a drive as it get's full and keep on going. The not having to match drive size's is nice just toss in any SATA drives you have laying around the house and you're good to go. I did worry a bit about the "what if" of a complete failure, but I figure no HDD is fail proof. I tried to cover my ass by buying my HDD's that I loaded into the Drobo from different batches so that if I picked a bad batch I wouldn't have all of them fail at once. I have been thinking about buying a second Drobo to use as a backup of the first Drobo, I really do love the little guy. :)
     
  24. macrumors member

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    California
    #24
    I feel the pain

    I know your pain.

    I forced myself to do something similar years ago. I got my act together and decided to organize my music. Today I have a little over 50k songs, that's 3644 albums.

    They all have album covers and complete ID3 tags, and about 60% of them have lyrics. I'm still working on them. I have two backups of it on two external hard drive.

    It's not really a project anymore, just a little hobby. I do enjoy the time listening to music i spend organizing my collection and you will appreciate the music a lot more, trust me. My gf and my friends thinks I'm crazy but they do enjoy my music on their ipod lol.

    PS: I wouldn't recommend doing AAC, I would go with MP3 format.
     
  25. macrumors 68030

    Arran

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, USA
    #25
    I've been seriously thinking about re-ripping from MP3 to AAC too. Been putting it off due to time.

    My advice: re-rip one typical CD about a dozen times using all the various bitrates, encoding schemes, etc, etc, and then do some serious listening tests. I tried that for most of yesterday evening and struggled to discern any substantial difference between mp3/aac/128/256/CBR/VBR. I also listened on old and new ipods and via my Mac's headphone socket. Kinda surprised me. But then my ears are past their best!

    I want to do more listening tests with other music types - but I'm not in any hurry now. I'll stick with my usual 160 MP3 CBR for now. Keeps life simple. And anyway, the higher rate file sizes deter me, since I listen mostly on small ipods. Quantity, not quality! (never thought I'd say that!)

    Maybe once cheap 256GB iPhones arrive, I'll re-rip everything to lossless and be done with it. Of course, I may be too old to bother by then :)

    One point about AAC vs MP3: I discovered that my (new) car's CD changer can't handle AAC. It's MP3 or WMA only. Bummer!

    Oh yeah, I found these sites useful in my research:
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/itunes.htm
    http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php
     

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