iTunes Newbie -- Folders? X-Plat Playlists?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ahunter3, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. ahunter3 macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2003
    I've been pretty much ignoring iTunes because I had somewhere between 300 and 400 albums' worth of music divided up into playlists created and managed within SoundApp, and I figured it was only a matter of time before a Carbon version popped up.

    It didn't :(

    I experimented briefly with Cabrio but didn't care for it. Now I've downloaded iTunes for MacOS 9 and X.

    Question 1: Folders -- I see how to create playlists, but how the heck do I organize them? In SoundApp, each playlist is a file so I just stick them in folders and use the Mac Finder to organize them into a hierarchical arrangement. In iTunes, the playlist I create doesn't seem to correspond to any new file that I can find, and within iTunes itself it's just hanging there below the default icons for Radio and Library. So after adding 50 or 60 playlists it's going to be one buttugly cumbersome interface. This can't be right. How the heck do you create folders or equiv?

    Question 2: Sharing the Playlist XPlat -- I don't mean between my computer and someone else's, I mean between MacOS X on mine and MacOS 9 on mine. The whole idea of going with iTunes was that it existed for both platforms and therefore, presumably, both versions could open the same files so I wouldn't have to create 400-some-odd playlists twice. As I said, I can't find a file that corresponds to a newly created playlist; therefore I don't know what to go open from within the other copy of iTunes to acquire it there. Clue me in here, folks.
  2. joeyjojoe macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    i would say you should stop thinking about organizing with playlists. throw away all your playlists. now import all your songs into itunes. i tunes has a browse feature where you can scroll through artists and albums. that should become your new playlist finder. basically select the right artist or album directly, and it will give you all the songs in the album.
  3. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    You shouldnt worry about organizing your music... iTunes does that for you.
  4. ahunter3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2003
    I don't want it to organize my playlists for me, dammit!

    Sometimes I want to listen to 8 hours of nothing but back-to-back Pink Floyd. Sometimes I want to listen to the Beth Nielsen Chapman album Sand and Water in its entirety, same as if I'd put on the CD. Sometimes I want a juxtaposition of highly orchestrated rock and 19th Century symphonic classical. Sometimes I want an instrumental mix that incorporates Gershwin, Alan Parsons Project, George Winston, Georg Deuter, Kitaro, Vaughn-Williams, and the sound track to Sixth Sense.

    When I cue up Kansas' Leftoverture, I prefer to play the tracks in the original order as on the vinyl album.

    If I wanted to simply specify a genre and let some other agent pick the songs and song order for me, I'd use Radio.


    So are you telling me iTunes has no mode for letting me organize hundreds of playlists as I see fit?

    ::writes again to author of SoundApp about a Carbon version::
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Two of the "features" you describe already work in iTunes. Hit Browse. Hit Pink Floyd in Artists. Hit Play. iTunes will be playing nothing but Pink Floyd. To specialise down to one album hit it in the Album column. You are now down to a single album. The final one can be handled using an actual playlist.

    If you have good Genre/coments in your iD3 tags the third can be created using a Smart Playlist (so as when you buy a new instrumental album it will appear automatically). Otherwise just use a normal playlist.

    I imagine that if you let iTunes deal with the Artist and Album playlists you will only have 20-30 max left which can be used without folders.

    That said I want folders too as I like have decade and single year playlists to have a load of playlists that it would be nice to collapse out of the way when I am not looking at things by years.
  6. snahabed macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2002
    New York, NY
    I agree with you about the lack of Playlist organization. iTunes has no mode for letting you organize your Playlists. I have a lot of them as well, and it would be nice to have them somehow nested.

    Now, just to clarify, some of the things you want to do are done in iTunes WITHOUT playlists:

    If you want to listen to all Pink Floyd, you can either 1) enter "Pink Floyd" in the search bar of the main Library window, and it will filter all songs with that in the title/artist/album/whatever you specify, 2) in the columnar browsing view, just select Pink Floyd in the artist column, then you can select a particular album or "All Albums" for that artist. For this example, iTunes is FAR more logical and efficient than using a playlist.

    To listen to an album in its entirety, just select the album in the columnar browsing view (you toggle between browsing views with the button in the upper right hand corner of the window). Why would you want to create a playlist for an album? iTunes' concept of "Playlist" does not have this in mind.

    To listen to an album in order, just select the album as described above, and click on the row header for "track #" and it will sort by the track # (assuming that info is in your tags).

    Now, iTunes' concept of Playlists goes to your mixtape-type examples. Juxtaposing different songs from different artists in different styles... that is the point of Playlists. And here I do agree that they should be nested. For example, I have 30 or so playlists for my 40-minute cardio sessions at the gym. I have several playlists for different types of moods, some for "dancin," some for "romancin," etc. It would be nice to have the categories show up "Gym" "Party" "Romancin" "Dancin" "Relaxin" etc. instead of having one huuuuge unruly list.

    So to sum up, I agree with your point, but I think a good bulk of what you want is done in iTunes without playlists. It would be way inefficient to have a playlist for each album, for each artist. Ugh that sounds so MusicMatch :) In the meantime, send feedback on iTunes from the application menu.. ask for nested playlists. Maybe in iTunes 5!
  7. ahunter3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2003
    How well will this work on the files where the file name consists only of the track name? (MacOS 9 = 32 char file name limits, remember?). How about the 35% that were created by digitizing my vinyl or my cassette tape recordings?

    Sounds like it might work decently well for doing playback of all the tunes by a given artist. Uhhh...even if the location of the mp3 files themselves is a CD on which they are divided up by album (different folders)? How about if some of the files I want to play are on a different volume than others (e.g., some on CD some on hard drive)?

    In contrast, sounds like it won't work worth a damn if what I want to hear is highly esoteric and involves a cross-genre mix of specific tracks (but not other tracks from same album same artist) played in a specific order.

    Anyone recommend a versatile MP3 player that runs under both 9 and X and lets me do what I want to do?

    (As I said, I tried Cabrio but it flunked. If you quit out of it while it is referencing files on a CD or other removable media then relaunch it somewhat later when that CD or whatever is no longer available, it dies a bad death under MacOS X. And Cabrio for 9 skips and stutters badly in the background.)
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    iTunes only resorts to using the name of the file if it cannot find any better meta data. If you rip CD's using iTunes (or Music Match, Real Jukebox, Grip,...) it can automatically fill in the ID3 tags (on MP3s similar tagging exists for AAC as well) to contain a wealth of meta data: the Artist, Track Title, which album it is part of, the track number and year at a minimum. Most MP3 players use this data in preference to the file name. It sounds like you do not have any tags in your files which will be a problem. I would recommend ripping any new files with tags. If you have the time and inclination you could go back and add them!
  9. slowtreme macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2003
    Tampa FL
    The Genre/Artist/Album selections do exactly what they suggest. Even when Music is spanned over 1, 2, or 10 drives. Any File with the Artist ID3 tag of "Kansas" is going to be listed when you select Kansas in the Artist name... even if it's mislabled. Alternatively, if you have a lot of files that don't have correct information, like when you record an LP :confused: you can select (click) them all at once, go to the info tab, and give them a common Artist and Album name.

    Sorting and Auto play lists are not supposed to create esoteric lists that play music in a specific order, that is when you make a play list. But if you just want to group a bunch of songs that don't normally go together, you can use the comment fields and make Auto Playlists that look for specific comments on the fly.
  10. ahunter3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2003
    OK, I think I've got what I needed.

    I found a link to a program called Audion and it works nicely under MacOS X and MacOS 9, using the same playlists which, like SoundApp playlists, are files, and those files can be opened by either version.

    I'll keep iTunes X around just to access the Music Store. (Maybe I'll buy something there some day).

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