A Few Questions About Some Mac Appz

Stymie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 5, 2007
4
0
Hey guys, I'm new to around these parts. I finally got a Mac a few weeks back but in the meantime, I always followed the news on this website before I ended up purchasing one. This is a great Apple resource for anyone.

Anyhoo, on to a few questions I have concerning a few programs


1. I am not a fan of iTunes. Personally speaking, I think its one of the worst media players and music organizers available. That said, I know how valuable it is to have around if you have an iPod, which i do. What I'd like to know however is if there is an alternative to iTunes available that has similar features to it? I'm not a fan of how the program creates a separate music directory for itself which essentially creates 2 directories with the same files if you happen to store music in your main Music folder; it just eats up hard-drive space. And I don't particularly like how it organizes the songs automatically via folders depending on artists. Nonetheless, I'd succumb to using it if it comes to the point where its my only option.

2. I have an iPod video and I would like to take a few videos I have with me on the go. However, they're saved as .avi files and I know iPod Videos only accept mpeg format. Is there a program available that I can get that will convert my .avi files to the mpeg format?


These are all the questions I have at this point that I can think off the top of my head. Any others and I'll update the thread. Thanks guys!
 

Stymie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 5, 2007
4
0
Thanks mad jew, I appreciate your help. I got another few questions I'd like to ask if you don't mind answering.

1. What exactly do i do in preferences to remedy my grievances with iTunes?

2. How do i reverse it? Currently, I had a my main Music directory re-arranged involuntarily by iTunes into folders, designated by artists. Is there any other way I can undo that and just have all my songs lumped under that one main Music directory rather than having it being collected separately via artists? I'm loathed to go through all of the folders and cut and paste each individual file onto the main Music directory because this, as far as i know, is my only option in order to return things the way they are.

Thanks man.
 

theBB

macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
2,453
3
I personally like the automatic artist based folders, but if you don't:
iTunes Preferences->Advanced: Unclick keep music organized and unclick copy files when added to library options. Then you can keep your own organization and just drag and drop your files onto iTunes.

BTW, if iTunes is the worst, what is better? Windows Media Player? Hi hi...
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,609
408
Redondo Beach, California
I don't particularly like how it organizes the songs automatically via folders depending on artists.
Why do you care about the directory structure. Do actually use the finder or terminal to find files. You should never have to even know that there are artist and alubm folders.

The way to oganize the music is to use "smart albubms" and folder INSIDE iTunes. Also use the little search box up on the upper right.

Same for Aperture or iPhoto. Smart folders and "spotlight". Never even look at how the files are organized on disk.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,704
1,192
New Zealand
2. I have an iPod video and I would like to take a few videos I have with me on the go. However, they're saved as .avi files and I know iPod Videos only accept mpeg format. Is there a program available that I can get that will convert my .avi files to the mpeg format?
QuickTime Pro ($30) can do this losslessly. Apps like iSquint (free) can do it but involve recompression, which is slow and lossy.
 

Stymie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 5, 2007
4
0
Why do you care about the directory structure. Do actually use the finder or terminal to find files. You should never have to even know that there are artist and alubm folders.

The way to oganize the music is to use "smart albubms" and folder INSIDE iTunes. Also use the little search box up on the upper right.

Same for Aperture or iPhoto. Smart folders and "spotlight". Never even look at how the files are organized on disk.
Because I'm not done downloading music. The fact of the matter is, I've music to rip and tracks to download and with no specific directory to save them to (as saving to the main Music folder just defeats the purpose of all those pretty folders that now litter it), there will be no semblance of consistency. Having to actually fish through all the artists and then find a corresponding album folder within the artist folder is just tedious. I'm not sure how big your library is but I've got about 3000 songs from numerous artists. Currently, I have 5 separate "artist" folders for Daft Punk alone. A bit extensive right? They've only released 3 albums so you go figure out how iTunes managed that. Any case, If I'm to download a song from them that does not match up to one of the existing folders, am I now to create a NEW artist folder just for that song? Personally, I say Eff no. But iTunes seems to like to organize in that matter thus I should maintain consistency correct? Maybe I'm still new to this and don't quite comprehend but there's is no doubt that I should care where my music is stored which relates to the manner in which it IS stored.


QuickTime Pro ($30) can do this losslessly. Apps like iSquint (free) can do it but involve recompression, which is slow and lossy.

Much appreciated man! I'll look into getting it! Thanks!
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,530
32
Singapore
i would suggest reformatting and starting again on the ipod. format it as HFS+ to prevent over fragmenting of the drive.

itunes doesnt have a very good way of organising the files on the ipods and stuff, so dont even try looking at the directory structure. its just too hard to use. the itunes GUI is much easier.

i second isquint :), MPEG streamclip is another option

quicktime pro is better
 

bentley

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2005
252
0
If you've got 5 folders for Daft Punk then you've got 5 different spellings of Daft Punk going on. Check for spaces after the name.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,609
408
Redondo Beach, California
Because I'm not done downloading music. The fact of the matter is, I've music to rip and tracks to download and with no specific directory to save them to (as saving to the main Music folder just defeats the purpose of all those pretty folders that now litter it), there will be no semblance of consistency. Having to actually fish through all the artists and then find a corresponding album folder within the artist folder is just tedious. I'm not sure how big your library is but I've got about 3000 songs from numerous artists.
I have about three or four times as many tracks as you. I think I can find any one of them in less then about 7 seconds and I never even look at the files and folders. Example was just the other day when I wondered how many covers of a certain song I had. I didn't know which artists had covered it and certainly not which album it would be on. I just cut and pasted the track title into spotlight and then iTumes listed the four or five cover versions, found some I had completely forgotten about.

When I rip a CD I don't specify a folder, iTunes makes a spot for it "some place" I don't care where.
 

krose0307

macrumors newbie
Aug 3, 2007
18
0
Northern Virginia
2. I have an iPod video and I would like to take a few videos I have with me on the go. However, they're saved as .avi files and I know iPod Videos only accept mpeg format. Is there a program available that I can get that will convert my .avi files to the mpeg format?
I use Mpeg Streamclip. It lets you edit so you can take out intros and credits, and converts to .avi, divx, mp4. It also has presets for your Ipod, which makes things easy. It's not always very fast, but it gets the job done well.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,609
408
Redondo Beach, California
If you've got 5 folders for Daft Punk then you've got 5 different spellings of Daft Punk going on. Check for spaces after the name.
When I find things like that (Bach, JS, J. Bach, Johan Sebastian Bach, Bach, Johan,.... and 50 other spellings in various languages) what I do is select them all into one iTunes "album" then use "edit->select all" and then do a "get info" and in the form enter the name spelled the way I want it. Then when you click OK it makes the change inside the ID fields inside all the MP3 files and also the folder names. It's those ID3 tags that are hard to change without a tool like iTunes that can do mass changes of 300 tracks all at once. I'd never do it if I had to edit one track at a time.

The Graceland database works well for pop and rock genres which is about 1/2 of what I have but the jazz and classical recordings are much harder to organize.
 

kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,186
115
Because I'm not done downloading music. The fact of the matter is, I've music to rip and tracks to download and with no specific directory to save them to (as saving to the main Music folder just defeats the purpose of all those pretty folders that now litter it), there will be no semblance of consistency. Having to actually fish through all the artists and then find a corresponding album folder within the artist folder is just tedious. I'm not sure how big your library is but I've got about 3000 songs from numerous artists. Currently, I have 5 separate "artist" folders for Daft Punk alone.
Erm, are you using iTunes right?

First off, check the box that says "copy files to iTunes music folder when adding to library". This will copy your song to the iTunes music folder and put it in the corresponding folder.

Once copied, delete the original file that you opened. Simple as that.

Add a song into iTunes, let it copy it to the right folder, and you don't have to worry a thing.
 

Stymie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 5, 2007
4
0
When I find things like that (Bach, JS, J. Bach, Johan Sebastian Bach, Bach, Johan,.... and 50 other spellings in various languages) what I do is select them all into one iTunes "album" then use "edit->select all" and then do a "get info" and in the form enter the name spelled the way I want it. Then when you click OK it makes the change inside the ID fields inside all the MP3 files and also the folder names. It's those ID3 tags that are hard to change without a tool like iTunes that can do mass changes of 300 tracks all at once. I'd never do it if I had to edit one track at a time.

The Graceland database works well for pop and rock genres which is about 1/2 of what I have but the jazz and classical recordings are much harder to organize.
I'll look into that. I'm more open to consolidating my folders than having to do anything more extensive. Thanks for the advice man!

And thanks to everyone else who's provided input, not just with iTunes but with the video conversion tools. Appreciate it!