Idea for iTunes - opinions?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jonat8, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. jonat8 macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2004
    United Kingdom
    I'm cataloguing my music collection onto iTunes at the moment and thought of an idea for an iTunes update that would be useful to me.

    Basically, it's aliases for songs. For instance, let's say I have all the non-collection/compilation albums from Artist A imported into iTunes. But then I buy say the Greatest Hits of Artist A because of a bonus track or whatever. To save space I don't import the songs I already have. But then the Greatest Hits album is technically incomplete, although I already have the songs contained on it. So if I wanted to burn a CD of the Greatest Hits for whatever reason, I have to know the track listing and drag and drop tracks from the other albums. A bit awkward. I could import all the tracks from Greatest Hits but this is a bit wasteful of disk space given the fact I already have most of them.

    But what if you could alias all the tracks contained on the Greatest Hits that you already have so they appear in the list as tracks from "Greatest Hits" but actually link to the file that came off the release album. And the alias'd songs would naturally go hand in hand with the bonus track or whatever that I'd actually imported. It'd save space and make burning CDs and what not much easier.

    What do you guys think? :)
  2. alex_ant macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2002
    All up in your bidness
    This is one of the most commonly requested features for iTunes. It's a nice thought, but the downside is that it would add complexity. This is just one example:

    1) You have Album that contains Song
    2) You have Greatest Hits Album that also contains Song
    3) You delete Song off of Greatest Hits Album, and alias Song from Album into Greatest Hits Album
    4) You later decide you don't like Album anymore, because all the songs you ever listen to are in Greatest Hits Album anyway, so you delete Album
    5) Oops, now Song is gone from Greatest Hits Album!

    I think aliasing would confuse a lot of people and would add unnecessary complexity to the interface. You're not saving very much drive space by getting rid of a few duplicate songs here and there. What is a 128k AAC, about 5MB? Or less? Even on a 4GB iPod, 10 duplicate songs are going to take up barely 1% of the space, and that percentage will shrink as storage space grows. Not worth the complexity I think.
  3. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    So, what exactly would be the difference of just having playlists? Playlists are basically aliases anyway...
  4. steve_hill4 macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2005
    NG9, England
    That's a good point, but what about us fools that are bothered by album art too.

    That's it, go and make the issue even more complex.
  5. GreeneGirl7 macrumors regular


    Mar 10, 2005
    Oxford, England
    The point is that even though the same song was on two albums, you could have it point to the same file instead of importing the file twice and having it on your hd twice.
  6. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    In the beginning I wanted this feature too, but I came to the conclusion it's better to have duplications. In my case, the bands I listen to often don't use the same cut for the "best of" albums, it'll be a different recording, so rather than try to figure out which ones are really exact duplicates would take too much time. A few dups in there doesn't add much size but solves the problem nicely.
  7. NicP macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2005
    i agree with this, although it would be a nice feature, it would add unnessicary complexity
  8. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Playlists aren't listed in the library browser. I only use playlists for iPod syncs and burning discs. The library browser interface is much better to use than the playlist system.

    Rather than an alias for a song, the "better" (in my opinion) option would simply be to allow a track to have multiple sets of metadata. That way it will show up in multiple locations in the library, come up for a different set of searches, etc. But, would have the advantage of not being able to accidentally delete it, and making the interface less combersome, as it would be hidden away in the track info pane. iTunes could display the song data in a context sensitive fashion based on where you are browsing, or what you search for, with a default going to one fo the sets of data.

    So, in your example, a greatest hits CD that you have most of the songs for already, could have the extra metadata on the exsisting songs. Then if you search for "greatest hits" you'll get those results, and it will show the metadata for the greatest hits, but if you are scanning through the whole library it will show the original album it was in, as it is the main set of data.

    It would be nice if there was an option to do this in the 'find duplicates' dialog letting you delete an extra track or merge them together, combining the metadata, taking the highest bitrate (or smallest filesize, based on your preferencese) track and adding the other(s) metadata to it.

    Spotlight makes alias' in any application completely obsolete in my opinion.
  9. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    That was my point. I don't really see what the issue is here...
  10. NicP macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2005
    the way you say it there it dosent sound so bad :)

    I'm always up for more metadata, i'd love to be able to give tracks multiple genres, and for those into classical multiple artists would be great too

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