Itunes- copying songs and recognition of songs

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Kristina85, May 19, 2013.

  1. Kristina85 macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Hello guys,

    I have a 30GB library with music. Once I imported all this library into itunes with the option "organize my music"...honestly, it was a mess (also becaue of the fact that a lot of songs Itunes could simply not recognize...songs from various countries around the globe) + I like my organization that i have on my hard-drive...all orgnized neatly, I want the same structure in my itunes.So this time, I am doing it from scratch but without "keep Itunes folder organized"

    And have a few questions i could not figure out even after googling for answers:

    1. Copy files to Itunes Media folder when adding to library

    Basically here I only want to know what would be the implication if I don't use this. I.e. I will leave my music where it currently is on my hard-drive (C:/Musika). I understand that once I import the songs, Itunes doesn't really care where the song are. I.e. it is probably not necessary to "copy the files into Itunes Media folder".
    But if I have it this way (i.e. outside the indiginous Media Folder which Itunes uses), will there be any issues later say with backing up my itunes?
    Or say I buy a new laptop and want migrate all of that to a new disc?

    And is the capacity to recognize songs etc. influenced or reduced if I don't import (including the copying of the songs) into the Itunes Media folder?

    2. Automatically download album artwork option + Share details about your library with Apple.

    Okay, I am manually importing one folder after another, making sure it's properly organized by artist, name of songs, and album. It seems that Itunes is however often not capable of recognizing my songs..or recognizes them weirdly. Whout using the above function help me solve the problem? Or how to go about this in general. So far I had to manually find the image of certain CDs that were not recognized...I download the image from the web in jpg format, then linked it with the proper album..etc. You can imagine how much time this takes. I am looking for ways to increase the capability that Itunes recognizes as much as possible. What do I need to do?

    Also, what happened to me with a fair known title: Air (band), Walkie Talkie (album). It imported in such a way that all songs were named Air, and the Artist took the names of each individual song..i.e. completely the reverse. Of course changing his manually was a pain. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?
    (you should know that my songs come from all over the place...some are copied from my CDs, some I got from friends, some on the internet, some are bought...etc.)

    3. Itunes Media folder location
    If I change that, does this have any impact whatsoever at the functionality? (should not..but with this software, one never knows).

    Guys I'll appreciate your feedback. Thanks.
  2. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    You're on the right track. IIRC

    #3 iTunes Media Folder Location should not matter if you do NOT have iTunes organize and copy.

    #1 Most of your assumptions are correct. The reason that iTunes is having trouble is that your music files probably don't contain most of the metadata needed. I've spent many many hours over that past 10 years helping PC users fix their music library. Many PC ripping apps available in the last 15 years didn't always fill in the metadata, or at least fill it in correctly.

    The problem arises when a PC ripping app just uses the track-song-artist-album info in the file name rather than adding it to the metadata. This method works fine in most PC music apps bc those apps are file based. Like Windows Explorer navigates around the file system. This caused many of the older PC rippers to not include metadata. Some of the ones that did, didn't do it well. (I still have a few songs in my library where the song name is limited to 32 characters in length, bc lazy/bad app programmers.)

    If iTunes can't recognize a song, it's bc that song has little or no metadata.

    iTunes is a database designed music player. iTunes need all the metadata to work its best. If your files have the correct metadata, and iTunes is set to organize, it will sort all the songs via artist/album/songs.

    There are some free PC apps that will help you tag all your files with proper metadata.

    Back-up - if you set up things like you suggest, not having iTunes manage your library, then you will want to also back up the itunes folder which should have IIRC .itb and XML files. Those files contain the database of all your music as well as playlists and star ratings etc....

    I'll try to get back to this post to cover part 2 soon.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Kristina85 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Thank you, this helps tremendously.
    So basically whether I have my music in Itunes folder or not...i.e. whether I copy them or not, it doesn't matter (i.e. the location on the hard-drive is irrelevant). It's just a question of whether the files themselves contain the my case, it seems that many don't: -(. I am doing thus a lot of manual work here. Unfortunatelly.
    Did I also understand it correctly that I won't have any problem with setting up my Itunes folder again the way it is now once I migrate to a new computer? (i.e. the position of the files on the hard-drive, again, doesn't matter as long as I keep the structure on the new hard-drive the way I have it here....i.e. c:/musika is all my music + Itunes knowing where they are located).
    Thank you!!!!!
  4. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    Most of what you said is correct, the only thing I'm unsure about is if you use a different user name on the new computer. If you use windows migration tools, I assume it will be fine. If your user account is Kristina85 on your current computer and you use a user account named Kristana or Kristina87 on the new CPU, I'm not sure what will happen.

    #2 artwork

    iTunes can be inconsistent on finding artwork and the causes can be hard to figure out.
    "Beatles" and "The Beatles" both show up under Beatles in iTunes because the database protocol ignores the words "The" and "A" preceding an artist name. At the same time, these files could be sorted in different directories/folders. One for for artists tagged "Beatles" and another "The Beatles"

    Unfortunately sometimes iTunes cover art search is restrictive sometimes and fails.

    For a real world example:

    What is the correct and consistent name of (The) Allman Brothers Band? Most of the itunes albums use the word "The" in iTunes but its not on some the original records.

    Some "The Allman Brothers Band" find correct artwork but others need to be renamed to just "Allman Brothers Band"

    It's all confusing but there are some great free PC apps that can fix your files, the name of the most prominent one escapes me.

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