iTunes inner workings? Please explain.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Bricawajen, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. Bricawajen macrumors newbie

    Bricawajen

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    #1
    The more I work with iTunes, the more I am figuring out how the inner workings seem to function, but I haven't been able to find any instruction from Apple that further explains what I am wanting to know. I'lll give you a scenario to help you understand.

    I recently ripped an audiobook (22 CDs) and from past experience, I always check to make sure that iTunes is finding the correct info to go along with each disc prior to ripping. Durung the ripping process, I decided to check where they were getting saved to. I then realized that even though the CD info for each appeared the same, their save locations were slightly different.

    Upon examination, I found that some of the discs were ripped as a "compilation" and some weren't (dunno why). Well, that in itself means that all 22 CDs weren't in the root of the iTunes Library/Music folder. Granted, this isn't a big deal, just a pet peeve of mine that all the audiobook files for this book aren't together. The fix was to go into iTunes and highlight all the tracks and then go to "Get Info" > Options and change the "Compilation" option to NO. iTunes is then smart enough to move them to the same folder as the other tracks that weren't ripped as a compilation and then delete the empty folders that were left over. Thank goodness!

    This leads me to the question, which I'll try to make coherent.
    How does iTunes determine the save paths for tracks, given the criteria gathered about a CD?
    My example involved CDs that were thought to be a "compilation", so the tracks were put into the iTunes Library/Music/Compilations folder.

    Any ideas? Further clarification concerning iTunes methodology would be greatly appreciated, thanks.:)
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #2
    That's why I prefer to manage the location and structure of my music files, rather than letting iTunes do it for me. It has taken many years to build my music collection and I didn't want iTunes screwing up my folder/file structure. You can manage it yourself simply by unchecking the following boxes in iTunes Preferences:
    iTunes > Preferences > Advanced > organize & copy checkboxes.PNG
     
  3. hexonxonx macrumors 601

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    Denver Colorado
    #3
    The problem that you are seeing is in how people who ripped CDs to begin with, reported them to the database that iTunes is using to retrieve the information. This isn't a fault in iTunes, just that someone who originally ripped the CDs and uploaded the CD information allowed the information to be reported as a compilation while other CDs in the book were reported as another genre.
     
  4. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

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    Mar 19, 2003
    #4
    It's pretty easy actually. You've sussed out the compilations tag, so those are put in music/compilations/ALBUM NAME/track number track title

    Other music is put in music/ALBUM ARTIST/Album title/track number track title (If there is an Album Artist tag entry). If there is no Album Artist listed it defaults to the Artist tag. If there is no Artist tag, it is listed under music/Unknown Artist/Album (I think anyway, I don't have any tracks without an Artist tag). If there is no Album Artist, Artist, or Album info, it goes to music/Unknown Artist/Unknown Album. If there is no track number is in the tag, it omits that from the file name. If there is no track number and there are two tracks in the same album with the same title, a number is appended to tracks (title, title 1, title 2, etc.)

    When importing a disc the media kind tag is set to Music, but after you import it you can change that in the Options tab, you can set it to Audiobook, Voice Memo, Podcast, or iTunes U. This will put the track in (for example) iTunes/Audiobooks/... (from there it follows the same pattern as Music).
     
  5. Bricawajen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Bricawajen

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    #5
    Thanks,

    Great, that is a good start to cleaning up and maintaining what I have. Thanks a lot for your help so far.

    ----------

    GGJstudios, If you don't "copy" the music into the iTunes library when ripping CDs, where do the MP3 get stored. Hopefully this isn't a stupid question, but you lost me there.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #6
    I rip them into the music folders I've set up. Then I add the new folder(s) to iTunes. Rather than have iTunes copy from one location to another, I simply have iTunes use the original files where I put them.

    My music collection is organized in folders by genre, then by album artist, then by album, then by tracks. I have other organization methods that make sense to me, but iTunes wouldn't organize things nearly as cleanly as I do.
     
  7. Bricawajen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Bricawajen

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    #7
    Mac or PC?
    What do you use when you rip them off the CD, out of curiosity?
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #8
    Mac. I use iTunes to rip CDs. When you rip it, iTunes puts it in the library folder specified in preferences, but not in the sub-folder structure I have. I move it to the proper folder and rename the files according to my liking. Then I add those to the iTunes library. Much of my collection was ripped with other software over many years. Some was also ripped from vinyl.
     
  9. tootall macrumors regular

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    Apr 17, 2011
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    Quebec, Canada
    #9
    When I used to have a "Creative Labs Juke" MP3 player (with a monster 10 gig drive! :) ), my MP3's were organized by folders like data files: Each artist had a folder and subfolders were created for the albums. I like this organization.

    Now with iTune, I still use the same setup in a special directory on my hard drive but I copy all my folders in iTune (simply by dragging them to iTunes icon). I realize that I am wasting disk space (don't really care have a 2TB) but this way I can have iTunes play with the organization without messing up years of ripping...

    Does that sound reasonable?

    Edit: GGJ beat me to it... I guess we are doing the same thing...
     
  10. Bricawajen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Bricawajen

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    #10
    Sweet. Next time I rip a CD I'll try it your way and shut off the two preferences in the import options and add them manually. Thanks.

    I'm running iTunes on a Mac too, I think iTunes runs better on a Mac than a PC, of course, why shouldn't it? Anyway, I wish there was an instruction book you could get form Apple. I'm sure Amazon has a book on how to use iTunes to it fullest potential.
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #11
    You don't need to copy your existing folders. For example, I have a folder called "/Users/Shared/iTunes Music", which contains my music collection (well, part of it). I simply go to iTunes > Preferences > Advanced and select that folder as my iTunes Media folder location. Now iTunes uses the existing files without copying them.
    iTunes runs fine on Windows, as well.
    http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/
     
  12. Bricawajen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Bricawajen

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    #12
    Thanks Tootall, I like that idea too. Makes organizational sense and keeps the original MP3s safe. Thanks,
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #13
    You can still use the original files. Just keep backups. I have my music library backed up on 4 drives. It took decades to build. I don't want to risk losing it.
     
  14. Wolffie macrumors regular

    Wolffie

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    Sep 6, 2008
    #14
    I blame those who submit to Gracenote and CDDB.

    iTunes asks me if I want to import CD and I say no.
    Check the CD info then import.
    I have a pop addiction and I HaTe TiTlEs LiKe ThIs!
    They must have editors the past two years, cause it is getting better.
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #15
    I'm very particular about capitalization and consistency in naming, as well. I've found that Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes is a great resource for managing your iTunes tags and files.

    Here are a few scripts that I've found particularly useful:
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    That happens to me as well, I don't understand why iTunes does this incorrectly and inconsistently. I had a 2 CD set, and the first CD was ripped and put in its own folder, but the second turned into a compilation. Same artist same music - odd.
     
  17. hexonxonx macrumors 601

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    #17
    It's not iTunes doing this. iTunes gets the information it uses for the metadata from either Gracenote and CDDB. It doesn't use it's own music store to get the info.

    How Gracenote and CDDB get their information is from people who rip the CDs using ripping software which then reports that information to those two databases. Some people are lazy and just report what the ripping software thinks is correct even though some are labeled as compilations and some are not. This is what is happening to the OP.

    If I remember correctly, I once ripped Led Zeppelins Physical Graffiti album. One CD was labeled correctly and one was listed as a compilation. Some dummy in the past ripped those two CDs and reported them that way to the databases and it had not been corrected when I ripped my discs using iTunes. iTunes doesn't allow a person to report these corrections to the databases so some of these errors never get reported and corrected.
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #18
    Actually, "Part of a compilation" shouldn't be used at all, except in very specific cases. If all tracks have identical information in the Album and Album Artist fields, it will be treated as one album, with no need for the compilation tag. The fact that iTunes does this is one more reason why I prefer to manage my music myself, rather than leave it to iTunes, Gracenote and CDDB.
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #19
    I don't rip too many CDs anymore, in fact I usually buy my music via iTMS so its really less of an issue for me now then before.
     

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