One song, tagged for multiple albums

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by allisonv7, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. allisonv7 macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2004
    I have quite a few duplicate songs on my computer/ipod as a result of having the original album the song was on as well as compilation cd's, soundtracks, greatest hits, etc. that the song is also on. I was wondering if there was a way to keep only one copy of the song on my machine, but have it labeled as being on each record.

    I've searched around a bit with no luck, any ideas?


  2. JeDiBoYTJ macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2004
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Im in the same boat with you there... unfortunatly, I dont think there is a way to do it.

    What I do is just simply make playlists of all the albums, and add all the songs.
  3. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Is it really that big a deal? I think I'd rather keep duplicates than make separate playlists for every album.
  4. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    I agree, sometimes the same song isn't always the same song. I've bought many different versions of the same song by the same artist as I enjoy hearing the differences. Even if it is the same recording, I don't thing you'd be able to get rid of it. It just seems too involved. I think the only way to make it work would be if there was a special id tag in each song to notify your software of an identical song.

    Hmmm, just seems like an unnecessary work around and unless you had 100s of identical songs it wouldn't save you any substantial hard drive space.
  5. K2` macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2004
    i sorta do that.. i do sepearate playlists for Artists... i think the next release of itunes should be able to make a sub-item for playlist so u can put albums... e.g. -

    - Artist (playlist)
    - Alubm (sub item)
  6. allisonv7 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2004
    No It's not really a that big of deal...but I have about 150 duplicates (exact same thing, not studio vs. live, etc) and I thought that there may be an easy fix that I was missing.

  7. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    it would be a nice feature if they could find a way to impliment this in itunes when the song is exactly the same, just on two different albums, the only reason i dont want to have both is because they my playcounts are different the for same song when it should be one playcount, im anal i know
  8. feakbeak macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2003
    I would like to do the same thing. I don't have many songs like this - most of my duplicates are different renditions of a song. I know it is picky, but after you spend any significant time getting all the tags and album art right you starting wanting it to be "just right". Maybe in the next version of iTunes they will have more advanced options for metadata. I wish the embedded id tags were more robust because the iTunes specific metadata can easily be wiped out. This happened when I transfered my music library from my PC to my Mac. I know I might have been able to move the iTunes XML file, but it was a while ago and I'm not sure that would have worked anyway since the file source paths would have been different. Can you export/import the iTunes metadata at all?

    I'd also really like to be able to auto-download album art and lyrics and have it stored in the song file or even within the iTunes metadata. We'll see, hopefully iTunes 5 isn't that far off.
  9. munchmime macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2003
    it sounds stupid...

    but under album in "get info", why not just add each album to it?

    I mean, then when your searching for a song, the song will come up.
    it will come up under artist...

    and when you type in the album name in the search, that song will appear as well. just separate the album with a "/" or a ","

    like [xxxxxx], [yyyyyy]
    that way you can get rid of the duplicates, and just have one copy.
    that's what I do.

    (if thats not an answer, or an option, or that is what you are currently doing, I am sorry for posting, and I guess I didn't understand exactly what you were asking.)
  10. CincoCoates macrumors newbie


    May 11, 2009
    I agree it is a tad annoying. And good idea Munch, but the only problem is when you sync the songs onto an iPod, that will be the Album it shows up in making it a little confusing.

    Go to the following site and tell Apple. Hey, they may listen.. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.

    Hopefully the next version will have the option.
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I initially looked for a similar fix, not wanting any duplicates. I've since found that, along with studio vs live, there are many instances where a version on one album sounds different than on another. Some are extended versions, some acoustic, and various other differences. In addition, it would be a mess, trying to play albums, if track 5 on one album is the same as track 11 on another, since there's only room for one track number per song. I've decided that keeping all my albums intact is more important, so I'm content with my 6,000 duplicates in my library.
  12. Andonios macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2009
    I am in opposite position because of missing multiple album taggin in iTunes.

    I hear about how some of you decided to leave the duplicates because of minor differences, and don't mind having the same or similar songs on your iTunes so your album compilations remain correct.

    Well, Now I have the opposite problem, for years when I was adding CD's and a duplicate song was added because of wanting to conserve disk space i would delete one of them.

    Now, I find years later with the pretty album art work Apple has done, I click to play an album but their are missing songs! How disappointing to me.
    The songs aren't missing off my ipod or iTunes, just off that albums linking to the actual song, since I had in the past deleted the duplicate.

    So image all the work I have to do now, finding the Album song list online, then finding the location of missing song and then making a duplicate of it to add to the album.

    Seems to me, that since playing an album is basically a compilation of songs, why couldn't apple invent a way to link multiple albums to the same song?
    After all an album is basically a playlist pointing to the actual mp3 files.

    If such a solution was added to the latest version of iTunes, that would be great. Seems like every time I go to listen to my iTunes (not often) there is a new version wanting to get installed. I wish the new versions just made listening to my music more convenient rather than make the interface more and more complicated and adding features i know nothing about.
    Thanks for letting me vent!
  13. BayouTiger macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2008
    New Orleans
    I can bump this again since it's still relevant in itunes 10. It would be nice to be able to create a Shortcut/Alias in itunes that would point to the original, but be listed in another album
  14. LittleReg1 macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2011
    One file - multiple entries

    Why to keep duplicates, you might ask? I guess you've never owned a record album nor care about the historical accuracy of released recordings. For many of us, the integrity of the track lineup of the albums in an artist's discography is vitally important.

    If an artist released the same recording (not a rework, remix, or 'live') on different discs, then there was a reason. (For example, it is just as valid that "Michelle's Song" is on Elton John's "Friends" album as it is being a part of his "Rare Masters" collection.) Why can't iTunes behave like a true database and 'point' to a single sound file from multiple records?

    If all that is important to you is the sound that goes in your ears, then fine. But for a lot of folks, what that song actually is in relation to the album it was released on is equally as important. Why should I have to delete an entry on an album just because I wish to remove one of the duplicate sound files?

    Look at the age of this original post (2005)...what a shame that the geeks that run the tech world are so clueless as to what provides the true value of artistic experiences.
  15. iRickyRocket macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2011
    Isn't that basically what a playlist does ?

    You can have ONE version of the song out there (whichever one you choose), and then make playlists for each of the "albums/records" that the song is on.
  16. Aragornii macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    Are you sure that it can't? Say that you delete the underlying mp3 file for a duplicate track, then when you click on it to play it says file not found and asks you to browse to locate it. Then you can browse to whatever other mp3 you want to be the source file. Have you tried that and it doesn't work? I can't see why it wouldn't.
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, a playlist is quite different from an album. Using playlists would be a very poor substitute for having proper album functionality.
    As soon as you select a different song from a different album, it would simply show as a duplicate of that song. It would not show as part of a different album, because the tag information is different.
  18. LittleReg1 macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2011
    I understand the idea behind one song = one set of file metadata, and I appreciate the default condition of importing whatever is there into the database for a particular file. However, many times the metadata is bad (misspellings, omissions, errors of fact), and it requires cleaning. The key would be to disconnect the files from the metadata, and simply point the database entries to particular paths on the designated storage device.

    Think of it is a series of shortcuts all pointing to the same file.
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You can't do that, as the metadata is stored in the files.
  20. LittleReg1 macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2011
    I certainly can 'do that', and that's why there is such a huge issue when restoring an iTunes database. When you change information in the iTunes Properties tabs, no metadata is changed at all. It's simply how the ITL and XML files store the data for iTunes. Over a period of nearly four years now, I have meticulously gone into iTunes and edited the entries through the tool and not changed any of the metadata in the files themselves. Now, only iTunes has the corrected information, not the files.

    If I were to re-import the files from my storage device into a fresh iTunes, all of those edits would be lost. What this means is that iTunes has the capability of storing its own information about the items in its database despite what the original import metadata provides. This, then, means that if the file path statement were editable the way that the rest of the item information is, then we would be able to point multiple line items in iTunes to a single file stored in the volume.
  21. GGJstudios, Dec 8, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That's not correct. Tag information edited in iTunes is stored in the file. Here's proof, using Audacity, which has no access to any iTunes database information:
    1. Open file in iTunes... shows no Composer tag info
    ScreenCap 12.PNG
    2. Open same file in Audacity... shows no Composer tag info
    ScreenCap 8.PNG
    3. Edit Composer tag in iTunes... shows Composer
    ScreenCap 11.PNG
    4. Open same file in Audacity... shows Composer
    ScreenCap 9.PNG
  22. Carouser macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2010
    I have no idea what your problem on this issue is, nor what you think the solution is.

    If someone has a song which is on two albums, then they can have two files. This is not a problem in practice at all. We're talking about a few MB. It would take the most bizarre library to have a significant amount of duplication so that storage became an issue. It will almost always be a minor percentage of the total library size.

    In other words, there is no incentive to alter iTunes structure to reduce this minor proportion of files and have iTunes point twice to the one referent.

    The other major problem is that it is incredibly difficult to confirm which tracks are duplicated across albums without having been altered in some way. Go look up a popular track on AllMusic. Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' exists in at least 10 different lengths, and a substantial number of those 10 exist in various versions of mastering/production which will not necessarily be indicated to the purchaser (i.e. they are not remixes at all but have been engineered from the master in accordance with the album they are on). People who are 'sensitive to the true value of artistic experiences' might care about such things.
  23. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I completely agree.
    My duplicates comprise about 12% of my library.
    ScreenCap 1.PNG
  24. Carouser macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2010
    1) Any insight as to why this is the case?
    2) Is this a problem for you in practice? Either your device's capacity exceeds your entire library (so you can take it all at once regardless) OR you're only taking a portion of your library at once, in which case you won't be taking 21GB of songs AND exactly those albums which make up 21GB of duplicates.
    3) Do you think your scenario is common enough to warrant restructuring iTunes the way LittleReg1 wants? I certainly don't, but would be convinced given rather substantial evidence.
  25. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    In order to fulfill the OP's wishes, the iTunes database would have to change from its XML-based flat-file-parser design to a more flexible RDBMS (relational database management system), which would keep separate tables for Artists, Albums, Genres, etc., and joining them together with other core tables.

    This could give some speed improvement in certain situations, but would make other situations more difficult. For example: the ID3 metadata system doesn't allow for storing more than one Artist or Album directly in the file. This extra data would have to be stored on the computer or playback device itself; if the database becomes corrupt and the user has to rebuild the collection, the files would still only store one album, and links from other albums would have to be restored manually. I analyze databases to pay the bills, and trust me, fixing corrupt relational database links is not particularly fun.

    As Ugg has noted, there are often differences in recordings of the same song by the same artist. Even if two different "versions" are from the same studio session, the two albums or compilations may have been mastered with different overall volumes and/or fidelity. Linking one file to two different albums may thus result in rather uneven album listening, even with Sound Check in use.

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