Organize ALL Files like in iTunes?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by milesrhoden, May 30, 2012.

  1. milesrhoden macrumors newbie

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    May 30, 2012
    #1
    Is there some way to make an iTunes for ALL files (instead of just music,) where I can add columns (for more sub-genres and stuff) and do instant searches for anything I put into this library? (Excel searches are NOT the same)

    Really, iTunes is a spreadsheet-style file-manager for music and movies. I want that same spreadsheet-style file-management for anything.

    I want to add new columns so I can arrange by different things I make up. In the Finder, I can't arrange things by genre; there's no column for it. I want to be able to make one, so I can sort that way. I also want many of the same columns as in iTunes, like Date Added and Comments; I use Comments to "Tag" my songs with specific moods or instruments (with a #hashtag like on Twitter,) for use in smart playlists or searches.

    The Finder already knows which programs to use for each file type, so opening a file would be outside this manager.

    Can this be done in Excel (including an instant search bar) or with iWork somehow?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    While it may not do all that you want, perhaps you are missing some of the advanced search capabilities of Finder:
    ScreenCap 2012-05-30 at Wed, May 30,2.00.26 PM .PNG
     
  3. milesrhoden thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 30, 2012
    #3
    GGJ-

    "Genre" was just an example, and it happens to be a pre-fab in the advanced search pane. In a spreadsheet setting, I could insert a column, name it anything at all (like, Age when I first heard it), and then type that date in the same row as the file, the same way I would add an artist to an iTunes song if it didn't already have one. Then I could even sort things by that new category.

    I know I can find anything using the built-in search engine, but it isn't very convenient, especially when compared to the effective and simple design of iTunes.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #4
    You can't even do that with iTunes, as you're limited to fields that already exist. The same is true for managing files on your computer. There's no way to do what you're asking.
     
  5. milesrhoden thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 30, 2012
    #5
    I understand that iTunes cannot add new categories for organizing things. Excel spreadsheets, however, do have this option. I am looking for some amalgamation of the two programs, wherein I can use instant search or add sorting criteria.

    I may have to actually use Excel (or any spreadsheet software) if I cannot find a program with the versatility I am looking for.

    Does anyone know if Excel can be used to manage files and their metadata?
     
  6. schimmel, May 30, 2012
    Last edited: May 30, 2012

    schimmel macrumors member

    schimmel

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    Oct 31, 2009
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    Sweden
    #6

    (This was written before the OP had replied)

    Like the previous poster said, Finder and Spotlight can do a lot more than you may think. Look at all the smart folders and searches you can create. Also, you can add any searchable metadata in any file under "Spotlight comments".

    None of this may be absolutely ideal for all types of files and will not be perfect, as it's a general file manager. That's why there are separate programs, to handle different sorts of data and files with different needs and workflows.

    There are also so called Digital Asset Management programs, which are dedicated to doing what you're looking for. They tend to be made for companies/groups of people, often require server installation etc. You could take a look at the Nuxeo DAM for example.
    Anyhow, Excel and iWork are not made for file handling/DAM/metadata handling, I think using any of that will never be very convenient.

    Personally, I use a variety of tools for different tasks like this. Lightroom keeps track of my images in a splendid way, iTunes does the same for the little local music I have. For other files, I generally use Adobe Bridge or Finder.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    No, Excel cannot manage files at all. Yes, you can create any fields you want and sort by them in Excel, but that cannot be used to manage files on your computer.
     
  8. schimmel macrumors member

    schimmel

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    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    #8
    I don't think that's true. For Finder or iTunes it's true that you're limited to existing metadata fileds.

    Digital Asset Management programs though, have no limits to how they can organize and tag files. There are many open source alternatives.

    I'd also look at Bento (by FileMaker), which is a easy-to-use "home database app", making it suitable for any kind of information gathering/organization. Not sure how it handles files though.
     

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