iPod Playlists instead of folders

:: ultranol ::

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 5, 2006
21
0
Hello everybody.

I was thinking about getting an iPod for a while, but as I researched about the subject something really freaked me out.

The thing is: I mantain my MP3 collection under a highly customized folder organization. Something like this:

mp3s/Blur/albums/(1991) Leisure/...
mp3s/Blur/albums/(1993) Modern Life Is Rubbish/...
mp3s/Blur/b-sides/...
mp3s/Blur/live/released/(1995) Live At Budokan/...
mp3s/Blur/live/released/(1999) Bustin' + Dronin'/...
mp3s/Blur/live/bootlegs/(1999.03.15) Hippodrome, London, England/...
mp3s/Cake/albums/(1998) Prolonging The Magic/...

Then I figured that all iPod uses to catalogue the songs is the ID3 information from the songs' tags.

My tags are properly filled, but I chose to put there the original information about the song, like, if there is an MP3 of a song that is part of a bootleg (a live version of a studio song), I put in the ID3 tag the information from what album the song originally is. So, if I would like to listen to a specific bootleg I will have no option: all songs from the same album would be under the same "folder" inside iPod, no matter what folder it originally was in my computer.

I searched a lot of information about this issue and someone said that I could compensate the lack of folder categorization with playlists. I could create a playlist for the desired bootleg and then all the songs would be logically united in that piece of information.

Is this right? I'm sorry if it seems that I'm beating around the bush here, but it seems that very few people are such a nomenclature-freak like I am.

If this is right, is there a program that automatically reads folders and create playlists?

Thank you very much.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
974
New England
You could use the Grouping tag in iTunes to help in your quest.

Overall iTunes+iPod works best when you let it do what it is good at and give up some control.

Another option for you would be to run Rockbox on your iPod and skip iTunes and copy over your folders as is.

B
 

theBB

macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
2,453
3
:: ultranol :: said:
I searched a lot of information about this issue and someone said that I could compensate the lack of folder categorization with playlists. I could create a playlist for the desired bootleg and then all the songs would be logically united in that piece of information.
Yes, you could either manually create playlists to include any songs you want. The advantage of the playlist is the ability to have a song included in more than one category or playlist without actually duplicating the song if you were just using folders.

You could also use smart playlists if your ID3 tags are as well organized as you say. You can just tell iTunes to put together all of the songs that fit (or does not fit) a certain number of criteria including albums, songs, artists, format, date etc. into that smart playlist automatically. I am pretty sure you'll be satisfied with iTunes playlist capability. You can still keep on storing your regular folder method, just make sure iTunes does not "copy songs when added to Library" in Preferences->Advanced.
 

:: ultranol ::

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 5, 2006
21
0
balamw said:
You could use the Grouping tag in iTunes to help in your quest.

Overall iTunes+iPod works best when you let it do what it is good at and give up some control.

Another option for you would be to run Rockbox on your iPod and skip iTunes and copy over your folders as is.

B
OK, thanks for the info. I looked at the Rockbox page, it is some kind of new OS for the iPod, isn't it? I would have to format the iPod and put this software to manage the iPod instead of the original one.
 

:: ultranol ::

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 5, 2006
21
0
theBB said:
Yes, you could either manually create playlists to include any songs you want. The advantage of the playlist is the ability to have a song included in more than one category or playlist without actually duplicating the song if you were just using folders.
Well, this is nicer than I thought. I often choose to not include some MP3s in some folders just because they are already in another folder (like, when a song is released two times in different albums).

theBB said:
You could also use smart playlists if your ID3 tags are as well organized as you say. You can just tell iTunes to put together all of the songs that fit (or does not fit) a certain number of criteria including albums, songs, artists, format, date etc. into that smart playlist automatically. I am pretty sure you'll be satisfied with iTunes playlist capability. You can still keep on storing your regular folder method, just make sure iTunes does not "copy songs when added to Library" in Preferences->Advanced.
If I download iTunes and let it manage my MP3 collection for a few days, will this software simulate the "iPod view" over it? I mean, are the way songs appears on iTunes and the way they will appear on an iPod the same?

Thanks!
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,239
4
they appear pretty much the same. in playlists you don't get the full info, just the track name.
 

:: ultranol ::

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 5, 2006
21
0
PlaceofDis said:
they appear pretty much the same. in playlists you don't get the full info, just the track name.
If the playlist name appears on the top of the screen (like a folder name), it sounds great. Does it?
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
974
New England
:: ultranol :: said:
If the playlist name appears on the top of the screen (like a folder name), it sounds great. Does it?
It does, unless you set your iPod to display the time there as I do, in which case it vanishes after a short while and is replaced with the time.

B
 

:: ultranol ::

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 5, 2006
21
0
balamw said:
It does, unless you set your iPod to display the time there as I do, in which case it vanishes after a short while and is replaced with the time.

B
Sweet! It will do the trick. :)

The only thing is to know if there is any software that creates playlists automatically based on folder names and files inside, or something like this.

Thank you!
 

Carl Spackler

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2005
320
0
Outer Space
balamw said:
Overall iTunes+iPod works best when you let it do what it is good at and give up some control.
I used to hate allowing iTunes to control the the way music was kept on my computer, as I thought it was nothing but a huge mess. Then I did a little investigation an discovered the power of the "Compilation" option. Now, I see its majesty. The only downside is you may have to spend a little time, at first, making sure your songs are all properly labeled.

You should seriously give it a try. I rarely go into the Music folder on my Mac, instead, I jut interface with it through iTunes.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
974
New England
Carl Spackler said:
Then I did a little investigation an discovered the power of the "Compilation" option.
The Compilation tag has its downsides too.

Occasionally Gracenote will tag greatest hits comps by a single artist as compilations and so when you are looking for a file in the filesystem, it can be quite annoying to not find the GH album where you expect it. :p

B
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,239
4
:: ultranol :: said:
Sweet! It will do the trick. :)

The only thing is to know if there is any software that creates playlists automatically based on folder names and files inside, or something like this.

Thank you!
there are Smart Playlists that will create individual playlists based of a variety of critera that you specify.

also if you're on a Mac and using iTunes you could probably find an Apple Script to make things easier.
 

Counterfit

macrumors G3
Aug 20, 2003
8,201
0
sitting on your shoulder
balamw said:
The Compilation tag has its downsides too.

Occasionally Gracenote will tag greatest hits comps by a single artist as compilations and so when you are looking for a file in the filesystem, it can be quite annoying to not find the GH album where you expect it. :p

B
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