Tips to make it less painful to maintain a music library?

Discussion in 'iOS 8' started by Faize, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. Faize macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    #1
    I'm one of those people who never buys music from Apple for reasons that predate the invention of the iPhone - I prefer the Amazon Music Store and other sources that provide MP3s.

    That said, it's always been a PITA to get my music into iTunes in an organized fashion, and from there onto my iPhone, and it's even harder to delete something once it's in.

    Is there any way to make this as easy as, say, Android's copy + paste the entire folder onto MicroSD easy?
     
  2. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #2
    Do you use the Amazon Music app? You can use that to send purchases over to iTunes and organize them. Unfortunately you have to use iTunes to get music onto an iDevice unless you use a service like Spotify where there's a separate app.
     
  3. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #3
    You could use the file sharing feature in iTunes, or something like iMazing/PhoneView and use a third-party app like CanOpener.

    I understand you though. Recently iTunes wouldn't even sync a song to my iPod Touch. Wasn't anything wrong with the file as it synced to my Nano with no issue. I ended up having to restore it and reapply my backup.
     
  4. gordon1234, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015

    gordon1234 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #4
    I'm curious how it's a pain to use iTunes for this. You open your downloaded music in iTunes, it gets copied to iTunes library, connect your iPhone, hit Sync - that should be it. Unlike just dumping music onto an SD card (which of course presumes you even have an SD card slot on your phone - many flagship android devices don't these days), your playlists and other iTunes settings will sync to the music app on your device (and vice-versa.) And you don't need to potentially recopy the entire library when you make changes

    ITunes gets a lot of hate, much of it deserved, but managing and syncing music is its oldest function, and it generally does a pretty good job of it.
     
  5. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #5
    I'm afraid you're going to have to explain in more detail because I'm not understanding the problem.

    You drag the file onto iTunes dock icon and then you make playlists if you want to or simply don't if you're happy browsing for stuff by artist or album.

    At which part is the problem occurring?
     
  6. Faize, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015

    Faize thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    #6
    I don't have a Mac (I'm a Windows user) and I don't listen to music using iTunes either (I use a combination of Winamp, Windows Media Player, and MPC-HC - iTunes is installed solely for the purpose of syncing).

    Those media players all work nicely with Windows' folder structures, in the sense that they automatically create an implicit playlist when I navigate to a folder, do a Select All, and then press Open. All I have to do is put my music into the appropriate folder. Which is common sense regardless of what OS you use, really, unless if you're one of those people who never backs up and just throws things in random places on your hard drive, constantly relying on search to find things.

    iOS, to the best of my knowledge, is not compatible with this system (unlike Android), and iTunes is of no help here either. Rather, I either have to manually reorganize everything once it's imported into the iTunes media library so that it shows up nice and neat in the Music app, or I have to export playlists from those other programs and import them into iTunes. For every folder and combination of folders that I'm likely to want to play at the same time. Yes, I know it's possible to create playlists from within iOS these days, but the Music app's limited and inefficient UI means I waste even more time doing so.

    Either way, I'm essentially being forced to organize everything twice for no reason other than to get it onto my iPhone.
     
  7. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #7
    Just to check, make sure you've gone into iTunes advanced settings and turned off "Keep Media Folder Organized" and "Copy Files to iTunes Library."

    I'm assuming you've done that, but I just wanted to make sure.

    Beyond that, yeah, you're screwed. But I don't really see that it's Apple fault. You're manually organizing music by folder in Explorer and making playlists in three different players and your complaint is that iTunes is an un-needed fourth player?

    Yeah, that does sound complicated as hell but I'd say it was complicated before you even brought iTunes into the discussion.
     
  8. gordon1234 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #8
    So if I have this right, when you want to play music, you navigate to a folder and do a "select all"? That's certainly a "unique" approach to managing your music. I'm glad it works for you, but I'm not aware of any mobile media player on any platform that works that way. Generally you're expected to manage the music from within the app.

    I'm still not sure I understand you're organizational structure. Do you have all your music divided into "playlists" that are in fact just folders? That would seem to preclude organizing by artist, album, genre, as well as basic things like having the same song in multiple playlists.

    ITunes offers a lot of flexibility. You could have it just reference your local files. This wouldn't change your structure, but it also won't import your playlists automatically. Alternatively, you can have iTunes organize the music on its own. It will put it in folders by artist, album. The one thing you can't do is have iTunes automatically convert each of your playlist folders. The best you could do would be to create a playlist of the same name in iTunes, then drag the contents of the playlist folder directly into the playlist of the same name in iTunes. This will be a bit tedious and won't update automatically.

    I'm with the previous poster here. Your folder-based playlists and tri-media player setup is a very unusual way to manage music, and doesn't translate well to mobile on any platform. I'm not sure you're going to find any solution that does exactly what you want (of course if you do, please tell us.)
     
  9. Faize, Feb 10, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015

    Faize thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    #9
    Why would I ever need any of that when I can just go into my music library in Explorer, right click the song I want to listen to, and enqueue the song to the music player using an option in the context menu? I have 100% flexibility in creating a custom playlist with exactly the set of songs I want to hear, every single time.

    This is technically possible to do on iOS as I mentioned above, but the Music app's UI makes it impractical, to say the least.

    The tedium you mention is exactly my complaint about iTunes.
     
  10. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #10
    Because its not 1996 anymore. Modern Media players display song information based on the mp3 ID tag and not the filename. The folder organization method is not practical anymore.

    I may be wrong but I bet a lot of your songs display "track x" and <unknown artist> right?
     
  11. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #11
    It seems like your issues with syncing music to your iPhone at least would be solved if you allowed iTunes to manage your music. You can simply drag and drop your files to the library. Then organize songs into playlists inside iTunes. Then you sync your iPhone and everything is there. Perhaps it's because I've been using iTunes for almost ten years (both on Mac and Windows), but it seems a lot smoother to me.

    If using iTunes doesn't work for you, perhaps you should consider switching to android. iPhones aren't for everyone.
     
  12. Drag'nGT macrumors 68000

    Drag'nGT

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #12
    Like everyone else I don't see how this is a problem. It couldn't be simpler. Additionally, Amazon automatically puts music I get from them in to my iTunes library. It's also very easy to get to since there's a smart album of recently added music right there in my playlists. If you want to manually put the music in to iTunes you go to File > Add to Library (⌘O).

    Once it's in your library it will be correctly displayed, categorized and searchable as the Artist, genre, song, album etc... How is this not insanely convenient? Type in the search bar over to the top right and that searches just your iTunes library for what song, album, artist etc... OR just click on the artists tab and then click down in to their library from there. This is assuming that the songs are all labeled correctly like you get from legit sources.

    If you have playlists created in other programs then you'll have to replicate that just one time in iTunes. This part you'll just have to give up and do. I admit this is a pain if you have a lot of playlists but if you change a file path you usually run in to an issue or two like this.
     
  13. gordon1234 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #13
    As someone who uses both OSes regularly, I can't think of any app on Android that would allow him to do what he wants to do. He could stick all his music on an SD card (although more and more android flagship devices are doing away with the SD card slot these days) and use a file browser app, but that wouldn't let him generate an on-the-fly playlist the way he's been doing…
     
  14. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #14
    I wondered about that, but I've never used android. It almost sounds like OP is stuck in the Windows XP mindset of the file system. Unfortunately it's hard for people who are used to that UI to understand Apple.
     
  15. gordon1234 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #15
    Pretty much. I respect that he has a system that works for him, but it is a pretty dated approach to managing music, and music apps were created specifically to overcome the limitations of this approach. Now he's butting up again these limitations when it comes to music on phones. Mobile devices really haven't taken the folder-based approach to organizing music since the the iPod took over the music market in the early 2000s
     
  16. jkauff macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    #16
    My music library is in folders. I don't use the Apple Artist/Album approach, preferring to have the artist name as part of the folder name. I use two different Windows players to access my library, foobar2000 and JRiver Media Center, because my library is all FLAC files. Unlike iTunes, their library management is very flexible.

    If I want to put some lossy copies on my phone, I convert the files to AAC 256, import them into iTunes, and let iTunes manage them. All my AAC and MP3 files are in the iTunes library, but that's OK because that's the only place I use lossy files. If I also had those files in my regular library, I'd just keep two copies rather than fight with iTunes. Storage is cheap.
     
  17. adamhenry macrumors 65816

    adamhenry

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2015
    Location:
    On the Beach
    #17
    Organizing music in folders seems like way too much work to me. I just leave things in the Artist/Album org. and use playlists to play them. I have all of the flexibility I need. ????
     
  18. andreyirra macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Location:
    Mexico
    #18
    When I bought a Mac I had the Windows mentality. I could simply understand why would I have an App manage everything for me instead of me managing it by using folder organization, exactly as you are doing now.

    Turns out it's smoother if iTunes manages it. Instead of going to a folder and selecting all, you just click on a picture and there you have the same songs you had in a particular folder.
     
  19. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #19
    For the very reason you started this thread. How you handle it is ultimately your call to make based on your priorities. It's far less trouble to go with the flow than to constantly fight against it. It is a change and a bit if a hassle to make the change but it's very easy once you've gone through the process.
     

Share This Page