Use iTunes to edit ID3 WITHOUT reorganising songs

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by cy0n, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. cy0n macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2009
    Hi there,

    Like most people i have a lot of music and need a decent program to catalogue it all. iTunes seems to be the best candidate though i really cannot stand it's organisation heirarchy.

    I already have my music organised into genre folders of my own but some of it has the wrong ID3 data attached to it. I'd love to use iTunes as a tool to sort these tags out but i don't want iTunes to move or copy any of my music (around 230GB) as i can't afford to lose the space.

    A big chunk of my music are wavs and all MP3's are 320 bitrate (i play professionally). Has anyone worked out a way to do this?

    I also haven't found out a way to tag Wavs, i know that natively wavs dont support ID3 information and someone mentioned a good thing to do is to convert to FLAC which does... but im not sure of an automated way to do this...

    I have a saved library file on my macbook pro (where all my music is catalogued and organised fully with iTunes) which i'd love to migrate over to my PC - (being used as a data backup source) so i dont have to sort all these tags out again. Of course i realise this is probably not possible cue to the differeing locations of data between my MBP and PC, but i wonder if there maybe a shortcut to save me from having to edit everything twice?

    Any and all help appreciated... many thanks in advanced :)
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    iTunes > Preferences > Advanced: leave these boxes unchecked and iTunes won't move/copy/manage your files.
    Picture 7.jpg

    iTunes won't play .flac files. Use Audacity to convert them to .mp3 files. iTunes will tag .wav files just like .mp3 files.
  3. cy0n thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2009
    Great thanks, though if iTunes isn't organising the songs will it definately add the ID3 data and overwrite existing data in my current music?

    But will it save the information onto the Wav file itself.. i.e. if i then played the same wav in Winamp it would be tagged in the edit ID3 tag info menu?
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes. The tags are written in the .mp3 files and move with the file.

    I haven't tested that, as I've removed all .wav files from my library. I did just test the tagging, but didn't try moving the .wav. You can test that part yourself, I'm sure.
  5. cy0n thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2009
    Yes of course... iTunes is still importing all my data which is why i asked, i will test and report my findings... ;)

    You mention you removed all your wavs? What did you replace them with in order to maintain their quality? If you went down the FLAC route didnt it take you absolutely ages, doing them one by one in Audacity? Do you know of an automated method?

    Also for anyone else reading: maybe you could drop a hint on how i might utilise my exsiting iTunes library from my mac to tag music that's common to both my platforms?

    Many thanks
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I never had music in .wav format. I've always used .mp3. I had some sound effects and cartoon sound bites in .wav format, but I don't want those in my iTunes library.
    I've occasionally had albums ripped into .flac format and I can convert a whole album at a time, or as many files as I want at a time, using Audacity. It will export multiple files in one operation. Of course, it takes processing time.
    I'm not sure I follow what you're asking for here. Can you clarify?
  7. cy0n thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2009
    Ok.. ill try to the best of my ability... i will note however that my brain works in odd ways and as such my method for organising music is probably a little strange.

    I have both PC and Mac. I use my mac as my primary reference for working out which music i have purchased. I can only play wavs and at teh worst 320 bitrate mp3s when performing professionally because of the expanse of a club system.

    However i also have alot of other music on my PC which i have downloaded, ripped, been given as promos etc and thats become quite a vast library too. Obviously (like you mentined in your last post) i don't necessarily want all these songs in my library on the mac as it will be cumbersome to store them there (plus i only have 320GB HDD on the MBP).

    So to summarise on the PC i have: All my purchased music (totalling 170GB) and all my other music (totalling around 60GB). My mac just has my professional audio files - 170GB.

    When i buy new music i place into a folder called Unsorted not on CD (this is because i mainly buy from online music stores- Record shops are DEAD now and too much hassle but thats for another discussion :p!

    Its then uploaded to the mac so goes into Unsorted not on CD > uploaded to mac. When burnt onto CD so i can mix on CDJ's at clubs its moved again, though this time out of the parent folder and into my main music library which is organised in genres created by me (e.g. house, psytrance, progressive etc)

    So alot of the music on my mac is obviously tagged and lovely, whereas all the music on teh PC is completely messed up (tagwise), bar my own organising within folders.

    I've installed iTunes today on the pc because im fed up of not having an accessible database where i can see all my music, pro and crappy bitrates alike.

    Of course much time was spent on the mac iTunes library organising everything to my preferences, so i'd like to use/ export that library file and have it tag all the same tracks that are found on the pc, or at least do something that will alleviate me from having to tag all the same tunes again.

    I know this is long but perhaps anyone reading may like to put forward their ideas for sorting out music, plus its a good reference post for myself incase i ever forget my method!

    Btw, the wav tagging doesn't work :(
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I'm not sure why the .wav tagging doesn't work for you. I just imported a .wav and modified the tags and it worked for me on a Mac.

    If you have tagged the .mp3 files in iTunes on your Mac and you copy those to your PC, they will still be tagged on your PC, whether you use iTunes or another app. However, there's no way those tags could be applied to existing untagged music on the PC. For the PC files, you might look at some tagging apps that do automated tagging, but I personally don't trust those to be accurate.
  9. cy0n thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2009
    Can you clarify? You imported from where and did what?

    If you play that same wav in an application OTHER THAN itunes, are you saying it carried over the tag information? Cheers
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, I mean I imported the .wav into my iTunes library. It wasn't in the library before. Once there, I added tag information successfully. I didn't move the .wav to another computer or app, so I can't vouch for the portability of the tags on the .wav files.
  11. cy0n thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2009
    Yeah, thanks for that... i know iTunes allows for wav files to be catalogued, though this is just for reference when viewing in iTunes... i imagine it stores the data in the xml library file?

    Not good as a tag and forget practice though as it means the wav files are always reliant on the software... hence what i meant in my previous post.

    Well thats a good idea to move all my mac music to the pc and just overwrite the existing files... could be risky, could be long, could drive me insane with the amount of replace confirmations i'd have to hit but i suppose its better than leaving all my pc music in its current state...

    Thanks for your posts... :cool:
  12. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    I have some previous personal experience with this, and a quick look at Wikipedia's entry on ID3 confirms it.

    According to Wikipedia (take with appropriate grains of salt), the WAV format doesn't support ID3 directly. The only metadata system in usage for WAV is called Broadcast Wave Format, and it's used primarily for motion picture and television production, where the mastered audio files are often larger than 4 Gb in size.

    I was working on a song a few months ago with a lyricist/collaborator friend of mine, and saved the final mixdown to WAV. I uploaded it in iTunes and "tagged" it. When I gave him the WAV file to do the same on his computer, the Get Info screen did not have my edits, and he had to re-enter.

    Apparently, iTunes saves any information from Get Info for a WAV file to iTunes's Library.itl file only, not to the WAV file itself.

    In contrast, AIFF files will save ID3 with the file.

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