Watch folders in iTunes??

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by peanutismint, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. peanutismint macrumors 6502

    peanutismint

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff, UK
    #1
    One thing I've long missed in iTunes is the ability to auto-import new music as and when I drag it into one of my music folders. Unfortunately, as I keep my music in a few different places (one large folder for my album collection, one large folder for my iTunes and 'singles' collection, DJ stuff, audio projects for work etc...) the options provided to me by Apple don't really seem like they're going to work for me. For instance, if I click 'File>Add to Library' then it's going to take me forever to remember which tracks are new since I last updated, and in which folders; I can't just re-add the entire folder tree as there's a lot of them and I'll probably end up with a load of duplicate entries. iTunes' supposed 'Automatically add to iTunes' folder also won't work for the same reason. I actually can't see how that folder helps; surely people want to automatically add ALL their new media to their media player program? I can't see anybody placing their whole music collection within a single folder called 'Automatically add to iTunes'?!! Surely there's a better way to watch a variety of folders for new media and import it automatically as it's created??!

    Any suggestions??
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    No, you won't. If you have a folder that contains items already in your library and also items that have not been added, you can add that folder to your library and only those items not previously added will be added. It will not add any item that already exists in your library.

    I don't use the Automatically Add to iTunes folder. If I put new music in my existing music folder, I can simply add my music folder again and it only adds things not already in the library.
     
  3. nashmills macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    #3
    I have just tried this and I now have two copies of every song in my albums. It took ages too. What have I done wrong please?
     
  4. peanutismint thread starter macrumors 6502

    peanutismint

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff, UK
    #4
    You're not the only one.... something is wrong here! :)
     
  5. ethana macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #5
    I need this too! Isn't there some Mac app or utility out there that can do iTunes folder monitoring on the Mac, and add that music automatically to my iTunes library?

    This seems like a no-brainer app that is needed.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    No need for an app. Just use the existing Automatically Add to iTunes folder.
    Do you have these checked? If so, iTunes makes copies of every song you add. Uncheck them if you want the method I posted to work.
    iTunes > Preferences > Advanced > organize & copy checkboxes.PNG
     
  7. keaide macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    #7
    iTunes is not designed to work in the way you want it. iTunes is designed to act as your sole interface to your music library. In that way, it is kind of a specialized Finder (the same applies to iPhoto). All tasks you do should take place within the interface that iTunes provides. So the best way is actually to let iTunes manage the folder structure and not mess around with the files in the Finder manually.

    So what you can do it to first drag the new music into its folder destination with the Finder and then from there into the iTunes window (make sure you have unchecked the iTunes import in order to only create a reference to the file location).
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    Yes, it is.
    It's perfectly fine to manage your music files in Finder, as long as you have the appropriate settings in iTunes to allow it. I never let iTunes manage my files. I prefer my organization method more than iTunes' method.
     
  9. keaide macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    #9
    What do you do when you move or rename a file?
    What happens if you change the mp3 tags manually with an external program?
    Or what happens when you add some new songs manually into the folder structure?

    In all these cases, iTunes did never automatically recognize the changes on my computer (not to mention instant updates). And the automatically add to iTunes folder is a mere crutch. Sure, you can work with references instead of importing, but the problems are the same.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    iTunes tracks the change and updates the library to reflect the new name/location.
    That's what I have iTunes for. I have no need to edit tags outside of iTunes.
    I simply add them to the iTunes library, if I choose to.
    It does on mine.
    That works, but I don't use it. I prefer to use my own folder structure and add only what I want to my iTunes library.
     
  11. keaide macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    #11
    Wow, that one really works. That's great. Is that a Mac only thing? I could never make that work with Windows.
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #12
    I haven't tested with Windows, but I suspect that in Windows it doesn't dynamically update when you move or rename a file. If that's the case, then it's a Windows issue and not an iTunes issue.
     
  13. Jolly Giant macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #13
    i'm usually not doing winsloth but you might find iTunes folder watch useful.
     
  14. keaide macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    #14
    Thanks. I have switched to the Mac last month (still learning), so I might not need that any more. As it turned out, Apple's apps are much better on the Mac than on Windows...
     
  15. peanutismint thread starter macrumors 6502

    peanutismint

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff, UK
    #15
    One thing I had to 'learn' when I started using Mac systems about 5 years ago was that, for a lot of their apps (iTunes, iPhoto etc) you had to basically conform to the way the app wanted you to do things, which, coming from a PC background, seems totally retarded. I haven't spent years reading up on how to survive a robot uprising to bow down and be enslaved by software! :)

    So for those of us who like to manage our own music/photo folders and already have thousands of files neatly organised the way we like them, we have two choices - it's the Mac way or the highway!

    I should have known - judging by how badly my brain thinks it wants an iPad 2, what chance do I have at resisting the OS X reign of terror?!!
     
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #16
    That's not true at all. It sounds like you don't know how to use the apps the way they were designed. For example I use iTunes for my music library, but I manage my own files and folders the way I want.
     
  17. peanutismint thread starter macrumors 6502

    peanutismint

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff, UK
    #17
    Oh no, don't get me wrong, I've managed to force all the apps to behave the way I want them to, but I'm just saying it's a bit cheeky of them to make it so difficult.

    Honestly, I know the majority of Mac users aren't really 'computer people', but surely nobody's dim enough that they need/want the apps to manage their music/photo folders for them??! Or perhaps you and I are the exceptions.....
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #18
    It's not difficult and it's not a matter of "forcing" iTunes to let you manage your folders. Just uncheck these two boxes and you have complete control of your files:
    iTunes > Preferences > Advanced > organize & copy checkboxes.PNG
     
  19. peanutismint thread starter macrumors 6502

    peanutismint

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff, UK
    #19
    I feel like you're missing something here - I'm well aware of these two boxes - this is not the issue. If you'll refer to my OP you'll see I'm asking if there's a way to get iTunes to auto-add new music in my music folder to the iTunes library without having to place it into the 'Automatically add to iTunes' folder.

    If you don't have a solution then thanks for your input, now move along ;)
     
  20. keaide macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    #20
    Why would I need to care where the files are physically stored? I can put these administrative burdens in the hands of the app. I know that it will work somehow and that I also get my backup via TimeMachine (which is a fire and forget app as well). Just let them do their things. I only need a convenient interface to enjoy and edit the content on the Mac and the other "i" devices. Why care about the underlying file structure? After all, few people care about where the OS is physically writing the files on the HDD as well. Not to mention all the iPhones, iPods and iPads, which also manage the file level by themselves and we only interact via the app (unless you jailbreak the device).

    But of course, there is the danger of lock-in...
     
  21. peanutismint thread starter macrumors 6502

    peanutismint

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff, UK
    #21
    Haha, what's lock-in?? Sounds like when HAL 9000 wouldn't open the pod bay doors to me ;)

    No seriously, I understand the attraction of fire-and-forget apps; I guess I've been hurt before (*sob) by Windows machines and now I feel that I'd rather manage as much of my data myself as possible so that, should the worst happen, I can be angry at myself rather than at my OS....

    Man, I think I may need some kind of therapy..... :D
     
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #22
    I'm not missing anything. I'm well aware of your OP. iTunes already has an automatic add function that you elect not to use. iTunes is not to blame for that. Instead, you complain that iTunes doesn't do it your way. No software is designed to accommodate the whims of every user. The functionality is there to either automatically add everything to your iTunes library, or give you the option to decide what does and doesn't get added.

    My most recent post isn't addressing that issue, but is in response to your comments that I quoted, which aren't factual.
     
  23. keaide macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    #23
    Part of me still feels that way...

    I'm mostly fine now with iTunes, iPhoto, TimeMachine etc. managing the file structure and doing the administrative tasks on that level, as long as I do understand how it works. So I just import and then use the interface to work with the data.

    Anyway, I can understand your desire for maximum control... but that's what Steve wants to do for you... :D
     

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