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Help me organize my music
May 2, 2009 10:57 AM   Subscribe

My music is all over my computer. I'd like to consolidate and organize. I just downloaded Media Monkey and it tells me I have over a 1000 more songs than iTunes tells me I have, my usual player. Why? I have no idea. I don't know what steps to take. I'd like it kept as simple as possible.

I'd also like it as automated as possible. While I have no real preference of music player, I am used to iTunes and I like the iTunes store. That said, if Media Monkey can do it all, I'll switch over. I'm just afraid that if I rename some of the folders or move things around I'll screw everything up. I also would like the folders organized and named after the artist and not, as many of folders are, a series of numbers.
posted by mizrachi to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
MM maybe seeing wma files that iTunes doesn't recognize. Ditto for other formats.

I'd also like it as automated as possible.

Music = "all over my computer" = many hours lost searching and consolidating.

Your best bet is to set aside some time, manually collect your music (rather than trying to rely on some program to do it for you) and then sort them into organized folders. Then in the future you'll know to keep it organized.
posted by wfrgms at 11:04 AM on May 2, 2009


If all the music you'd like to keep is already listed in iTunes then you can have it consolidate your library into a new location. This will copy EVERYTHING to new files, all together in one folder.

Then use the "keep folders organized" preference to have iTunes tag all the files with the names that you've given them, and sort them into folders with the appropriate artist name.

Then use your computer to find all music files NOT in the itunes folder and delete them.

Result: organized, tagged folder containing all music, and no other music files anywhere.

If you use the "copy to itunes while adding" preference, all your new music will end up here as well.
posted by Aquaman at 11:13 AM on May 2, 2009


First off, in your iTunes Preferences, under the Advanced tab, if you click the check box to "copy files to music folder", then anything you add to your Library will be copied to one central location. (It will not erase the original file, so you might have to drop that in the trash to free up disc space.)

Again, in iTunes, File -> Library -> Consolidate Library will pull everything in your library which is currently located all over the place into that central location. If you check that checkbox earlier, you should only have to do this once. (Again, this won't erase the files from where they are, it will only copy them to your designated Music folder.)

Use whatever program your computer has which lets you find music by file type, and do some searches on your computer, excluding your now burgeoning Music folder, and any files that are found, drag them into your iTunes library, where they will be copied into your Music folder, again not erased from where they are found...

A few searches for mp3, aac, wav, you should be all done!
posted by hippybear at 11:14 AM on May 2, 2009


or, on posting, what Aquaman said
posted by hippybear at 11:15 AM on May 2, 2009


It's possible that some of those 1000 missing songs aren't actually songs - sometimes sound effects or background music for games or other applications gets counted in those numbers.
posted by Rinku at 11:33 AM on May 2, 2009


I would recommend against using the iTunes feature. It's prone to messing things up and is not very powerful. Look into programmes such as tag&rename or MP3-Tag which many people prefer.

If you have more than a few tens of thousands of tracks (who doesn't?) doing it by hand - even if they are fairly well organised to begin with - would be masochistic.
posted by turkeyphant at 11:35 AM on May 2, 2009


MusicBrainz was pretty much created to solve your problem. In addition to identifying and correctly tagging files its Picard software can move and rename them according to a schema of your choosing. Although largely automated and accurate, some intervention may occasionally be necessary.
posted by Ictus at 11:48 AM on May 2, 2009


Media monkey can be made to move all the files it finds into one place. First, you want to make sure all your tags are in good shape. THen you can select all your music, right click, and "auto organize files". I use something like d:\my music\\\ - - so that my car player, which does not display the directory, can tell me who is singing this new song I'm listening to, but that all my "various" stuff is still in a "various" folder, not spread amongst every artist on the compilation.</album></album></disc></track></artist>
posted by notsnot at 11:59 AM on May 2, 2009


that didn't work...

Media monkey can be made to move all the files it finds into one place. First, you want to make sure all your tags are in good shape. THen you can select all your music, right click, and "auto organize files". I use something like d:\my music\[Album Artist]\[Album]\[Disc#:2][Track#:2] - [Artist] - [Title] (note that the square braces are actually greater than/less than signs) so that my car player, which does not display the directory, can tell me who is singing this new song I'm listening to, but that all my "various" stuff is still in a "various" folder, not spread amongst every artist on the compilation.
posted by notsnot at 12:01 PM on May 2, 2009


Three steps:

01. Do a computer-wide search for *.mp3. This will result in a list of all your music files.
02. Copy the resulting list and paste it into your One And Only Music Folder.
03. Run the search again and delete all files not in your One And Only Music Folder.

Caveats:
I'm assuming mp3 is your thing. If you have other formats, do the three steps for each. Easier and safer than doing a multi-format search.
Do take a look at the search results to make sure you're not messing around with system sounds.
Don't cut and paste. You want to make sure you don't lose your files if something goes wrong.
It is always a good thing to keep all your personal files in a single location. Easier to backup, synchronise and locate.

I hope this is clear enough. If you want more detailed help, feel free to MefiMail.

Good luck.
posted by Cobalt at 8:13 PM on May 2, 2009


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