newfangled mix tapes
September 27, 2005 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Is there a better way nowadays to make people mix CDs, knowing that it's going straight into their iTunes?

If you just burn a regular CD, they have to enter all the track data, which is a pain. I can give a folder of the songs for them to drag into their Music Library, but then they have to import the folder and there's no way to collect the songs in the right order to make a playlist, as far as I can tell. I can design a mix on iTunes online and give them a gift certificate, but it's a little weird to give them money and then force them to buy with it the mix I designed. What else can I do to make it easy for someone to listen to a mix from me in iTunes.
posted by xo to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When you burn a MP3/Data CD, don't you have the option of burning a playlist as well?
posted by alan at 11:38 AM on September 27, 2005

When I burn the mix in iTunes (windows) from an iTunes playlist, the CD contains all the track info.
posted by matildaben at 12:31 PM on September 27, 2005

Um, I don't know how "nice" this is to GraceNote (they own CDDB), but you should upload your mix-CD to CDDB. Every mp3 app that can read from the CDDB, can write *to* the CDDB. So all you do is fix your playlist, add it, burn it, and send it.

When your friend gets it, he or she pops it in and it's all golden.

I think that if everyone did this however, the CCDB would have many more multiple-hits (when CDDB can't tell which album it is because all the track lengths are the same size). And you'd have to wade through a lot of "FRATBOYZ!!!2k5" and "Ultimate Mixtape of My Love" albums... Too bad that Gracenote won't provide a mix-tape central. Since mix-tapes are illegal and all.
posted by zpousman at 12:35 PM on September 27, 2005

Please don't pollute the CDDB with your mix tapes.
posted by Capn at 12:45 PM on September 27, 2005

I'll second odinsdream -- You could burn them a hybrid disc -- 1st session is the audio, 2nd session is the MP3 data. If you put the sequence number at the start of each mp3 file name, you don't need to create a playlist.

You can burn a hybrid disc easily using Toast.
posted by omnidrew at 12:58 PM on September 27, 2005

Capn writes "Please don't pollute the CDDB with your mix tapes."

Is this even an issue? What are the chances of a collision, really?
posted by mr_roboto at 12:59 PM on September 27, 2005

When I burn the mix in iTunes (windows) from an iTunes playlist, the CD contains all the track info.

No, actually, your local iTunes database does.

ID3 tags have a "track number" field. Assign the proper track numbers to your MP3s in iTunes (and don't forget to set the Compilation flag). Then when importing them on another machine, iTunes will sort them in the correct order when you tell it to sort the library or a playlist by album. Presumably other MP3 players are smart enough to do this as well.
posted by kindall at 1:03 PM on September 27, 2005

Actually I have this same problem. I just finished entering all the data from a mix CD, by hand, am, right at this very moment, importing it to my iTunes library. When it's done importing (beebeeBEEp! there it goes) I'll have to reconstitute is as a playlist.

Wait! I should have entered a name for the mix to isolate it as an albulm. Anyway, How can we burn songs to a disk, using iTunes, that iTunes can retrieve the track names? I know it's possible - once, only once, a friend gave me a CD and all the track names were there. I don't know why or how.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:03 PM on September 27, 2005

&artidWhat are the chances of a collision, really?

Actually relatively high; the CDDB identifier for a given disk is a function of the length of the individual tracks (see this page on freedb for the gory details).

Since song lengths are probably pretty evenly distributed, the chance of a collision -- especially on a CD with only a small number of tracks -- is actually pretty high.

See also this FAQ entry.
posted by jacobian at 1:05 PM on September 27, 2005

Best answer: hey Capn, as far as I have been able to tell, gracenote keeps "official" releases separate from "homemade" mix CDs. they don't make the uploaded tracklists from i-tunes and other CD-burning programs available to their general open search. for example i've put tracks by the band "the epoxies" on lots of mix CDs for friends, and i have uploaded those tracklists to gracenote thru i-tunes (so when my friends stick the disc in their computer, they already have the track info right there - as long as their mp3 player can access gracenote/CDDB) and i have never been able to get my tracklists to come up in a search on gracenote's site. so "pollution" doesn't really seem to be an issue. if it was, gracenote would prevent people from uploading their personal mixes - since any search on their site for 'britney spears' would return 500,000 'albums' (or albums plus homemade mixes) containing songs by her. (but if you check, it returns just 329 'albums' - just her CDs, singles, official compilation and soundtrack hits)

and zpousman - i maintain that making MIX CDs (not duping full albums) for friends, one at a time, is totally legit. or did i miss some legislation somewhere? heck - i remember in the 80s maxell used to run contests for "coolest mixtape"...
posted by chr1sb0y at 6:33 AM on September 28, 2005

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