Making a Mixtape with iTunes
February 11, 2015 8:26 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to make a (somewhat belated) 2014 "Mixtape" to share with friends. I have a Mac-centric home network, but I'm getting frustrated trying to simply do the following: 1. Create a playlist 2. Order the playlist and change album artist etc so it will show up as a various artists album 3. Export the songs.

I've copied the files to another computer, but many of those songs exist there as well, so if I change things in the playlist after importing into iTunes, then the original songs get changed too.

I feel like I'm missing something obvious here, but googling hasn't helped much, I'm pretty close to installing another music manager on my laptop just to get this done.

I've seen this AskMe, but following those steps messes up the existing songs.
I'm still running Snow Leopard, and iTunes is currently on iTunes 11.4
posted by sauril to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I just did this. I don't think I did it the best way, but it worked.

Dragged the songs out of the playlist window into a folder in a different location. This copies them. If I were smart, I would have then re-named the files to add "01", "02", etc. in the playlist order.

I ended up re-encoding them with Audacity so I could then re-import the copies as new songs into iTunes, and then editing the album info from there, making sure to add the track order information. The re-encoding bit is where there HAS to be a better way, but I haven't found it yet. Basically I just opened them and re-saved. Maybe you could edit the id3 tags of the copied files with an external editor so they would just re-import as new songs? I didn't spend more than 5 minutes looking for software to do that.

Ask if any of this was unclear. I look forward to hearing other ideas.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 9:12 PM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

You may already know that songs within playlists are just 'aliases' of the original songs. Can't change one without changing the other.

You could create a 2nd iTunes music library on the HD and copy those songs to modify in there.

Trying to understand why you need to change the album info of each song? You'll self-describe the 'Various Artist Awesome Mixtape' on the playlist title.
posted by artdrectr at 9:24 PM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

jeweled: I had considered both these solutions, but don't have audacity, and creating a whole new library seems like overkill.

artdrectr: Maybe I'm overthinking this, but I'm trying to export the playlist so I can send it to friends. Playlist titles don't go with the songs when you copy them out. I'd like my friends using other music software to get the package, artwork, etc...
posted by sauril at 9:51 PM on February 11, 2015

When I wanted to do this, I made the playlist, burned it onto a cd, and then reuploaded that cd onto my computer. That let me mess with the mix without messing with the original songs (giving them all a new album name, etc). It's probable this is not the best way to do it (you probably lose some quality), but it was the easiest solution for my technology-challenged self.
posted by tan_coul at 10:02 PM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Audacity is free to download.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 6:06 AM on February 12, 2015

When I want to do this I just create a duplicate copy of the files. It takes like ten seconds.

Create a folder on your desktop, or wherever is convenient. Copy and paste the songs you want to be on the mixtape into this folder -- you can copy from Finder or iTunes. Now import that folder into iTunes.

This gives you duplicate copies of the files (they refer to different files on your computer) that you can tag, add art to, etc, without messing up the original files. When you're done you can just delete them from your library.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 7:11 AM on February 12, 2015

Kutsuwamushi - I did that! I even copied them over to a different computer, but it didn't work.

I think I will try that again.
posted by sauril at 4:06 PM on February 12, 2015

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