My music is in ruins!
July 31, 2006 12:41 AM   Subscribe

Having read this thread, I downloaded several *awesome* box sets... but then I download Itunes which resulted in this annoying problem. What can I do?!

Basically I just hate having eighty trillion artists listed when half of them only have one or two songs. I know that to find the boxsets you have to sort by albums, but this still frustrates the hell out of me, and seems counter-intuitive. Also note: I have an iPod, despite being a former winAmp user. Oh, and if an automated solution is possible for untangling this mess..... well then, an extra helping of desert for you! Thanks people!
posted by rosswald to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
i'm not sure what you're actually asking. what is your optimal scenario?
posted by SeƱor Pantalones at 12:46 AM on July 31, 2006

Response by poster: the way winamp worked just seemed more elegant. Basically I just want to be able to view the boxsets, alongside the artists of whom I have full albums. This way I would always be looking at a complete album. Does this make sense? I just dont care that I have one song by the ravenettes, or the supremese, and would rather replace all of those entries with just the actualy boxset album itself
posted by rosswald at 12:56 AM on July 31, 2006

Honestly, it's still not clear to me what you want. You want to see the tracks from your box sets listed by the album or box set they're part of? In your iTunes library? And you already know that

"to find the boxsets you have to sort by albums"

but that frustrates you in some way? Why?

You can sort the iTunes library by all kinds of things, one of them is Album. iTunes has reorganised your files on the hard disk, not in the iTunes interface itself. Do you use the hard disk to find music and play it? If not, why the frustration?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:00 AM on July 31, 2006

Best answer: MusicBrainz. Run it to tag all your mp3s. It will also move/rename files. Exact procedure to fix the problem ON YOUR HARD DRIVE (if this is the path you wish to take) follows. This is to fix your collection and assume you are running winamp and browsing your files through a normal file browser, this is not going to fix anything in ITunes.

Download MusicBrainz / Install / Run Program
Goto View/Options

In General Tab i would suggest 90%, 70%, 50% in descending order.

Goto Naming Tab
Check box that says "rename files when writing metadata tags"
File Format: %artist-%album-%0num-%track
Various Artist Format: %album-%0num-%artist-%track

(alternatively use %album / %artist / %0num-%track to create each album / artist in their own folder).

Goto Directories Tab
Check "Moved Tagged Files To This Directory"
Choose a directory where you want your music to go.

Exit Options

Goto File / Open Folder
Open the parent folder containing all your music.

Click Ok.

MusicBrainz will open your folder and look up all the files. It will then identify what it can and tag and rename all files accordingly. Be patient, this WILL take a long time (5k songs / hour approx). After all the files are cleared from pending goto Unidentified and start going though and clicking "Lookup". When you find what you want click Tag. When you are done goto File / Write Tags. During this process it will also move everything to new folders and sort boxed sets by Album instead of artist. You will end up with a sorted, tagged folder full of either folders or files depending on which option you took in my "alternatively" suggestion. Your collection is hereby fixed.

Now open ITunes and select Preferences / Advanced - uncheck "Keep My Music Folder Organized" and "Copy all my files to Itunes Library".

I'm also not quite sure what the problem with using Album Sort in Itunes is, but if you want to "fix" the problem in the linked thread, MusicBrainz is the only automated solution I know of.
posted by sophist at 2:46 AM on July 31, 2006 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I haven't used iTunes in a while, but isn't this what the "compilation" setting is for?
posted by blag at 5:06 AM on July 31, 2006

Why can't you just make a playlist for each separate recording in the box set -- just drag the album title to the column on the left -- then hide the search frame so you don't have to see the artist list?

I think I understand what you're getting at (I would rather have artists on compilations not appear in the artists list, especially on my iPod since it's a pain to scroll through to find what I want) but as far as iTunes goes it seems pretty simple to rectify.
posted by macdara at 5:59 AM on July 31, 2006

Best answer: dude, ignore everything above except for the comment by blag.

FIRST: Select all of the songs from box sets and hit Apple-i. Click the box next to "Part of compilation" and change its setting to "Yes." Click OK. This will take care of the organizational issue, putting all of the songs under the respective albums under "Compilations" in your iTunes music folder.

SECOND: In your Library, click the "Browse" icon in the upper right corner of iTunes. It looks like an eye. That will open the Browse menu. The right-hand list in the Browse menu will be a listing of ALBUMS in your library. Select the album you want to listen to. Enjoy the dulcet sounds.
posted by The Michael The at 7:07 AM on July 31, 2006

Response by poster: Hmm, the compilation thing might work. Ill check it out!
posted by rosswald at 8:08 AM on July 31, 2006

I would still really like someone to explain what the problem is. I still don't get it.

Is is about having the compilation/box set collapsed to one line in the iTunes listing, i.e. you just see one line for the whole thing, not a track list featuring all the tracks? Or is it really about the directory structure on the disk?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 12:59 PM on July 31, 2006

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