The current system is a mess.
July 23, 2007 3:39 PM   Subscribe

How can a business organise 1000+ mp3s?

My company has a directory on the shared server containing over 1000 mp3s (one to three minute clips).

Each file is named by a unique serial number.

New mp3s are added on a weekly basis.

At the moment, the mp3s are poorly organised. The current system was never planned, it more or less evolved and has become a monster. To find a file, you first have to go to a spreadsheet, which lists the titles of the clips along with their corresponding serial numbers, look up the serial number before searching for the required file in the directory on the server. This clunky method often falls flat because the directory and the spreadsheet don't match up. Quite often mp3s go missing because someone with the 'wrong' priveleges has cut and pasted them to their own drive. More often, people will complain that they can't find the files they're looking for because either; a: they don't know how to search properly; b: the spreadsheet is too thin on information; or c: the spreadsheet is wrong. Oh, and the whole serial number system changed a while back so that half the files have old-style serial numbers.

I'd like to get all the mp3s tagged -- title, person on recording, date etc... -- and get rid of the seperate spreadsheet. But what I'd really like is a better way to manage these files.

Funds would probably be low. 'Free' is a word I like. I'm not an IT person, so don't get too complicated.

Ideally I'd like some kind of audio database. (I suppose like an industrial strength iTunes). Does such a thing exist? Does that make sense?

In a nutshell: Everyone would be able to access this thing, make all kinds of wizzy searches, be presented with fancy lists, pull off mp3s willy nilly without any fear of tampering with the original files. Some people would have the privelege to ammend the data and files. Everyone would be in love with this system.

Any ideas?
posted by popcassady to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
iTunes will handle that number easily...

And if everyone installs a copy locally you can share the library that way. As long as the MP3s are tagged you are good to go?

What did I miss?
posted by snowgoon at 3:41 PM on July 23, 2007

building off what snowgoon said, you'll need to keep the master iTunes directory (containing the itunes library database files) on a shared directory - like on your network. you then just tell each user's copy of iTunes to use that library file. (on a windows machine hold control down and browse for that library).
posted by uaudio at 3:44 PM on July 23, 2007

...hold control down when starting iTunes and it will prompt you to browse for the library you want to use.
posted by uaudio at 3:45 PM on July 23, 2007

I don't think iTunes is designed for multiple users accessing the same library simultaneously. Go down that route at your own risk.
posted by grouse at 3:51 PM on July 23, 2007

Another problem with iTunes, and ID3 tags, is that I'm limited with the types of meta-data I can attach to the mp3s.

For instance, 'Album' is not really appropriate.
posted by popcassady at 3:56 PM on July 23, 2007

You might be able to use Simplify Media to share the iTunes library on the server. (Recent MetaFilter and Ask MetaFilter.)
posted by kirkaracha at 4:20 PM on July 23, 2007

Tagging is going to take forever.

Dump the spreadsheet into a database, and build a web front end.

Just make sure when u add files, you have a web interface that let you add the correct info to the database, with an upload form that will rename the file and place it in the folder.
posted by mphuie at 4:26 PM on July 23, 2007

Ah, but all you need to do is contract a developer with some scripting ability to crawl your spreadsheet and tag and/or rename the mp3s according to the data in it. Decide on a standard for how the tags will correspond your schema. Then use a daapd-compatible server (I believe that's what Simplify Media is) to share it out to the network. Then you have a read-only store that is searchable.

Who cares if album is appropriate? It's just a field.
posted by mikeh at 4:34 PM on July 23, 2007

You could throw out a basic skeletal file tree structure and map it to end users with Dynamic Library in Winamp for basic browsing/preview purposes, using ID3 for refining a selection.
posted by prostyle at 7:25 AM on July 24, 2007

The GodFather has become somewhat of an unwieldy piece of software but I am certain it can handle the initial mass-tagging job. And it's free.
posted by kepano at 5:32 PM on July 26, 2007

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