MP3 CD Woes
March 12, 2008 7:25 AM   Subscribe

How to burn Mp3 random mixes (not entire albums) into several folders on Macintosh for easy navigation in my car cd player...I used to be able to make mp3 discs of whatever songs i wanted and then place them into folders on my desktop, then burn them to disc. It seems that Itunes only allows some form of folder separation (if any at all) by sorting things only by each group's album. This is not helpful if you want several folders with random songs in each folder...for example...I want one folder with songs by rock groups..another that is jazz...whatever. On the new imac, it does not seem to let me take the drag and dropped mp3s in folders on my desktop to a burn disc icon as it did in my older G4. Any suggestions on software or a simpler way around this? I appreciate your input. When it did work, it worked great and saved me from using a crummy fm transmitter on my ipod. The mp3 cds for me sound much better and are easily disposable if left in car.
posted by snap_dragon to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
It sounds like you need to create "playlists" in iTunes and then burn those.

Sorting your music via files and folders seems like a clunky and antiquated way of creating mix CDs. Playlists will allow you to drag and drop whatever songs you want in whatever order you want. You can even make "smart" playlists which can automatically populate based on criteria like genre, year, artist, and more. You can also populate smart playlists randomly to create mix CDs of random music from your collection.
posted by dendrite at 7:45 AM on March 12, 2008

Response by poster: But I want them in separate folders so I can skip ahead by entire folders. Will it do that if I make smart playlists? I seem to remember trying this on my older Mac with Itunes and it put all the songs in order of playlists but I couldn't skip ahead from one folder (if it made such folders) to the next. (And yes, I do agree that my drag and drop method was/is antiquated and clunky but it was the only thing that seemed to work) ...thanks for your hyper-quick reply.
posted by snap_dragon at 7:55 AM on March 12, 2008

+1 dendrite

Create a smart playlist with criteria "genre is rock," limited to 60 minutes of music, selected at random. Then burn it.
posted by adamrice at 7:56 AM on March 12, 2008

Response by poster: I guess what I mean is that I would have several smart playlists on an Mp3 and not one set list. I think maybe I am not being as clear as I mean to....Can a person make a smart playlist that has breaks or folders because it doesn't look like I burn several separate smart playlists/folders/etc to one disc.
posted by snap_dragon at 7:58 AM on March 12, 2008

ohhhhh I get it - your car CD player actually reads the CD file structure and can skip between folders on the disk. Ok - makes sense how this could be difficult then.
posted by dendrite at 8:04 AM on March 12, 2008

Snap_dragon, what would work best for you would be this applescript called Create Archive of Selected

What this script does take the selected tracks (I use this for playlists that I make - can be 'smart' or non-'smart' and select all the tracks in the playlist you've created, using cmnd+a) and creates a .zip file of these tracks into a folder. Then, All you have to do is just unzip the folders and you're good to go.
posted by fizzix at 8:10 AM on March 12, 2008

Another technique you could try is to organize your music in iTunes using playlists and/or smart playlists. Once you get your music picked out, you can highlight and drag/drop your music from iTunes into folders on your desktop; iTunes will essentially just copy the tracks from it's folder structure into your own folder. Then it is just a matter of burning those desktop folders to CD.
posted by phrayzee at 8:23 AM on March 12, 2008

Create the playlist you want in iTunes, using any method you want.

Create the folder you want to move the songs to. Open the folder.

Go back to iTunes and highlight all the tracks in the playlist. Hold down Apple and drag the songs to the appropriate folders. This will copy all the mp3 files to those folders.
posted by dosterm at 8:23 AM on March 12, 2008

So, your car CD player can play data CDs with folders of MP3s. That means you don't have to use iTunes to burn the cd. Insert the blank CD, and in Finder, just drag the folders of MP3s that you have onto the blank CD's icon. Once that's done, drag the blank CD's icon to the trash, which will turn into a 'nuke' icon. It'll ask if you want to burn the disk, so go ahead and do that. And that's it.
posted by zsazsa at 9:09 AM on March 12, 2008

Dosterm is right; I use that technique with my mp3 player (a Creative Zen without iTunes support).
posted by klangklangston at 10:25 AM on March 12, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks...these suggestions sound like they just might work (!!!)...once i am away from work and at home will try them...thanks MetaGang :)
posted by snap_dragon at 11:34 AM on March 12, 2008

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