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To iTunes or not...

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Member Since: Dec 11, 2008
Posts: 3
graffitici is on a distinguished road

graffitici is offline
Hi Everyone,

I am a new Mac convert, and I am having some questions as to whether I should convert myself all the way or not. Hopefully you could help me decide!

I have quite a lot of digital music on my external drive that I meticulously sorted by Genre -> Artist -> Album and so on in folders. I know where everything is, and when I want to listen to an album I would just right-click on the folder to play all the files in it.

Now that I have a new Mac, I don't know whether I should import everything as an iTunes library. I am kind of worried that iTunes will somehow screw up everything, either the ordering, or make me lose some files accidentally.

What do you think I should do? Is there a simpler audio player that you can recommend (similar to Winamp I guess), that will allow me to listen to my music as before. Or should I just suck it up and import everything to iTunes?

Any input would be appreciated...
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If your glad the way your music is organized and don't have an iPod/iPhone it is perfectly okay leaving it the way you currently have it.

You can try out VLC media player for playing the music as well.
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Member Since: Jan 03, 2008
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I would personally import everything to iTunes. There are two options in preferences that would affect what you might be worried about.

-Keep iTunes Music Folder Organized
(Places files into album and artist fodlers, and names the files based on the disc number, track, and the song title)
-Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library.

If you uncheck both options, your music will stay in the folders you have them in, and iTunes will just play the music, and not mess with the organization.

Mac4Life (with a PC gaming rig as well)
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Member Since: Dec 11, 2008
Posts: 3
graffitici is on a distinguished road

graffitici is offline
Thanks for both of your replies. I decided to be adventurous and import everything into iTunes. I did uncheck the two options in the preferences, just to make sure nothing goes wrong.

However I still couldn't get used to this new way of organizing music. It's easy enough to search for a certain file using search box, but it is really hard for me to play albums. Before I could just right-click on a folder, and choose "Play in Winamp." Do you guys know if there is any way to do that in Mac? When I right-click on a folder in Finder, I don't see such an option, and dragging the folder to iTunes doesn't do any good at all.

Thanks again for your replies.
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Member Since: Dec 09, 2008
Posts: 6
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You might have to fix the tags on your music since they all may have not been labeled properly. But once you labeled the tags in order you can order your files by album, genre, artist, etc with a single click, search feature, or create a playlist by album artist songs etc. It would be no different or easier than the way you used to do it.

labeling your music can take some time if you have a large library, I haven't labeled them all. You need to make sure the artist names are all the same if they belong to the same album, make sure the track order is correct etc.

iTunes was built with the iTunes store in mind (all the music is labeled/tagged in order) so it'd be sorted automatically. But since we download music from other places we need to sort them ourselves by making sure the labels are in order.
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Member Since: Dec 11, 2008
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graffitici is on a distinguished road

graffitici is offline
Yeah, I don't know if I have the time nor the motivation to label all the tags. I guess for now it's easy enough for me to use the search box to find a specific song, or use the folder hierarchy to locate an album.

I think in the process of toying around with iTunes, I found the kind of functionality that I had in mind. I would just like to right-click a folder in Finder, and select "Enqueue in iTunes." All the songs in that folder should then be added to a certain playlist in iTunes. Has anybody heard of a way of doing this?

I actually started sketching something in Automator, and I almost finished it, but I can't clear out the contents of a Playlist (there is no option of doing that). Do you guys know if there is such an action somewhere I can download?

Thanks again for your replies!
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Member Since: Sep 07, 2008
Location: Shakopee, MN
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If you haven't already, try this. Click on View and select Show Browser (or Command + B). You should see three columns appear at the top of the iTunes folder list. One column says genre, the other artists, and last one says album. From here you can single out songs from a specific genre, artist, or album. I find it a very easy and convenient way to sort through which songs I want to play at a given time.

Of course, the trick is that you need to have stuff properly tagged. I don't know how much music you have in your library, but I have found that once everything is properly tagged in iTunes with all the important information, iTunes is a great way to access all of the music in your collection without having to dig through files in the Finder. I also highly recommend letting iTunes organize your library for you. It's a great way to keep everything in one spot. Plus if you need to make a change to a specific track, you can just do it in iTunes and the change will filter down to the actual file.

Just my two cents. I think this is the best option to get the most out of iTunes, especially if you ever plan on purchasing an iPod, in which case you would definitely want to have all of your music properly tagged.
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