Thursday, January 03, 2013

Itunes Idiocy

Microsoft finally "upgraded" (an Orwellian term) Windows Media Player so many times that it finally became useless. So a few years ago I switched to Itunes since Mac controls music now (as I painfully found out when I got an Ipod years back, before that hunk of junk broke in a few months). I'm very serious about my music collection and I was sad to see that Itunes isn't very good. Observe this list:

Things Itunes doesn't do that I really liked from WMP:
A. Enable deleting missing files en masse
B. Very easy to change song data en masse
C. Background process to consolidate and organize the music library.

I've been searching for a long time for simple fixes. Sure, the simplest would be for Apple - for an ironic twist - to copy what Microsoft does well, instead of the vice versa. I could buy third party software, but hell hasn't frozen yet. Recently I got fed up enough that I renewed my efforts to solve 'em with online advice. Here's what I found:

A. Finding and Deleting Files En Masse

I found online advice and it actually worked! How To Remove Broken Songs From iTunes Library It also clued me into the glory of "smart playlists" - which makes up for the very irritating itunes interface. Thanks intertube stranger!

B. Change Multiple Names at Once

You can change song titles, artists etc, but NOT THE SONG NAME. Why can't it be done? Hatred?

So here's my homemade solution which WORKS! Alert!

My solution is to use the powerful search function of Windows 7. I discovered that you can change song data in Windows via "Properties."

For example, I have a lot of bootleg albums of Led Zeppelin (which I've been assured is completely legal). And I want to change the song name from "Moby Dick" to "Moby Dick (Live)"

It helps if you have one Music folder (I did this even though itunes refuses to sort them easily, see below) but I guess it can be done if music is scattered all about.
  1. In the search box (F3) of your folder, I entered: "album:live artists:zeppelin"
  2. sort by song title
  3. higlight the songs you want to change
  4. right click for 'properties'
  5. click on the 'details' tab
  6. go to the field you want to change, in my case it's 'title'
  7. insert new title
  8. click OK or Apply
  9. enjoy a milk bone in a commie free world
Addendum: Actually there's a slight glitch in that Itunes did not recognize the new file names until I played the song (or some other such modification). So my trick was to find all the files whose names I changed and then adjust their rating to 1 star (or whatever) and that updated the names.
C. Consolidate the Library There's an option in Itunes already to do this but it retains the original locations as well, which means you need to have space memory in the computer to have 2 sets of files. I'm not a fan of that, so I'll keep searching. UpdateHere's another version of the milkbone cartoon.

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