A Midsummer Afternoon’s iTunes Cleanup

Jun 26th, 2008 // 9 Comments

covers.jpgHow are you going to figure out your best albums of the first half of ’08 if your iTunes Music Folder is completely disorganized? This dude has a bunch of ways to whip said files into something resembling shape, so you can figure out just what, exactly, has been droning in the background while you’ve been working all these months. (Unfortunately this won’t be much help to people like me, who have a backlog of albums from this year that they haven’t imported into iTunes yet because they’re that lazy/frazzled/annoyed by their computers’ tendency to balk when iTunes and Firefox are open at the same time. Not to mention that they played into all the trend stories and bought a lot of new releases on vinyl.) Feel free to share your own musical-organization techniques in the comments–especially those of you who have library-science degrees, since I’m sure you all have some crazy categorization schematics up your collective sleeves. [internet jogging via the listenerd]

  1. Lucas Jensen

    You’ve gotta upgrade that RAM, 512-er.

  2. Eugene Langley

    @Big Gray.: Fo shnickens. I had the same problem, but after a new hard drive and a memory upgrade, music and interweb now peacefully coexist again. Also I hate it when people put “feat”s in the artist field.

  3. Nunya B

    @Eugene Langley: Feat belongs in brackets in the title of the song! I have so much trouble with people who don’t believe me.

  4. Handsome Pete

    I’m currently organizing my iTunes. A long term project. 110GB worth. At least now I can take care of these things on the front end. The age of my Mac and issues I have with iTunes while running Firefox. Makes this rather time-consuming.

    I have some organizational quirks.

    Definitely “featuring” in the song title.

    Album art. Becomes difficult for singles. If unvailable. Leave blank.

    Formatting dates where applicable.

    Multiple discs. (Single 1). (Single 2). (Disc 1). (Disc 2).

    Compilation is ONLY for compilations.

    I used to import singles without the a-side. I am going back through and importing the full single.

    When I remember. I remove “live” from the song title. I know it’s live. I have ears. I’ve become lazy with this.

    I hate opening something I’ve downloaded. To find no track names.

    I hate blank fields in iTunes.

    I like the artist and album names to match the artist or album. Meaning A, And, The, Etc. Written numbers versus numerical. Punctuation. Sometimes I have to suck it up and choose one.

    (Jesus and Mary Chain versus Jesus & Mary Chain.)

    I removed “genre” from the iTunes window.

    I always delete “album artist.” (I think that’s the field.)

    I don’t make playlists.

    I own a Nano. And I rotate on an alphabetical basis. I play each rotation on random. Until I go through every song. Update. Repeat. It should take me about a year to get through everything.

    If I want to listen to something specifict. I use iTunes. Or a compact disc.

    If someone uses my iPod. To play something specific. I have issues. It takes it out of the shuffle rotation.

    The organization of my compact discs. Organization of new purchases. Organization of those to be organized. Organization of things to be ripped. Organization of downloaded items. All have their own ins and outs.

    It’s always been like this. Records. Tapes. Compact discs.

    It’s all very subjective. Subject to change. On a whim. And all makes sense in my head.

    My girlfriend thinks I’m crazy. When it comes to this. She’s probably right.

  5. alec_baldwin

    @Handsome Pete: U just made my head hurt. My iTunes is a mess. It’s always been that way: Records, tapes, and compact discs.

  6. troybulldogs21

    Get foobar2000. It’s free, almost every feature is customizable, and it takes up very little memory/RAM. It’s even got the Hydrogen Audio forums for formatting suggestions/templates and help. And while we’re discussing iTunes, please rip your music with LAME (V0!) or something with a better encoder than iTunes.

  7. Handsome Pete

    @cosmiclove: I keep notes on the subject. As a reference. In case I forget something. And need to keep up consistency.

    My mother is a librarian. I think this is somehow her fault.

  8. Richaod

    One really anal thing I do that absolutely no one else does is sort artists by surname… e.g. Kate Bush under B, etc. Drives everyone else nuts, despite how much sense it makes.

  9. Handsome Pete

    @Richaod: My brother does that.

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