BlogMusic

iTunes: Get it to do what you want it to do.

So a while back now I was frustrated with iTunes. I was frustrated at it’s insistence to monopolise my music collection by organsing it for me, but without allowing me to choose just how it is organised.

For instance, when I first started collecting my music in mp3 format, I decided that I wanted my files named in quite a specific name. I decided on [Artist Folder] / [Artist -Album Folder] / tracknumber – artist – songtitle.mp3. This would allow me to keep the tracks in order in Explorer/Finder, and keep the albums separate so all that track 1’s didn’t get all mixed together etc.

Obviously, you can appreciate that I’ve found over the years, the best way to find anything you want on your computer, is to make sure you keep things organised in the same way regardless of what it is. Keeping all my music the same, organised in the same way is important to me. But, along came iTunes.

I still like to get the CD version of all my music. There’s something about having it in physical form that is for safe keeping I guess. So using iTunes, I have enjoyed importing my CD’s as they automatically get added to the library, it’s quick and easy, and it just works. But, whilst I can control the bit rate and the format that the CD is imported in, I can’t choose how the files are named. Likewise, Apple puts them into folders of just the album name, rather than allowing to choose how this is organised.

Until I found Doug.

Doug provides a range of scripts for one in particular Apple app. iTunes.

I immediately found what I was looking for.

File Renamer

File Renamer: http://dougscripts.com/074

File Renamer does just that. Renames your files, according to the ID3 Tags that the music files have. I set mine simply to “[track number] – [artist] – [title].mp3”. In it goes, renames the actual mp3 files, and tells you that it’s finished! All in about 3 seconds. Faster than I can do it manually!

Re-Locate Selected

Re-Locate Selected: http://dougscripts.com/477

Re-Locate Selected essentially moves the files to a new location of your choosing. iTunes by default tries to keep it all organised in your Music Folder, and then in iTunes Music, and then in their own folder structure within that. But if you try and move the files behind it’s back (not that iTunes allows you to move the files within iTunes anyway!), then it gets upset. As I keep my Music files on an external hard drive (so that it doesn’t clog up my laptop’s hard drive), this script has become very useful.
Creating a new folder and moving the files across to the External Hard drive in itself is not a difficult task. It is in fact, very easy. But, the problem then occurs when iTunes has now lost where those files are, and you then have to go through ALL of the tracks and click on “Locate” in order to re-direct the iTunes library files.

This script does away with all of that. Select the songs or album you want to move. You can choose to delete or to keep the original files (I usually choose to delete) and then it will allow you to choose the new location for it all, including the option to create New Folders in those locations. In about 10 seconds it is done, and the files are moved, and the iTunes Library references updated automatically. No more lost files when you move them outside of iTunes.

There are many, many more scripts that Doug has written. But for now, these two cover all the shortfalls that iTunes has. I hope you find them as useful as I have over the years.

 

How to install the scripts: (taken from dougscripts.com)

  1. Click the red download button. A .zip file will be downloaded to your “Downloads” folder.
    The .zip file should open a disk image (.dmg) file. Double-click the .dmg file to mount and display a disk image window in the Finder.
  2. Now, open a new Finder window and navigate to your[username]/Library/iTunes/Scripts/folder.
    (OS X 10.7+: Option-click the Finder’s Go menu and select “Library” to make the Library folder visible.)
    If there is no folder named “Scripts” there, create one.
  3. Select and drag the files from the disk image window into the “Scripts” folder. Scripts placed in this folder will appear in the iTunes Scripts menu.
  4. Close the disk image window and eject it from the Finder sidebar.

Note: This article was written at the time of release of iTunes 11.0 (Mac). These scripts currently work on versions 10.5 onwards, as well as 11.0. I’m sure that Doug will continue to update his scripts if they suddenly cease to work for future versions of iTunes.