iTunes tip

I just started using iTunes (version x) in Windows XP. I used to use GTKpod in Gentoo Linux. I ripped most of my CDs with Grip in Linux.

When I started using iTunes, I turned on the option to “automatically manage my music files,” which means iTunes will rename the music files to match changes made in iTunes (by you or by iTunes itself.)

For some reason, the MP3 file metadata created by Grip (maybe all, maybe only some of it) was not recognized by iTunes. So I had a good fifth of my music collection in iTunes show up with only song name, Genre and Track number. Bummer. But the real bad part is that iTunes more those files from their “artistalbum” directory into “Unknown ArtistUnknown Album” directory. =(

Checking properties of these files showed that the song information is still in the file. Good news! But a little late for perfection. I selected those songs and chose “Convert ID3 Tag…” Then I chose and applied it. It sucked all that great metadata out of my files, but too late for maintaining their original, perfect directory structure. Those files are now still stuck in “Unknown ArtistUnknown Album”. Not good. I will probably move them eventually (by hand.)

Why is this bad? For one thing, it’s not consistent with the other files I have that are filed right.

But more importantly, I USED to have all my downloaded music stored in a unique folder (in Linux) named “gnutella” — named after the file sharing program I downloaded them with.

Now my paid music files are intermixed with those downloaded files. Not a good scene for me. I’m not a big music downloader. If I like an artist’s work (sampled from a downloaded file or files) then I usually buy their album. I became a big Coldplay fan through this model. But now it won’t be possible to differentiate these files with perfect accuracy.

Wait! It will — those files I ripped have a Comment value saying “Ripped by Grip.” I’ll know all the downloaded files (unless the person who originally ripped them used Grip too) by their lack of this tag.

Let that be a lesson to you.

Do a “Convert ID3 Tags…” on your music in iTunes BEFORE turning on “Let iTunes manage my music files.”