5 Replies Latest reply: Nov 28, 2012 7:35 AM by turingtest2
KumarSG Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi All,

Am sure many are facing this issue that i have, from what posts I've seen so far.

It's the issue of having sorted or organised your music with iTunes, and when you need to move songs to your phone or back up external HArd Disk, we need to move it in the EXACT Same structure in which iTunes has them organised.


Let me explain:-

My Current Itunes Media Folder list is sorted by the Artist > Album > *.mp3

I have a huge collection of Music across 4 Languages, and there are possibilities that the same Artist could have sung a sung in 2 different Languages.

So at times when I open an Artist's Folder i can see two sub folders for Language.


If say, I wanted to have a Folder with only songs belonging to a particular Language, How do i achieve that? (I have my Library Categorised with ALBUM as Lang1, Lang2, Lang3) etc, that was meaningful to me than having the Album or Movie Name.


Ideally i would want ALL songs in a Particular language to be under ONE Folder, currently iTunes doesnt do that, it creates multiple folders with Artist Name and stores the song under that particular Folder name of the Artist. Again another headache, If lets say i have a song sung by Artist1 and Artist2 together, then again thats a new folder!


Reason Im asking this is because I migrated ALL my music from Windows to a Mac and spent considerable time, organising them by language (using the Album Tag), and now if i need to do a back up or Re Sync my Back up and my itunes library im having a tough time.


I would want an option where in, I can have on SINGLE FOLDER which will be my master DUMP of all my music not categorised by Folders or yes maybe folders at Language Level.


Music>Language(Or Genre) > *.mp3 - This is the structure I'm wanting to achieve, given the fact that my current most upto date Library is the itunes library, how do I do that, please help.


Thanks in advance.

Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • 1. Re: Changing the Hierarchy of File organisation in iTunes Media.
    ed2345 Level 6 Level 6 (18,875 points)



    If you let iTunes place files, it will always give you the Artist > Album > (songs) structure.  It gets Artist and Album from the tags in the file. Except for a few wrinkles about Compilations, this is what iTunes does.


    The only way to get a different structure is to not let iTunes put anything there automatically.  To do this you must first go to Preferences > Advanced and make sure that "Keep..." and "Copy..." are both turned off.  Then, as you add songs, manually put them in folders the way you like them and then use the command File > Add File/Folder to Library.


    As long as those two preferences are turned off, songs will stay in the folders where you put them, without being copied or moved in any way.


    By the way, when you make your own folders, always put them somewhere in the iTunes Media folder.  If you put them outside of it, you will have complications when it is time to move to a new computer.

  • 2. Re: Changing the Hierarchy of File organisation in iTunes Media.
    KumarSG Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes I understood that, but a bit late! Now iTunes has already created thousands of folders by Artists!

    I would be even happy with a solution, that might achieve this -


    1) Automate  a way by which I can dig into individual artist folders, and pick up MP3 and move them to a single Folder.


    By which, I can move ALL the individual Mp3s from within the thousands of folders in iTunes into ONE single MASTER Folder. Then I can delete my current Library and create a new one according to my structure. Is there some file management method by which I can achieve that?


    Thanks in advance.

  • 3. Re: Changing the Hierarchy of File organisation in iTunes Media.
    ed2345 Level 6 Level 6 (18,875 points)

    Kumar,  Sorry, I don't know of a tool like that.  If you have the files that you started with when you first built your iTunes ibrary, perhaps you can start over?

  • 4. Re: Changing the Hierarchy of File organisation in iTunes Media.
    KumarSG Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hmm looks like I'll have to live with it or find other ways to resolve this issue.

  • 5. Re: Changing the Hierarchy of File organisation in iTunes Media.
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,595 points)

    Let's get backup sorted to start with. If you use the scheme outlined in this user tip then, as long as all the media is inside the iTunes Media folder which in turn is inside the main iTunes folder, the backup copy can act as a fully functioning library ready to sync with any of your devices. Backup is easy because the software scans and adds any new or updated files. Restoring is either everything following a complete disaster, or replacing the album/artist folder deleted in error to the matching path, so again not too tricky.


    The scheme above works whether you let iTunes organize the media or not, but it should all be inside the iTunes Media folder if your library is to be portable and work from any path. If you're using iTunes for managing media it really doesn't matter where the files are as long as it can find them and you can back up. If, however, you really want to impose some other structure on your files you can take my script ConsolidateByMoving and modify it so that it moves files to your personal preference instead of where iTunes would normally put them. You could also use the Auto-Organize from Tag features in MediaMonkey, or some other third party tool, but then you would need to fix broken links or remove and reimport the media, losing ratings, playlists, play counts etc.