I tried your approach. Well, it almost worked.
The problem is, as I discovered we don't really have ONE directory for Apple Loops on OSX. What we have is file kudzu. The loops can be, and usually are, in a jillion directories all over the system... in the global Library folder inside Audio/ Apple Loops, in the global Library folder inside Application Support / Garageband, in the user Library folder inside Audio/ Apple Loops, in the user Library folder inside Application Support / Garageband, and on and on. I keep emptying loop directories and reindexing in Loop Browser only to find MORE loops I never heard of which trace after a file name search to YET some other new location on the HD. A totally appaling mess.
On top of it, the Apple Loops index file is not even standard XML. If I change the extension from .txt to .xml, DreamWeaver opens it as even worse gibberish than the text file is in TextEdit. Being fluent in ASCII editing of HTML, I was kinda hoping I can just cut the unneded index entries out by hand from the textfile, but upon close examination of the solid slab of index file code, the only understandable strings in it are the file names. I have no idea where to cut in to remove an unneded entry - right before the file name, right after it, two gibberish charcters before, four gibberish characters after, there is no telling.
This is bad, This is very bad. We have a good basic concept (Apple Loops), that lacks a working file management system. Which means if I do convert my own 3000+ carefully crafted Akai, E-mu, Giga, and AIFF loops, every loop search I make afterwards will be plagued with 10x more false matches of third party loops I never cared for but could never remove. We don't have a working system. I can't even nuke these third-party loops, they are in a million different places. The only way to get rid of this loop kudzu is to reformat the HD and reinstall OSX. But then I'd have to reinstall and reauthorize all my applications... awww, not that.
I guess the only solution at this point is not to use Apple Loops. Their current Mac implementation needs a lot more granola before it will be ready for prime time. Well, thanks anyway for all the help.
Your remark intrigued me enough to dive back on the problem. I already eradicated 10 or so different Apple Loop folders, how many more can there still be if you were willing to take them all out for a beer? So I continued tracking down & deleting them, and finally, after 4 more eradications - clean slate. No more third party Apple Loops. Logic's Loop Browser was empty, spic and spam. (I backed up all the loop folders to an external drive.) Now I can build my own set, finally!
I went back to my list, and copied my 100-some chosen Apple Loops back to the App Support / Garageband / Apple Loops folder. I fired up the Soundtrack Loop Browser to check them, but a handful out of the 100 wouldn't appear in it. No biggie, I thought, Logic's Loop Browser will find them all pronto. Well, no. It wouldn't find ANY.
Hmm, with a kajillion places to store Apple Loops (a remarkably sloppy system, I'd say) who knows which folder this loopy Browser really scans, I reasoned. It's okay, I'll just throw the nearest AIFF at mouse reach into Logic, save it as an Apple Loop, and run a Finder search to find where it went. Aha, it's the Username / Library/ Audio / AppleLoops / UserFiles / SingleFiles folder. Cool; I'll move my other 100+ files there too, and they should show up in Loop Browser.
Well, nope. How about moving them into the global / Library/ Audio / AppleLoops / UserFiles / SingleFiles folder? I tried and still nothing happened. I noticed that the lonely AIFF which Loop Browser DID display had its own Apple Loop index file. So this is why the other wouldn't show... no entry in the index file.
So I hand - dragged those 100 loops finally straight onto Loop browser. Make them a darn index entry, you loopy program. It did... it recorded and now displays each single loop file twice. So I'm back in eradication mode, where I started.
If you are curious, here is what an index file looks like for a single Apple Loop called C JANGLE 2.aif
Good on ya for sticking with it.
When I did my house cleaning (wanted to get my content completely off my system drive) I didn't have your issue with re-indexing and never had to manually massage the index file...I can send you my recipe if you're interested.
I wonder if the app is smart enough to generate you a brand new index file if you just moved the existing one to another directory?
Not sure if you knew this or not, but you can drop an entire folder (located anywhere) onto the browser for reindexing/addition.
< When I did my house cleaning (wanted to get my content completely off my system drive) >
That's the way to go. I did it years ago with my EXS instruments, the files are all on my 750 Gig "Composing" drive, tied with aliases to the system HD, and it all worked like a charm from the first. I back the folder up every month to a portable HD with a single mouse drag. Now to accomplish the same with Apple Loops might require a lot more aliases and head-scratching due to all these places where Apple Loops reside on a System HD. I'm still gathering inner strength to begin westling with it.
Something I noticed is that after dragging the Apple Loops back and forth and reindexing, some parameters such as pitch and tempo seem to be off now. I'm not sure if they were like this before dragging, but now they certainly are off. I fixed the pitches in 5 minutes, but figuring out tempo & beats setting for 100 loops is something new as I haven't dealt with tempo recognition before. Any suggestions, what's the best way to do it?
I can't agree with you more--I have Gargeband, the old Final cut studio which included Logic 7, the soundtrack pro loops, and now the loops and jam packs that come with logic studio 8. I have limited disk space and my main drive is hopelessly cluttered with redundant loops in ten different places. I want to move all my loops/sound effects etc. to an external drive. Should be easy, no?
Today's report from the Apple Loop wars trenches...
Having gathered enough strength for a second round, I went in and moved my only remaining Apple Loops folders to my external HD, and put their aliases in the global Library folder today.
The result: When I called up the Loop Browser in Logic, it says "No Apple Loops found. There are no Apple Loops installed on your system. Please reinstall the Apple Loop package."
Okay, so this approach is toast. But perhaps there is hope for subsequently added files. Let's see what will happen if I import a .wav now, and choose "Region/Add to Apple Loops library" ?
Well, it gets added to a different place again: the user / Library / Audio, etc. etc. folder.
Okay, what if I put aliases pointing to my external HD there too?
I get a Loop Browser that is totally blank; it doesn't even have categories anymore.
Some genius apparently hard-coded the system HD path in all the Apple Loops routines. So where this leaves us at? The final upshot, in plain English:
- Apple Loops won't work on an external HD (in their present form, anyway)
- they are stored all over the system HD (in 14 locations on my G5) without a real reason
- the Loop Browser can add new Apple Loop with a simple drag and drop, but doesn't have a "remove file" function (this wins the DUUH award of all times).
Kinda like what we had with fonts 30 years ago. Except even back then individual fonts could be manually removed already.
You know, I think part of the issue may be creating those aliases and adding loops from the menu.
Whenever I add my own loops to Logic, I have never created aliases, all I've ever done is drag and drop'd the folder of new loops onto the Logic loop browser and it immediately imports the loops, re-indexes them and it's done - and I have my loop content on an external firewire drive and one pack on a USB 2.0 drive.
This is assuming that the loops have had their tags updated properly with the Utility.
Maybe give it a try?
This weekend I'll definitely try your idea of putting the files into an external HD folder, and dragging them over an emptied Loop Browser.
From what I learned about Loop Browser so far, I'm pretty sure this will create a copy of the AIFFs on the System Drive in one (or a dozen locations. But, since we are dealing with only a handful of loops already pre-selected in iTunes, not the whole 4-8 Gig JamPack, it's no big deal. The main trick will be to remember to drag any subsequently added new loops to the external HD folder RIGHT away over the Loop Browser to keep the two in sync before the loop files get deselected by clicking somewhere else.
To remove Apple Loops, then one could remove them from the external folder, then empty the Loop Browser and re-drag the external folder over it. A bit roundabout, but hey - finally we have a means to selectively remove Apple Loops! This is a 100% progress over what we had until now
Report from the trenches: your concept works. The steps:
A.) I moved the existing loops out from the global Library/App Support/Garageband... folder into a new master folder I created on an external drive, and restarted Logic.
B.) I called up the Loop Browser in Logic to make sure it shows no files
C.) I dragged the master folder over the Loop Browser, which put the loops back into action, and into the user library (this is where the Loop Browser adds any new loops. Let's keep them in one place.)
D.) I inserted new loop library discs and began dragging my pre-selected loops, copying them into the master folder (where I renamed each, adding the collection name to its title. If you never expect your music to surface in commercial realms where you may need to account for your legal rights to every sample used, you can skip this renaming step)
An important remark about this step: before adding any loop, give it a last listen in iTunes, even if you pre-selected it already a day or a week earlier. As I discovered, one's taste changes drastically over time. I dragged my first 5 loops into action without checking, trusting my judgement of 3 days ago. You can guess what happened next: as soon as I listened to them again, I wanted to throw 3 of those 5 away. Not a good start, when the Loop Browser lacks a "delete file" function.
E.) Once you listened to and added all the loops you wanted to add to the master folder, make sure the Username/Library/Audio/Apple Loops/User Loops/SingleFiles and Username/Library/Audio/Apple Loops Index folders are empty (dragging loops to the Trash is not enough, you need to empty the Trash as well), then drag your master folder over the Loop Browser. Et voila they are activated. Logic will even offer you a choice whether to run your Apple Loops from this master folder or copy them to the system drive.
I originally tried a different approach for E.), by copying files to the master folder, renaming and dragging over the Loop Browser individually. The problem with this per-file approach was that, confounded by the iTunes/Finder/Loop Browser/Logic window maze, I forgot to drag a third of the files to the Loop Browser after I renamed them. Am I more forgetful than the average user? Probably not by much. So, if you are adding any sizeable number of new loops to your collection, it's better to do the final step as described in E.) activating all the new loops in one last step.)
Will this provide an adequate loop management solution for a $999 program? Considering how nicely the EXS softsampler handles file management (it works with aliases, one can delete files on the fly, hit EXS's "Refresh" button and EXS will update in a split second...) the answer would be "no but it's a workaround." Still, it feels good to know, we found something that works, until Apple corrects this deficiency.