8 Replies Latest reply: Feb 9, 2013 8:59 AM by Granavel
John_Neumann Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I'm just getting started with iTunes for the first time. 

 

When I rip a CD, iTunes automatically creates artist folders.  The subfolders inside the artist folders are the names of the albums.

 

If I were to change all the names of the album folders to something else, a cataloging system of my own ... does changing the name of the folder mess up iTunes ability to organize the folders into the software?  Or is the name of the album folder irrelevant to iTunes (assuming all the folders are in the iTunes Music master folder)...?

 

I'm guessing ultimately I don't even need "artist folders" if I don't want them?  I could retitle all the albumfolders to whatever I want, drop them all into the master "Music" folder and iTunes would still keep them all straight, right?

 

-JOHN

  • gail from maine Level 6 Level 6 (16,060 points)

    Hi John,

     

    I'm not positive, but I think the Album name is how iTunes determines artwork for the album. What is it you are wanting to do? Each Artist/Album/Song has the ability to have other fields that are not used by iTunes custom defined. For example, I use the Grouping and Video Show fields to group my songs into smart playlists for my various devices.

     

    Can you give me an idea of what you are wanting to do?

     

    Cheers,

     

    GB

  • John_Neumann Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Gail,

     

    Thanks for the reply.  In addition to creating a bunch of albums in iTunes, I want to archive over a thousand CDs on an external hard drive.  I don't really want to organize them by Artist > Album.  I prefer to just have one folder with all the albums in it.  So each folder would be titled something like "Rolling Stones - Greatest Hits".  All the albums would be in alphabetical order with band name and albums title both in the folder title.

     

    Note that I would not mess with tags or album info.  I'm just talking about the folder the songs come in ... that's what I want to change the names of.

     

    Do you know?  Or should I have a go at it with trial and error?

     

    -JOHN

  • gail from maine Level 6 Level 6 (16,060 points)

    Hi John,

     

    No, I don't know.... However, I just experimented with what you were saying on my Macbook Air, and moved two of my albums into a new folder called Test, and it didn't seem to affect anything on the iTunes side....I looked at the Get Info option for the albums, and could see nothing different after I moved them....

     

    Don't know if that helps you at all. I really had nothing to lose by moving things around because my full iTunes library lives on another computer....the one I have on this Mac just consists of a few things that I purchsed on this machine....

     

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help!

     

    iTunes gurus....do you have any help for John?

     

    Cheers,

     

    GB

  • Mark Williams1900 Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    John

     

    iTunes itself is only a media player with a database behind it (library),  The player and database links your file/folders into what you see in the Library once you have uploaded, purchased or added to it.

     

    The ripping, storage and archiving of the files/folder is either an Itunes selected 'automatic' structure or one you create.  How you configure this is up to you really depending on how many artists, albums, tracks and also how you want to deal with back-ups/archiving of new stuff.

     

    So you could have one "Music" Folder containing 1000 directories (one for each album) thus say 11,000 items when completed.  Backing up the entire folder OR searching for the latest ripped/bought Album to back up can take hours.

     

    Say you had 27 folders (Artists names starting with a letter or one for all numbers e.g. 10CC) then archiving/searching becomes easier once the album has been moved from initial location into the right folder. Backing up say your Music\A\* takes an hour but as you have only added ABBA Gold means quicker and easier archiving.

     

    When you start adding more ripped/purchased CD's is when it starts becoming a nightmare.  Plus anything that is AAC/M4A does not work on my car stereo so I have to convert them to MP3.  I have yet to fully understand the limitations of the Apple storage system but am fully aware of the PC directory characteristics.

     

     

     

    Sorry this is long.

     

    Mark

  • John_Neumann Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you Gail ... and thank you, Mark.

     

    I appreciate you taking the time out to help me understand this.

     

    So, from what I understand, I'm asking for trouble by getting rid of Artist > Album embedded folders and renaming all albums into single folders each.  I imagined thousands of folders, each with names like "Rolling Stones - Greatest Hits" so that everything was in alphabetical order and everything was in one folder, ready for easy viewing.

     

    I don't quite understand why this would confuse iTunes so much, as the tags embedded into the songs remains the same ... but I'll take your word for it.

     

    Sounds like if I want to use iTunes to any extent, then embedded folders is how I need to do it.

     

    -JOHN

  • Mark Williams1900 Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    John

     

    The Directory structure you use will not confuse iTunes but I base my file storage structure on my experience of PC's and more recently Mac's.

     

    You can structure it like you have said if you want, I'm only thinking longer term when you are scrolling/moving files/directories to your back-up archive and it is time consuming scrolling through the directory list to say folder 800/1000 which is Rolling Stones - Greatest Hits.

     

    Hope you understand my explanation here.

     

    Mark

  • John_Neumann Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you, Mark.  You helped me out a lot.

     

    I'm spending the day today ripping CDs, (among other things), so I appreciate you getting back to me so quickly.

     

    -JOHN

  • Granavel Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    When you import a CD in itunes it's different than when you import files. In first case it has to create the files and folders, in second case it's an option in preferences:

    Preferences > Advanced Tab > Copy in itunes media folder the files added.

     

    I suggest you uncheck this option so all files added to itunes are let where they are and aren't copied. But in case of CD itunes will anyway create the files and folders to import the CD and create the files.

     

    Also in options, general tab, you have a button "import settings" or something similar (I don't use itunes in English). There you can change the formart of import, for example to mp3 at any setup you want instead of default probably some Apple mp4 setup.

     

    If you move files and folders already in itunes or rename it you need take care that itunes find them because it stores a technical id. Also take care that : You copy the files somewhere like on another drive. Then move the original files and folder to trash. Then play the tracks in itunes and miracle it works. But then empty the trash and try again and itune will ask you the new position of the files.

     

    If you want have organized music files I strongly suggest you to use another place then itunes music folder and use the change location ot relocate a file :

    - Import the CD.

    - Copy the files in the location you want.

    - Go in itunes library and select the tracks imported from the CD, and delete and confirm they are moved to trash.

    - Then drag the files/folder where you put the files copied into itunes.

     

    If you have already imported the CD and added information instead you will want avoid delete the tracks in your library, so:

    - Copy the files in the location you want.

    - Go in itunes library and select the tracks imported from the CD, and select show in Finder.

    - In Finder delete tracks and folder you want.

    - Be sure you have copied all stuff you moved in trash.

    - Then empty the trash.

    - In itune select the first track then ittunes will ask you the location of the file, select your files copied.

    - Repeat for each track moved.

     

    EDIT: Those manipulations work only if you unchecked that option:

    Preferences > Advanced Tab > Copy in itunes media folder the files added.