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Author Topic: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v6.0.2]  (Read 480135 times)

Zardoz2293

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v4.9]
« Reply #400 on: October 28, 2009, 03:16:17 pm »

Prod:

Quote
I'll think about saving the state of expanded/collapsed nodes in the settings for the next version, but in the meantime did you know, if you put the phrase HideFromSync: Yes in the notes (i.e. in MC) of those playlist groups, they won't show up at all in the tree?
Saving the state of the expanded/collapsed nodes is *not* necessary.  "HideFromSync: Yes" is perfect.  

Thanks Prod!!!
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Magic_Randy

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v4.9]
« Reply #401 on: November 01, 2009, 09:30:36 am »

I downloaded & installed the latest version of iTunes (9.0.2.25). I did a sync with MCiS and everything worked perfectly.
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escaflo

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v4.9]
« Reply #402 on: November 05, 2009, 07:22:40 am »

Does the iTunes Synchronizer works for iTunes 64bit? I am asking because I seem to have problem installing the 32bit version and using the 64bit version, it seems to hang on importing files into iTunes
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mesue

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v4.9]
« Reply #403 on: November 05, 2009, 08:03:52 am »

Does the iTunes Synchronizer works for iTunes 64bit? I am asking because I seem to have problem installing the 32bit version and using the 64bit version, it seems to hang on importing files into iTunes

Yes, it works on 64-bit iTunes.
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escaflo

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v4.9]
« Reply #404 on: November 05, 2009, 08:07:44 am »

That's weird. I am having problem running sync now. It will just hang on Importing Files..

It works last time.. but not since I installed the release version of Windows 7

It was working fine in RC 1.
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escaflo

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v4.9]
« Reply #405 on: November 05, 2009, 08:13:47 am »

I went through the log and all I see are:

The remote procedure call failed. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x800706BE)

Anybody know why is that happening?
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mesue

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v4.9]
« Reply #406 on: November 05, 2009, 08:17:14 am »

That's weird. I am having problem running sync now. It will just hang on Importing Files..

It works last time.. but not since I installed the release version of Windows 7

It was working fine in RC 1.

I've had some problems since installing Windows 7. Before this week I was using iTunes 64 bit under Vista and it always worked fine. Since going to Windows 7, it works fine when I run it from an icon on my desktop, but I also have a script hat runs it every night and in the morning it's always stuck on something. I have not had time yet to troubleshoot why it's getting stuck on the automated run.
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v4.9]
« Reply #407 on: November 06, 2009, 05:26:12 am »

Interesting... I played with iTunes 64 (+Win7 x64) a little and it all seemed a bit flaky to me. Mine kept freezing when it was trying to backup my iPhone. A couple of other unrelated things wouldn't work as well (my network card & G-Force to be specific) - so I quit trying & restored my old Vista32 setup. That was a couple of days of insanity I could have done without.
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BullishDad

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v4.9]
« Reply #408 on: November 21, 2009, 11:09:43 am »

EDIT: I was able to get into the program for the first time, right after I made the post!  So "Never Mind" for now.  Hopefully, I won't get the "Stopped Working" message again.



Thanks for developing this program.  I just got an 8GB Touch and have followed the guide for setting everything up.

Unfortunately, when I run the program -- I get the warning (program makes changes...use at your own risk...), after I accept,  Windows 7 will report that "MC and iTunes Synchronizer Has Stopped Working".  I can't get into the program at all to set the various options.  I've tried having MC14 and iTunes running before starting, and with them closed.  No difference.

In the preparation stage, I noticed a problem with iTunes when I tried to delete all the songs in the library. I'd get an "iTunes Has Stopped Working" message.  For a few songs at a time, it would delete fine, but not for the entire 600 that were there.  I uninstalled iTunes, then re-installed.  After that, I was able to delete all of the songs without an error.

I'd like to use this great utility.  Any suggestions as to what is causing the problem?

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mesue

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v4.9]
« Reply #409 on: November 21, 2009, 11:40:35 am »

I've had some problems since installing Windows 7. Before this week I was using iTunes 64 bit under Vista and it always worked fine. Since going to Windows 7, it works fine when I run it from an icon on my desktop, but I also have a script hat runs it every night and in the morning it's always stuck on something. I have not had time yet to troubleshoot why it's getting stuck on the automated run.

I think the problems I was having were because my server was either restarting or going offline during the sync. MC and iTunes are on my desktop PC, but all the music resides on my Windows Home Server. Obviously if the music suddenly goes missing, this is going to cause problems with the sync.

I have adjusted the timing of the sync as well as other things the server is doing at night and it has helped but occasionally I still have problems. Instead of waking up and finding iTunes stuck, now I am finding that every so often iTunes has duplicate entries for several songs--one has a rating and the other does not. In MC, the rating for the corresponding song is missing. To fix it, I have to delete all the no-rating dupes in iTunes, and then resync, and it passes the ratings back to MC and all is right with the world again.

If there is some way MC iTunes Synchronizer could handle this more gracefully, it would be awesome, but I understand if there is nothing you can do.
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v4.9]
« Reply #410 on: November 22, 2009, 04:44:34 am »

I'd like to use this great utility.  Any suggestions as to what is causing the problem?

Try running MCiS as administrator. Probably something to do with read/write/create rights in the folder you are running MCiS.
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v4.9]
« Reply #411 on: November 22, 2009, 04:53:05 am »

If there is some way MC iTunes Synchronizer could handle this more gracefully, it would be awesome, but I understand if there is nothing you can do.

Not sure what the problem is here, do you have "Import files to iTunes" checked? If so, try unchecking it for a while and see if the problem reoccurs. I imagine this is something to do with the network, maybe the connection to the file is lost momentarily and this causes strange things to happen in iTunes. Anyway, see if temporarily disabling that option does anything and let me know.
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0]
« Reply #412 on: November 26, 2009, 12:35:46 pm »

Hi all, made some changes. The main changes are the new "Shuffle" feature and the way the playlist's notes in MC are used to work out whether the playlist is rebuilt or hidden. Now, these notes aren't read, and it is all handled from within the MCiS UI. Unfortunately, this means if you had any playlist marked for rebuild or hiding (i.e. using "RebuildOnSync" or "HideFromSync") you need to set these again from within MCiS - these notes are not read anymore. Please remember to backup your MC and iTunes libraries before running a new version - be aware I've tested and tested - but not on your machine  :).

v5.0;

  • Added right-click menu to playlist tree (see below or top of thread for instructions) along with new "Shuffle" feature
  • Playlists "remembered" even after removal in MC - for instance, hiding "Recent Playing Now's" playlist group will hide it permanently, even though MC keeps deleting it
  • Fixed not enough privileges in the MCiS folder could cause crash - now more gracefully handled
  • Removed "Rebuild from scratch" check box - to do this now right-click "All" at the root of the tree and select "Rebuild" - note that playlists selected for rebuild do not show in bold anymore (looked a bit "off" IMO)
  • Added tooltips to check/uncheck/refresh buttons
  • Added new button to hide or show hidden playlists

Quote
Right-clicking a playlist in the tree will present a menu;

Rebuild instructs MCiS to always rebuild from scratch the playlist or playlist group. Rebuilding from scratch merely clears out all the tracks from the iTunes playlist before inserting them again - this guarantees the sequence in which they are inserted is the same as the sequence in MC. However, it is much slower - you may want to do this when the sequence is important, can not be duplicated using the playlist sorting options in iTunes, and has changed since the first time the playlist was sync'd.

Shuffle shuffles the playlist (or the children playlists if it is a playlist group) in either MC or iTunes, dependent on the following conditions;
  • Playlist is standard playlist or smartlist, Shuffle selected, Rebuild not selected = playlist is sync'd from MC to iTunes and then shuffled in iTunes
  • Playlist is standard playlist, both Shuffle and Rebuild selected = playlist is shuffled in MC and then rebuilt exactly as is in iTunes
  • Playlist is smartlist, both Shuffle and Rebuild selected = Shuffle is ignored, playlist is rebuilt exactly as is in iTunes

Hide prevents the playlist (and any children if it is a playlist group) being seen in MCiS. You can click on the hide/show hidden playlists button to reveal hidden playlists and un-hide them if desired. Even if a hidden playlist is checked, it will not be sync'd.
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Magic_Randy

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0]
« Reply #413 on: November 26, 2009, 03:54:46 pm »

Thanks prod...
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #414 on: November 27, 2009, 03:13:00 am »

You're welcome Randy....

Sorry, a tiny bug slipped through, this happens sometimes  >:(

v5.0.1;

  • Fixed playlist sync would be unsuccessful if "root folder" was selected and iTunes contained playlists in the root that didn't also exist in MC
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Magic_Randy

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #415 on: November 27, 2009, 10:13:32 am »

Thanks for the update prod....

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mesue

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #416 on: November 29, 2009, 11:40:30 am »

Could you possibly provide a second download option for when Rapidshare is blocking downloads for free users? Or maybe a no-restrictions download link for people who donate? I would rather give the money to you than Rapidshare.
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #417 on: November 29, 2009, 01:25:09 pm »

Yes I would also prefer that  :)

I've added a link to UppIt. If there's any problems let me know.
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jamesenjoy4now

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #418 on: November 29, 2009, 02:48:08 pm »

Where do i get it?  Cant seem to find the MC iTunes Sychronizer in MC plug in page (no search capability there it seems either); cant find it on "Uppit" per Prod's recent post nor in reading for hours all of the posts about this app can i find where/how to get it.

It may be obvious or second nature/intuitive to find and get to those who are frequent contributors to this forum and buy/ get plug ins before - but it is anything but this to me.
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Magic_Randy

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #419 on: November 29, 2009, 03:45:24 pm »

Where do i get it?  Cant seem to find the MC iTunes Sychronizer in MC plug in page (no search capability there it seems either); cant find it on "Uppit" per Prod's recent post nor in reading for hours all of the posts about this app can i find where/how to get it.

It may be obvious or second nature/intuitive to find and get to those who are frequent contributors to this forum and buy/ get plug ins before - but it is anything but this to me.

The download links can be found in the first post of this thread.
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #420 on: November 30, 2009, 04:48:08 am »

It may be obvious or second nature/intuitive to find and get to those who are frequent contributors to this forum and buy/ get plug ins before - but it is anything but this to me.

OK pal no need to get grumpy, like Randy says the link is in the first post of the thread - there are currently 9 pages, it's on page 1. I've bolded the links for extra clarity.
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mesue

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #421 on: November 30, 2009, 01:04:18 pm »

Thanks for the alternate download site!
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mesue

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #422 on: December 02, 2009, 08:15:12 pm »

Not sure what the problem is here, do you have "Import files to iTunes" checked? If so, try unchecking it for a while and see if the problem reoccurs. I imagine this is something to do with the network, maybe the connection to the file is lost momentarily and this causes strange things to happen in iTunes. Anyway, see if temporarily disabling that option does anything and let me know.

Okay, here's a follow up. When I disabled the import option, I stopped having problems with my overnight scheduled sync. Then the last two nights I tried re-enabling it, and the problems returned. I guess I will have to leave that option off and just remember to do a manual sync with import enabled after adding new music to MC.
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #423 on: December 03, 2009, 07:26:10 am »

Okay, here's a follow up. When I disabled the import option, I stopped having problems with my overnight scheduled sync. Then the last two nights I tried re-enabling it, and the problems returned. I guess I will have to leave that option off and just remember to do a manual sync with import enabled after adding new music to MC.

MCiS uses the pathname in MC as a key, so if the pathname in MC is different to that held in iTunes, the two files won't be sync'd. Additionally, if Import to iTunes is checked, MCiS will attempt to import that file into iTunes using the pathname held in MC. The Remove Broken Links option will only remove entries where the pathnames are invalid.

This appears to be your problem, that iTunes and MC are holding different pathnames to the same file.

You could try running MCiS with <FileNotFound> logging enabled, this will report any pathnames found in iTunes that aren't found in MC. That might lead you closer to the problem.
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mesue

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #424 on: December 03, 2009, 09:55:47 am »

They shouldn't have different pathnames to the same files. I use the UNC path for both programs (\\HPSERVER\Music). I'm pretty sure it happens because my server is going offline sometime in the night. I just can't figure out why it's doing that. I'll try the logging.
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BartMan01

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #425 on: December 04, 2009, 03:18:25 pm »

iTunesFileKey madness:

I have my library organized on the HD based on source (different dirs for iTunes, eMusic, Amazon, CD, and DVD music content), and the actual full path structure differs based on single vs. multiple CD's.  I can't use a simple replace expression on [Filename (path)] since the sync to 'handheld' is going to standardize everything in the new location based on [Album]\[Artist], and I can't just use Field(Album)\Field(Artist) due to them having special characters in them.  There does not appear to be a function to replace all special windows characters with '_', so I guess I have to just write a large nested replace to catch them all.  Anyone know of an easier way to do this?
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BartMan01

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #426 on: December 04, 2009, 03:37:43 pm »

Is there a list of 'special characters' in expressions?  The Wiki states to use / in front of them, but does not list them.  The Windows reserved characters are < > : " / \ | ? * of which '/' is also a MC special character for expressions.  Are any of the others?

So far this is what I have (split to separate lines for readability):
E:\iTunes Library\
Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Field(Artist),<,_),>,_),:,_),",_),\,_),//,_),|,_),?,_),*,_)
\
Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Field(Album),<,_),>,_),:,_),",_),\,_),//,_),|,_),?,_),*,_)
\
Replace([Filename (name)],.ape,.mp3)
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BartMan01

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #427 on: December 04, 2009, 10:46:26 pm »

Testing the process, and it seems that selecting 'import files in to iTunes' take a VERY long time to run even with just 78 files in the iTunes music folder.  It is much faster to do the import of files directly through iTunes and then run the sync - are there any known issues adding the files to iTunes through the front end prior to running the synchronizer?
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #428 on: December 05, 2009, 04:39:22 am »

Testing the process, and it seems that selecting 'import files in to iTunes' take a VERY long time to run even with just 78 files in the iTunes music folder.  It is much faster to do the import of files directly through iTunes and then run the sync - are there any known issues adding the files to iTunes through the front end prior to running the synchronizer?

There are no issues with doing it that way, the import process is the same (once iTunes has the name of the file it is to import). For the same reason, there shouldn't be much difference in speed.

If you mean the sync takes a long time - iTunes locks a file as read-only when it has been imported but not analysed - for this reason the sync has to wait before sync'ing MC properties over to a newly iTunes-imported file. So, essentially the sync may keep running until iTunes has finished analysing all the imported files - this is because iTunes is blocking it. The amount of retries and length of the wait can be tweaked in the settings file.
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #429 on: December 05, 2009, 06:29:41 am »

Is there a list of 'special characters' in expressions?  The Wiki states to use / in front of them, but does not list them.  The Windows reserved characters are < > : " / \ | ? * of which '/' is also a MC special character for expressions.  Are any of the others?

So far this is what I have (split to separate lines for readability):
E:\iTunes Library\
Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Field(Artist),<,_),>,_),:,_),",_),\,_),//,_),|,_),?,_),*,_)
\
Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Field(Album),<,_),>,_),:,_),",_),\,_),//,_),|,_),?,_),*,_)
\
Replace([Filename (name)],.ape,.mp3)

Just as an alternative, and to perhaps make your string more manageable (provided you don't have any triple pipes (|||) in your album or artist tags);

E:\iTunes Library\Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace([Artist]|||[Album],<,_),>,_),:,_),",_),\,_),//,_),?,_),*,_),|||,\),|,_)\Replace([Filename (name)],.ape,.mp3)
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BartMan01

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #430 on: December 05, 2009, 10:12:26 am »

There are no issues with doing it that way, the import process is the same (once iTunes has the name of the file it is to import). For the same reason, there shouldn't be much difference in speed.

If you mean the sync takes a long time - iTunes locks a file as read-only when it has been imported but not analysed - for this reason the sync has to wait before sync'ing MC properties over to a newly iTunes-imported file. So, essentially the sync may keep running until iTunes has finished analysing all the imported files - this is because iTunes is blocking it. The amount of retries and length of the wait can be tweaked in the settings file.

Weird, that is not what I am seeing here.

First I loaded 78 files using the sync tool - the 'loading files to itunes' part of the sync took a very long time.  The rest of the sync process ran pretty quickly.

Ran it a second time with no additional files - the 'loading files to itunes' part of the sync took the same long amount of time even though all the files were already in itunes.

Ran it a third time with 'load files to itunes' turned off and the whole process ran in a couple of minutes (due to reading in the large MC library).

Put a couple hundred more files in the itunes folder, added the folder via the iTunes 'add folder' interface and these loaded in (including the album art and analysis) much faster to itunes than the sync tool was taking with only 78 files.  The sync tool process (again without load to itunes) was pretty snappy.

I didn't time any of the processes, but I would estimate that the runs with 'load to itunes' enabled on the initial 78 files took about as long to load the files to iTunes as it took to load 9000 additional songs via the 'add folder' option in the GUI.  Not sure why it is taking so much longer on my machine (Windows 7 64 bit), but I will just use the 'add folder' step for now.



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BartMan01

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #431 on: December 05, 2009, 10:22:00 am »

Just as an alternative, and to perhaps make your string more manageable (provided you don't have any triple pipes (|||) in your album or artist tags);

E:\iTunes Library\Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace([Artist]|||[Album],<,_),>,_),:,_),",_),\,_),//,_),?,_),*,_),|||,\),|,_)\Replace([Filename (name)],.ape,.mp3)

Good idea with the triple pipe replace to get it down to one replace sequence.  That will make it easier to manage any changes I find I need.

Great tool by the way.  This solves my big issues with trying to use both MC and iTunes with my music.  My use case is a little more needy than most, since I want my full music library in MC for management and local playback and have it duplicated (sans hidden duplicates) in iTunes for use with Apple products (iPhone, iPod Touch, Airport Express, MacBook, etc).
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softshellcrab

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #432 on: December 05, 2009, 02:48:16 pm »

Hello ... this seems like a very good solution for syncing music files to iTunes. But I have a question -- can it be used to sync only part of a media center library to iTunes? For example, I only want to sync tracks with a rating of 3 stars or above with my ipod Touch PLUS tracks that are on a certain folder on my hard drive (regardless of the rating). All the tracks have been imported into the MC library.

Is this possible using this utility?
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BartMan01

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #433 on: December 05, 2009, 04:16:56 pm »

Hello ... this seems like a very good solution for syncing music files to iTunes. But I have a question -- can it be used to sync only part of a media center library to iTunes? For example, I only want to sync tracks with a rating of 3 stars or above with my ipod Touch PLUS tracks that are on a certain folder on my hard drive (regardless of the rating). All the tracks have been imported into the MC library.

Is this possible using this utility?

Yes - but it might mean having 2 copies of the files.  See the PDF (in the download) for using this tool with a lossless library as a starting point.  I modified it slightly and use a different directory than the default iTunes folder, since I don't want the 'sync to handheld' process in MC to delete any iTunes only content from the main iTunes folder.
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mesue

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #434 on: December 05, 2009, 04:26:23 pm »

Hello ... this seems like a very good solution for syncing music files to iTunes. But I have a question -- can it be used to sync only part of a media center library to iTunes? For example, I only want to sync tracks with a rating of 3 stars or above with my ipod Touch PLUS tracks that are on a certain folder on my hard drive (regardless of the rating). All the tracks have been imported into the MC library.

Is this possible using this utility?

Read in the first post of this thread about the command line switches. There is one where you can specify a MC view scheme to be synced. So if you create a view scheme which only includes the tracks you want synced, you can specify that view scheme when you run the sync.

Be careful basing it on ratings, though. I had an issue where my ratings got lost in the sync process and then a bunch of songs were excluded from the view scheme and therefore stopped being synced. Luckily, I was able to recover the ratings from another source and got it all fixed again, but now I sync my entire MC audio view scheme and use the ratings on the iTunes side for determining what gets synced to the iPod. It doesn't take much longer to sync the full audio view scheme for my library.
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BartMan01

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #435 on: December 05, 2009, 08:22:54 pm »

Updated expression to handle no album name (results in artist\\track instead of artist\track) and the fact that the trailing period in artist and album names is getting dropped (R.E.M. becomes R.E.M on sync).

E:\iTunes Library\Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace([Artist]|||[Album],<,_),>,_),:,_),",_),\,_),//,_),?,_),*,_),|||,\),|,_)\Replace([Filename (name)],.ape,.mp3),.\,\),\\,\)
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softshellcrab

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #436 on: December 06, 2009, 08:12:30 am »

mesue and Bartman, thanks for the assistance. I tried doing it via smart playlists on the iTunes side and that works very well. I am new to iTunes so I did not even realize you can select only certain playlists to sync with your device. The feature is very flexible and lets me keep low rated tracks off my Touch. Further, you can tell it to let through unrated tracks and only exclude the one and two star tracks. This makes rating on the Touch/iPhone very convenient and practical and an automatic dynamic process for weeding out what you don't want. It all gets sorted out automatically after a sync.

prod, thanks so much for creating this wonderful piece of software.  It makes things so much easier for Touch/iPhone users and the software works so well.  I really appreciate all the work you put into it.

One other question: I changed the replay gain of some tracks using MP3Gain.  Even when I unchecked "Preserve file date/time" in MP3Gain to ensure the file date is modified, and opened up MC to ensure its database read the new values (by re-analyzing the audio files), the MCiS utility fails to recognize that the music files are changed and so they are not synced over to iTunes/Touch.  At the end of a sync it will say ZERO files synchronized.  I ended up deleting those tracks in iTunes and re-importing them, but is there anyway to make MCiS automatically recognize this change?
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #437 on: December 06, 2009, 09:12:51 am »

Weird, that is not what I am seeing here.

First I loaded 78 files using the sync tool - the 'loading files to itunes' part of the sync took a very long time.  The rest of the sync process ran pretty quickly.

Ran it a second time with no additional files - the 'loading files to itunes' part of the sync took the same long amount of time even though all the files were already in itunes.

Ran it a third time with 'load files to itunes' turned off and the whole process ran in a couple of minutes (due to reading in the large MC library).

Put a couple hundred more files in the itunes folder, added the folder via the iTunes 'add folder' interface and these loaded in (including the album art and analysis) much faster to itunes than the sync tool was taking with only 78 files.  The sync tool process (again without load to itunes) was pretty snappy.

I didn't time any of the processes, but I would estimate that the runs with 'load to itunes' enabled on the initial 78 files took about as long to load the files to iTunes as it took to load 9000 additional songs via the 'add folder' option in the GUI.  Not sure why it is taking so much longer on my machine (Windows 7 64 bit), but I will just use the 'add folder' step for now.

I'm not sure what the issue is here... I've just imported 330 mp3's as a test through MCiS and the whole process took less than 30 secs. Perhaps your log contains a clue as to what's going wrong? It looks to me that an import is unsuccessful on some files, otherwise why would it try importing them again a second time around? Make sure you're not trying to import a file type that iTunes doesn't like, for instance avi's.

Thanks for the feedback, glad it's helping you out.
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #438 on: December 06, 2009, 09:22:27 am »

mesue and Bartman, thanks for the assistance. I tried doing it via smart playlists on the iTunes side and that works very well. I am new to iTunes so I did not even realize you can select only certain playlists to sync with your device. The feature is very flexible and lets me keep low rated tracks off my Touch. Further, you can tell it to let through unrated tracks and only exclude the one and two star tracks. This makes rating on the Touch/iPhone very convenient and practical and an automatic dynamic process for weeding out what you don't want. It all gets sorted out automatically after a sync.

prod, thanks so much for creating this wonderful piece of software.  It makes things so much easier for Touch/iPhone users and the software works so well.  I really appreciate all the work you put into it.

One other question: I changed the replay gain of some tracks using MP3Gain.  Even when I unchecked "Preserve file date/time" in MP3Gain to ensure the file date is modified, and opened up MC to ensure its database read the new values (by re-analyzing the audio files), the MCiS utility fails to recognize that the music files are changed and so they are not synced over to iTunes/Touch.  At the end of a sync it will say ZERO files synchronized.  I ended up deleting those tracks in iTunes and re-importing them, but is there anyway to make MCiS automatically recognize this change?

Cheers for the nice comments ....

The replay gain question; which tag or tags are we talking about? Bear in mind that, during the sync, iTunes will pick up changes in some tags that are stored in the file. When this happens, MCiS doesn't know about it, so it isn't counted as being sync'd. So you may get a zero numbered sync when in actual fact iTunes has noticed the changes internally due to a sync taking place.
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softshellcrab

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #439 on: December 06, 2009, 05:31:17 pm »

Hi prod ... I tested it today and with MCiS, the Touch will not be updated with files changed in MP3Gain.

Here's what I did -- I took an MP3 file which I had previously set to 89db in MP3Gain. I examined the file in both MC and Helium Music Manager to see what the values were. I then opened it up in MP3Gain and set the db level to 59.6 db so the volume change would be very noticeable. Then I opened up the file again in both MC and Helium to see what tags changed.

Helium showed the values changing for "replaygain_track_gain" and "replaygain_track_peak" under ID3V2.3 ... as well as the following values under apeV2 tags:

-- mp3gain_minmax
-- mp3gain_undo
-- replaygain_track_gain
-- replaygain_track_peak

In MC, the Action Window shows the value changed in the "Replay Gain" field.

After checking these values, I did a full sync with MCiS including a final sync to the Touch.  The music file played normally on the Touch so I know the file had not changed. However, the music file when played from within both iTunes and MC definitely shows the change made with MP3Gain.  iTunes in its database is simply pointing to the file so that's why when the file is played there the change shows up. However, apparently the iTunes database does not register any changes in the replay gain fields so it can't tell whether the file is actually different in that respect and hence fails to send the changed file to the Touch.

Is there any way you can facilitate this process?

Like maybe MCiS can monitor that Replay Gain field in the MC database, and if it changes, it can tell iTunes that the file has changed and then refresh it so it can be refreshed in the Touch?

It's not a biggie as I rarely change the value with MP3Gain. When I do, I just have to remember to delete the files in iTunes so they can be refreshed on the Touch. But if it's an easy tweak to do, that would be great.

Thanks again.

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mesue

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #440 on: December 06, 2009, 08:12:08 pm »

Can anyone here help me with an iTunes dilemma before I lose my mind? I have many playlists I have been syncing between MC and iTunes so I can sync them via iTunes to my iTouch. The VAST majority of the music I want on my Touch is static--One playlist of selected albums, and all my 4 and 5 star tracks. I had iTunes set to automatically sync these playlists, but every time I would sync the Touch, iTunes proceeded to erase and re-add about 10 GB of music which was taking forever. I don't  understand why it was erasing and adding back the same stuff over and over, but it wasn't just the songs from changed lists.

So I changed my Touch to manually manage music, thinking I could just drag over all the MC playlists to copy them to the Touch. BUT NO... it won't let you drag more than one at a time. What an aggravation! Even if you drag a folder, instead of copying over all the playlists in the folder, it makes a playlist with the name of the folder and all the songs from the playlists of the folder in one big playlist. NOT what I want.

Someone please tell me there's a better way...
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #441 on: December 07, 2009, 04:12:15 am »

It sounds like you have "Automatically fill free space with songs" checked on the Music tab in your Touch settings in iTunes. Try unchecking it. Even if you manually manage music you can still check/uncheck specific playlists to sync in that same Music tab ... no need to drag & drop.
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #442 on: December 07, 2009, 04:48:22 am »

Is there any way you can facilitate this process?

I see what you mean - unfortunately iTunes doesn't expose Replay Gain, and there's no function to force it to update specific files to your Touch. Also, MCiS doesn't keep a database of its own so it has no way of knowing that Replay Gain has changed since the last sync.

If it's really screwing things up for you, one thing you could do is incorporate the Replay Gain value into the "Sort Name" field.
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softshellcrab

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #443 on: December 07, 2009, 07:52:55 am »


If it's really screwing things up for you, one thing you could do is incorporate the Replay Gain value into the "Sort Name" field.

No, it is not a big problem at all.  With MCiS, keeping things synced is now a breeze, and  I feel like I'm asking for an extra cherry on top of the sundae!  :)

However, if I can get this done by simply populating the "Sort Name" field, I'll try it. It's a field I never use and even leave it unchecked currently in MCiS. So, is there a way to automatically populate this field with the replay gain value in MC? How would I do this?

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softshellcrab

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #444 on: December 07, 2009, 08:03:23 am »

Sue, I leave the option for automatic syncing unchecked in iTunes. And my "sync" playlists work fine. It just means iTunes won't do anything unless you actually click the "Sync" button or use something like MCiS.

I also have no problems with songs being refreshed if they don't change.  Maybe you have some redundant or conflicting rules in your smart lists? I did at one point and was getting tracks on my Touch that I didn't want.  What I did was eliminate as many smart playlists syncing on the MC side as I could -- as most of them could be replicated in iTunes anyway -- and I also weeded out redundant or possibly conflicting rules from the "sync" smart lists in iTunes. Then all was fine.
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #445 on: December 07, 2009, 09:45:50 am »

No, it is not a big problem at all.  With MCiS, keeping things synced is now a breeze, and  I feel like I'm asking for an extra cherry on top of the sundae!  :)

However, if I can get this done by simply populating the "Sort Name" field, I'll try it. It's a field I never use and even leave it unchecked currently in MCiS. So, is there a way to automatically populate this field with the replay gain value in MC? How would I do this?

:) Nice analogy ... feel free to suggest what you like, if it's good (and possible) the chances are I'll get round to implementing it.

So, there is most certainly a way to automatically populate "Sort Name" in iTunes with whatever you like. Below, I've put a snippet of the instructions at the top of the thread. I have it set up like so - I've created the following calculated library field in MC, [iTunesSortName] with the following content;

Clean(Replace(Replace([Name],/(),/)),2)

This removes all open and close brackets from the [Name] and removes articles (The, An, A).

Then in MCiS, I've set the expression for "Sort Name" to [iTunesSortName] and checked it. Simple as that.

What you want to do is just add [Replay Gain] to the mix, so you might set your [iTunesSortName] calculation to;

Clean(Replace(Replace([Name],/(),/)),2) - [Replay Gain]

This will make no difference to your sorting, but will mean if replay gain changes, the "Sort Name" field will change in iTunes, meaning your file updates on your Touch as required.

Quote
MCiS includes the ability to sync using MC expressions by right-clicking the desired field. However, this should be used with the utmost care. Remember that altering a field in iTunes will in many cases write the value to the tag of the physical file also - and this in turn may then be picked up in MC, overwriting your original values! The outcome depends on your configuration in iTunes, MC and MCiS. You need to know exactly what you are doing to use this option, if you are not sure, please ask about it here on the MC forums or leave it alone. This option is included to allow the user to swap fields over, for instance use Composer for Artist, Album Artist (auto) for Sort Album Artist or such like. That's not all though, any expression, simple or complex, may be entered to be sync'd to the destination file. I personally recommend using this mainly with the iTunes Sort fields or when using the Use Alternative File Keys option.
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mesue

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #446 on: December 07, 2009, 11:04:19 am »

It sounds like you have "Automatically fill free space with songs" checked on the Music tab in your Touch settings in iTunes. Try unchecking it. Even if you manually manage music you can still check/uncheck specific playlists to sync in that same Music tab ... no need to drag & drop.

No, that's not checked. I have a 64GB Touch and with the playlists I have selected it usually puts about 36 GB on the Touch. See below for my response to the second part of your comment.


Sue, I leave the option for automatic syncing unchecked in iTunes. And my "sync" playlists work fine. It just means iTunes won't do anything unless you actually click the "Sync" button or use something like MCiS.

I beleive you guys, but my iTunes does not work like that. If I tick the "Manually manage" checkbox on the summary tab, then everything under the "Music" tab goes dim and the list of playlists disappears. If I check "Sync Music" at the top of the music tab, then it comes back, but then "Manually manage" becomes unchecked and it will sync music every time I sync. Now you and Prod both tell me it is different for you. I'm confused. I would LOVE it if worked like the two of you describe! Most days I only need to sync info and apps. I would prefer if it only synced music when I choose to.

I also have no problems with songs being refreshed if they don't change.  Maybe you have some redundant or conflicting rules in your smart lists? I did at one point and was getting tracks on my Touch that I didn't want.  What I did was eliminate as many smart playlists syncing on the MC side as I could -- as most of them could be replicated in iTunes anyway -- and I also weeded out redundant or possibly conflicting rules from the "sync" smart lists in iTunes. Then all was fine.

I'll see what I can do. A lot of my playlists use things that aren't available in iTunes, but the one big one I sync is My Top Rated and that is an iTunes playlist. Maybe I really did change tags on 2000+ songs and that's why it was it was doing it. I was having a problem with disappearing Ratings, so it's possible.

I had to turn off manually manage because it was freezing iTunes almost every time I would drag a playlist to the iPod. I put it back to automatically sync and today it's "only" copying 500 songs.
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prod

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #447 on: December 07, 2009, 11:43:25 am »

I beleive you guys, but my iTunes does not work like that. If I tick the "Manually manage" checkbox on the summary tab, then everything under the "Music" tab goes dim and the list of playlists disappears. If I check "Sync Music" at the top of the music tab, then it comes back, but then "Manually manage" becomes unchecked and it will sync music every time I sync. Now you and Prod both tell me it is different for you. I'm confused. I would LOVE it if worked like the two of you describe! Most days I only need to sync info and apps. I would prefer if it only synced music when I choose to.

Sorry Sue, I don't have manually manage music checked at all - when I do check it I get the same as you. I definitely don't get random music sync'd to my iPhone though, just the stuff I select, and only stuff that has changed since the last sync. Sounds like yours is copying stuff because iTunes thinks it's changed.
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mesue

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #448 on: December 07, 2009, 12:10:08 pm »

Sorry Sue, I don't have manually manage music checked at all - when I do check it I get the same as you. I definitely don't get random music sync'd to my iPhone though, just the stuff I select, and only stuff that has changed since the last sync. Sounds like yours is copying stuff because iTunes thinks it's changed.
Okay, thanks for letting me know. It's not that I'm getting random music on my iPod, but it was taking off thousands of songs and then copying them back on. Quite annoying when you are not expecting it and you're in a rush. I'm pretty sure now it was related to the rating issue I was dealing with but I think I have it sorted out now. Fingers crossed!
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softshellcrab

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Re: MC iTunes Synchronizer (using MC with an iPhone or iPod Touch) [v5.0.1]
« Reply #449 on: December 07, 2009, 03:36:41 pm »

I've created the following calculated library field in MC, [iTunesSortName] with the following content;

Clean(Replace(Replace([Name],/(),/)),2)

This removes all open and close brackets from the [Name] and removes articles (The, An, A).

Then in MCiS, I've set the expression for "Sort Name" to [iTunesSortName] and checked it. Simple as that.

What you want to do is just add [Replay Gain] to the mix, so you might set your [iTunesSortName] calculation to;

Clean(Replace(Replace([Name],/(),/)),2) - [Replay Gain]


OK, I did what you suggested but simplified it. I simply right clicked on "Sort Name" and entered in "[Replay Gain]" and checked "Sort Name" for syncing. Nothing else was needed and it works great. I did not need to create an "iTunesSortName" field in MC nor add the extra text string.

One caveat to this which has nothing to do with MCiS is that the change in the Replay Gain field has to be registered in the MC database in order for this to work -- and not just the file's tags. If not, MCiS still will not sync the changed files. And the only way I found to reliably register the changes in the Replay Gain field in the MC database is to use "Analyze Audio" on the changed files. Simply using "Update Library from Tags" has no effect. Nor does checking the option for "Update for external changes" under auto import options. But this is minor and I'm glad I now have a more automated way to get changes in Replay Gain to take effect on the Touch.

Thanks again for the assistance.
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