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Author Topic: Will MC mess with my Itunes library structure? [No]  (Read 6463 times)

BubbaMike

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Will MC mess with my Itunes library structure? [No]
« on: February 26, 2013, 01:08:09 am »

Is Media Center going to change my ITunes library structure when i import my music to it? I'd prefer that it didn't do so. I Tunes does things different than I would but I know how it works and I like being able to use both programs with minimal problems.
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Cmagic

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 01:28:05 am »

Hi,

Don't worry. MC will not do any harm to your current iTunes library.
In fact MC will build its own library and populate it with metadata (tags) read from your tracks. it will not touch the iTunes library.

I am personally using MC and iTunes altogether (on both PCs and Macs) and they live in perfect peace.

Have a nice day

C.
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jtwrace

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 08:42:13 am »

This is great news.  I was wondering the same thing and was thinking I needed to get another drive and copy it and then use it for MC 18. 

So, if I'm understanding this correctly, I can use iTunes and MC 18 on the same computer with the same hard drive.  Yes?
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glynor

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 09:37:06 pm »

This is great news.  I was wondering the same thing and was thinking I needed to get another drive and copy it and then use it for MC 18.  

So, if I'm understanding this correctly, I can use iTunes and MC 18 on the same computer with the same hard drive.  Yes?

Absolutely.

Unlike iTunes, MC doesn't move your files unless you tell it to.  When you tell it to, it has a very flexible and powerful system for renaming and moving files based on their metadata tags, by the way.  But, the two can co-exist completely peacefully.  On my main testing system, I just imported all of the music I had in my iTunes library right where it was (just told MC's Auto-Import to scan my ~/Music/ directory), and everything is copacetic.

In fact, if you turn on the Update Files for External Changes feature of MC's Auto-Import, it will even pick up changes to metadata you make in iTunes (most of them, anyway).  So, if you "tag" a file in iTunes from "The Beatles" to "Beatles, the" for example, then launch MC and have it scanning your iTunes storage location, MC will pick up and see those changes nearly immediately.  (I haven't tested this with the current builds on OSX, but that's the idea, and is how it works on Windows if you let it.)  iTunes does do some wonky things with the file tags, so this might not ever work perfectly, but it works fine for most stuff.

About the only thing you might want to do is turn off the feature of iTunes that rearranges files on disk automatically.  Even without this, Auto-Import should mostly pick up the changes (it will be more troublesome if your media lives on an external USB or Firewire disk), but this isn't "ideal" because it will force MC to continually "lose" and have to "re-find" missing file.  It'll do it, but there might be problems around the edges.

And, in the end (once MC is closer to being "done" for this version), you might end up with a better experience if you switch to MC primarily.  But they absolutely can (and do on Windows) co-exist without issue.
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rjm

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2013, 09:51:21 pm »

And for some icing on the cake, use MC's powerful tagging features to clean up Artist names for multi-artist albums, then use     
MC iTunes Synchronizer to properly set the compilation tag used by iTunes, re-import your music into iTunes, and now all your compilations will display perfectly in iTunes.
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Woodburn

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2013, 06:35:42 am »

Great news and great suggestions.  I used MC years ago in Windows to clean up a big library.  Now I'm an avid MacBook Air user and was a little nervous about the Alpha MC 18.  Glad to know my iTunes library won't be put through a blender.

I back my music library up to my Apple Time Machine.  My SONOS system indexes that library and plays it throughout the house.  I would like to have a subset on my MacBook, add tags there, and then sync back to the larger library on the Time Machine.

So, here's my question, should I tell MC 18 to import and index my larger library on the Time Machine first or the iTunes library on my MacBook?  Will MC 18 then create a new library?  Will it be on my MacBook or Time Machine or both?  Thanks.
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bspachman

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 08:52:47 am »

@Woodburn,

Although I'm not familiar with how your Sonos system works, after reading your post, I'm a little confused. Right now it sounds like you keep ALL of your music files (the entirety of your library) on an external disk that you also use as a Time Machine backup? You also have a smaller subset of your files stored on your MBAir? It sounds like you've got multiple copies of your actual music files in different physical storage locations (some on your MBAir, some on a Time Machine drive).

As glynor said earlier in the thread, MC doesn't care WHERE your actual music files are, and MC won't move your physical files unless you tell it to. In MC-terminology, the word 'library' specifically refers to the database that MC builds. That 'library' is located (by default) local to your machine, but the music files that the library refers to can be anywhere: an internal drive, an external drive, a networked location, etc.

When MC imports your files, you are simply telling it to "Look here for music files"; "Look over there for music files"; "Look in this other place"; etc. When MC plays back, or you tag the files, it will play the file from its file location--wherever that may be.

So, to try to answer your questions, your MC 'Library' will be located on the machine you run MC on. Your music files will stay wherever you currently have them. If you want MC to only import files from your MBAir, simply import from the local hard drive. If you want MC to import files from your Time Machine backup, import them from that drive.

Once imported, MC will read and write from the files, without messing with your filing system or your iTunes database....

'Zat help?
brad
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Woodburn

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2013, 09:09:53 am »

That helps quite a bit, Brad.  Thanks.  I was hoping that would be the answer. 

I have a data folder on my Time Machine that is wholly apart from Apple's automatic backup snapshots of the MacBook.  That's where I keep copies of precious documents, photos, and my entire music file collection.  The laptop has a subset of the collection and the laptop is where MC and iTunes software resides.  Sonos, by contrast, is controller software located on the laptop, iPhone, iPad, and a dedicated handheld controller.  It handles streaming from Internet music services or from any other device I've told it to index. 

My goal with MC is to use it to clean up the meta-tags on my permanent music collection in the data folder on the Time Machine. 

Can't wait to get started.
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jmrdc

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2013, 11:54:38 am »

And for some icing on the cake, use MC's powerful tagging features to clean up Artist names for multi-artist albums, then use     
MC iTunes Synchronizer to properly set the compilation tag used by iTunes, re-import your music into iTunes, and now all your compilations will display perfectly in iTunes.

Just getting started on MC, where do I find the MC iTunes Synchronizer?  Great, great, software, bee tee dubs!!!
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bspachman

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2013, 11:59:53 am »

MC iTunes Synchronizer can be found in a thread in the "3rd Party Plug-ins" portion of these boards. However, it's (currently) a Windows-only utility.

brad
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jmrdc

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2013, 12:01:00 pm »

MC iTunes Synchronizer can be found in a thread in the "3rd Party Plug-ins" portion of these boards. However, it's (currently) a Windows-only utility.

brad

Thanks Brad.  I'm happy enough to wait!
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transmaster

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2013, 12:38:20 pm »

iJiver is the only music player that equals Winamp in how it handles files.  You really learn how good a player's library scanners are when you have almost 6 terabytes of music and video's.  The only problem I have is in many cases I have multiple releases of a single album. JRiver lumps them all together in one file. With all of the library settings I suppose there is a combination that will stop this.   
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MrC

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2013, 12:42:35 pm »

JRiver lumps them all together in one file.  

The audio files are not combined.  You are seeing the same-named album grouped by Album name as one grouping, because that is how you have the albums named.  If you want to separate by some variation, a simple view modification will accomplish this.  What field or quality would you like to use to separate the groupings?
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transmaster

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2013, 03:13:36 pm »

 I understand that.  :) What I will probably do is key on the year of release.  I have not dug very far into the details of the indexing system yet. When I see a file I can edit it on the spot to move it to new folder. Incidentally one of the best tag editor is the one dbpoweramp uses and I have used it for over ten years.  All of the stuff you want to do to a single track or a whole album are on one page. (see the screen shot below).  The one iTunes uses of fairly good too. having said this from what I see of JRiver it  is massively more capable.  Believe me after what iTunes did to my file structure JRiver is finding stuff I had forgotten I had.    As long as you purchase all of your music from iTunes you are fine bring in several terabytes and you are screwed.  The guess the question here should be don't worry what JRiver is going to do to iTunes worry what iTunes is going to do to JRiver.



Each line of text you see can be edited, and there are all kinds of stuff you can add.
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MrC

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2013, 04:24:54 pm »

Go see the Tag Action Window (Alt-Enter).  Expand it to show all fields.

To break albums apart by release year, either use the existing Date field for the release date (and the stock views will just work), or add your own field to track this and create a custom field which is calculated as Album - Date and then use this field as the Group By setting.
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transmaster

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Re: Is MC going to mess with my Itunes library structure?
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2013, 05:03:41 pm »

Go see the Tag Action Window (Alt-Enter).  Expand it to show all fields.

To break albums apart by release year, either use the existing Date field for the release date (and the stock views will just work), or add your own field to track this and create a custom field which is calculated as Album - Date and then use this field as the Group By setting.

Yes that will do it, Thanks. I can tell you the JRiver's album cover art finder is the very best. I appreciate the fact it scans my PC for the art as well as the internet. 
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