How the heck do you use an iPod Classic with a huge song library?

(Not sure if this is GQ or CS or IMHO, but I imagine opinions are what I’m looking for).

I just bought a fancy new iPod Classic for my wife, along with speakers. My first impulse was to simply load up everything we have in our library on it, since there is plenty of space.

After just playing around with it for a few days (and not being an experienced iPod Classic user myself), I have found this option to be pretty much useless.
It’s extremely difficult to scroll through huge lists of albums and artists to find stuff, and doubly annoying if half of the stuff isn’t your own music (I doubt she will ever enjoy Pink Floyd).

My second attempt was to create a fresh iTunes library for her and just add albums as she wants them. That seems far more useful, but she’s going to use about 10 or 20 gb max.

How does anyone actually use a 160gb iPod, if it’s music only?

To the best I could figure it, playlists can be used to sort of hack things, but that only goes so far. What am I not getting here?

Well, I’ve never owned an iPod but I’ve owned other scrollable HD mp3 players, and basically, just keep your music sorted and have fun scrolling. Either that or put it on random. Just make sure everything is sorted by artist, and its much easier.

not an Apple user, but I have lots of stuff on other mp3 players

You set the metadata (aka tags). And remember you can set them to whatever you want, even if its not the officially correct data. I make up my own genres.

I just got my first ipod too - a 4 gig nano, and I feel some of the same kind of stuff, though I’m not really sharing it with somebody else.

My suggestions would be to use playlists and the ‘composer’ field for as much as you can - and maybe genres if you like. Itunes doesn’t keep you from putting your own made-up values in any of those fields, so you could each use composers as category names - ‘his upbeat’, ‘her romantic’, whatever you please.

Good luck with it!

In Itunes, you can organize the music into playlists and put those playlists into folders, nested folders if necessary. I believe the latest Ipods will recognize those nested folders.

In your case where you each like different music (my wife and I have the same situation) create one playlist for all your music and another for everything she likes. You can drag the music you like into each playlist. I’m also a big fan of smart playlists but you might want to get used to iTunes before going that route too much. The itunes genius playlists or shuffle are pretty good for starting with.

I have playlists based on a couple things - operas get their own play list, so if I want to listen to Magic Flute, all I get is magic flute[and I have to remember to take it off shuffle and repeat the playlist =)]

I have a playlist that is for driving - heavy metal and electronica and some of the zippier jazz

I have a playlist for sleeping - all soft music [i have an ipod clock radio]

I have a play list of favorite raid music for WOW

I have a play list of all 30/40 big band/swing/jazz

I have a play list of nam vintage music [motown, some in country music, woodstock]

I have a playlist of nonobjectionable stuff for when my mother is driving in the car … she just doesnt seem to appreciate Wendy O Williams Work That Muscle for some reason =)

Also, that room is usable for videos. And as of firmware updates several years ago on my 5G one (haven’t used the iPod Classic yet), if you scroll through, it will skip letters on your way down, making it much faster to get to what you want.

Good point. It does do that on the classic as well, very useful.

How big is your library? I have an 80 gig Classic (it wasn’t called that back when I bought it), and about 4,000 tunes and just a couple of videos take up about 25% of the memory.

If your list is sorted in alpha order, when you’ve spun you finger a few times, the ketters of the alphabet will appear in a black box, and in effect you will be scrolling through the alphabet. It is very fast, at least to get to the correct starting letter. You can have the same list several times, sorted differently, for almost no memory penalty. So I had my main list twice, sorted once by song name, and once by artist. The song name sorted much faster, and I ended up deleting my list sorted by artist (and then song name) because of it. Instead, when I want to find the music by an artist, I go to “Artists”, again the alphabet will appear once you get scrolling, so you can get to any letter of the alphabet very quickly.

Maybe my music library wouldn’t qualify as “huge”, but I’ve got close to 1200 albums on my Classic, and I don’t have a problem scrolling through the collection to find what I want. I title all the albums with the name of the group or composer (in the case of classical albums) first, then just run through the alphabetical order (I haven’t yet used playlists).

I tend to use song shuffle as much or more than playing individual albums. It gives me one of the world’s weirdest radio stations. :smiley:

Ah. I have just found how to engage the “Genius” feature. That should help greatly.

I am still reluctant to put all of our stuff on one iPod. She seems to be managing better now that it just has her stuff on it.

How do you all use ratings? I simply went through and gave everything in her library 3 stars and then showed her how to set ratings from the click-wheel. I don’t know if she will ever do so, but at least she knows how.

Is there a “secret handshake” to ban a song forever? I imagine one could simply rate it to zero and then use a smart playlist to find all of the zero-rated songs in iTunes and uncheck them (with “sync only checked songs” selected). This seems a little cumbersome, and there ought to be a better way.

I think I’ll let her grow into it a little before getting fancy with playlists.

I’m holding back on putting too much metadata into iTunes (e.g. tags) for now. Does iTunes put those tags inside the mp3 files or is it just application-level secret metadata?

My secret code is to rate three, four, and five-star songs by how much I like them. Two stars is what I rate songs I want to keep in my library but not have transferred to a playlist. It could be an intro, too long, seasonal, various reasons. One star goes to a playlist called Fix or Delete, either the song needs to go or there’s some error with the tags that needs to be corrected.

I think you can do this with a Mac but not a PC.

In iTunes you can use the field chooser to make the ratings field visible, then sort by it. Then mark all the lowest as “Don’t Play During Shuffle”. Then put the list back to its original sort.

I have the 160GB, and it’s completely full. Every so often I have to go through and do a purge.

It’s really not that hard to scroll through and find what you want, and mine is just organized by artist and album. I can get to any album or song on it within a few seconds.

My favorite playlist is the Recently Added list. I put a lot of new music on it every week, so most of the time when I’m listening to music I just fire up that playlist and go. But if I’m in the mood for pretty much anything else, I’ve got it.

I use playlists and shuffle. I rarely seek out a particular song on the iPod. I use it more as my own personal radio station - I don’t know what song is next, but I know I’ll like it.