iTunes! Gesundheit! (or, a SoundApp junkie finally makes the plunge)

I’ve been pretty much ignoring iTunes because I had somewhere between 300 and 400 albums’ worth of music divided up into playlists created and managed within SoundApp, and I figured it was only a matter of time before a Carbon version popped up.

It didn’t :frowning:

I experimented briefly with Cabrio but didn’t care for it. Now I’ve downloaded iTunes for MacOS 9 and X.

Question 1: Folders – I see how to create playlists, but how the heck do I organize them? In SoundApp, each playlist is a file so I just stick them in folders and use the Mac Finder to organize them into a hierarchical arrangement. In iTunes, the playlist I create doesn’t seem to correspond to any new file that I can find, and within iTunes itself it’s just hanging there below the default icons for Radio and Library. So after adding 50 or 60 playlists it’s going to be one buttugly cumbersome interface. This can’t be right. How the heck do you create folders or equiv?

Question 2: Sharing the Playlist XPlat – I don’t mean between my computer and someone else’s, I mean between MacOS X on mine and MacOS 9 on mine. The whole idea of going with iTunes was that it existed for both platforms and therefore, presumably, both versions could open the same files so I wouldn’t have to create 400-some-odd playlists twice. As I said, I can’t find a file that corresponds to a newly created playlist; therefore I don’t know what to go open from within the other copy of iTunes to acquire it there. Clue me in here, folks.

My comments refer to iTunes for OSX. I only use OS9 for 5% of my Mac work now. iTunes is a lot like iPhoto in that within the user interface you are really working with pointers to the files and not the actual files themselves. The use of metadata allows you to create multiple playlists featuring the same song file without having to duplicate data. I am sure you know this.

In iTunes preferences, click the Advanced picture/tab and the path of the corresponding iTunes library is unveiled. You have to have “Keep iTunes music folder organized” and “copy files to…” checked for it to work right. Following the path you can locate the iTunes music folder. I keep an alias of it in the dock for locating and burning .aiff files in Toast.

I have not the need to share libraries between Mac OSes, but perhaps you can configure aliases in one or the other platforms. A neat thing is that you can share the iTunes library files on your network. Look under the Advanced menu.

You can also have multiple library files using one of several shareware enhancements. Check versiontracker et al.

The online line Apple iTunes user support discussion groups are very good for more detailed help.

I’ve pretty much decided to ditch iTunes for everything except accessing the Music Store.

I found an app, Audion 3, which has a MacOS 9 version and a MacOS X version and I like it better. The playlists are files, and, as such, can be placed within folders or subfolders and thusly organized as I see fit. The MacOS 9 version can open a playlist created in MacOS X and vice versa.

(The music files themselves can be absolutely anywhere and are referenced by, not embedded in, the playlists).

I use MacOS 9 probaby 35% of the time, down from 95% prior to getting my VTBookDD second display card for my WallStreet just a couple weeks ago :slight_smile:

AHunter3, iTunes doesn’t use playlists for categorization.

Instead, tracks are organized in the library according to tagged metadata, ie. categorization information. For example, you tag a song as being by artist “Death Cab for Cutie”, from album “Transatlanticism”, in genre “rock”, with title “Death of an Interior Decorator”, to pick something semirandom. When browsing the library, you can browse among genres, artists, and albums.

In other words, the classic playlist-per-album idiom is completely unnecessary, because once files are tagged correctly, iTunes will know which album a song belongs to, and it will do so dynamically.

iTunes supports the ID3 standard for this purpose, where all metadata, in addition to being stored in the iTunes database file, is kept synchronized in the file itself, which means that if you load the file into an iPod or into a different ID3-aware audio player, it will show the correct title, artist, album etc.

While iTunes can rip CDs, it also means that if you rip a CD with a different ID3-compliant program like CDex, the tracks will be categorized automatically, so that when you import them into iTunes, iTunes will read the ID3 tags and organize the tracks accordingly. Same goes for tracks downloaded from the Internet: If the ID3 tags are correct (sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t), you won’t have to do anything other than drag the files into iTunes.

Playlists are used to mix different tracks together than don’t share the same genre, album og artist. You can also create virtual (“smart”) playlists, which compute their contents dynamically based on a set of criteria (eg., all jazz from 1950 to 1960).

As for sharing, iTunes uses the Apple Rendesvouz technology to share libraries over networks. Other users will be able to view your library and play your tracks. If you run iTunes on multiple computers, this is the way to go. (There is even a trick to make sharing work over the Internet.) I don’t think you can run multiple copies of iTunes that use the same physical database file, but that should not be necessary.

I’m buying Audion.