Libraries in Windows 7

I’m used to using directories and subdirectories, going all the way back to early versions of DOS. I’ve got all my stuff organized in directories under the C: drive.

Windows 7 emphasizes libraries. You can explore directories…in some cases.

Using Windows Media Player, you cannot explore directories. You must use libraries. And I’m damned if I can figure it out.

I did manage to force a library to accept all my music. But when I go down into the subdirectories where the music files are, the files are all labeled “untitled.” WTF? The files have file names. That’s what I want to use for the title. But the file names don’t show. Do they expect me go go in using some editor or other and enter the new names for all of my music files?

Why do they do stuff like this?

I’ve long since lost the link, but there’s a program somewhere that can batch edit a music file’s metadata for you via some parameters. I used it to shove a bunch of old files structured “Name - Artist - Album” into the correct metadata fields.

Meh. Just use Explorer to navigate to your media files and double click the file you want to open it in Media Player.

I have never bothered to figure out libraries either, let alone re-organize all my files into them.

Libraries spread across different physical disks can cause the built in Windows 7 backup to break. So I, too, have given up on using them.

I’m using Windows 7 and I kind of forgot about the libraries. The explorer still shows me my folders and I’m good.

What do they…do?

That works for playing media, but I was trying to burn an audio CD.

I did find some freeware that does the job pretty well, although it, too, burns the files without naming them. Instead keeping the file names – I use a kind of serial number system – so 00323.mp3 means something to me – it renames them to track1, track2, etc. But I can actually do what I need…free…

Still, Microsoft is not managing to satisfy at least one customer…

ETA: Mahaloth: libraries are just collections of pointers, sort of like shortcuts. The advantage is that you can have several libraries with pointers to the same files. A link to a song could be in the “Country” library and in the “Johnny Cash” library. Shrug. Nice for some people, but I don’t have any need for it at all; I’ve got my stuff arranged so I know where it is.

I verified this just now: You can drag files from your directories in windows explorer right into the burn list and it works fine.

Oh! I started to say that this didn’t work…but you’re quite right, it does work!

(Of course, Media Player immediately started to PLAY the selections… Sigh…)

I really don’t want to be one of those knee-jerk Microsoft haters. I adore Excel, and I can almost always get Word to do what I want. But…

Anyway… Thank you! It does work!

I don’t really understand. The music I put on my recently acquired desktop computer with Win 7 shows all the music organized by folder and file, according to artist and album, all named correctly including individual songs. In library view it looks just like Windows Explorer on XP. Some of it I imported from my mobile players, and some I ripped from CD’s. I wonder what’s going on with your set up?

Things like this are one of the many reasons why I prefer iTunes over WMP. And yes, libraries are a terrible idea, or at least the lack of an easy way to get rid of them is.

You may be obtaining professionally recorded music. I didn’t mention, but my music is mostly converted from my largish collection of old LPs. I use a USB turntable and software (Audacity) which “scans” the audio input and converts it to (among other formats) mp3 files.

I haven’t been filling in the mp3 metadata manually. Too lazy…

Does anyone know of a utility that automatically fills in the “title” of mp3 metadata, preferably to the file name? Otherwise, I’ll just have to cope with a LOT of “untitled” mp3s.

I like Tag&Rename. Very powerful and not very user-friendly, but once you get your workflow figured out it’s great (and fast).

Looks good… Looks very good… But at $30, I think I’d just prefer to labor under my current limitations. I did find a freeware utility called Mp3tag, but the installation failed. So I’m somewhere between the Scylla and Charybdis of “You get what you pay for” and “I’m a cheap-ass bastage!” But I’ve bookmarked this product, and will come back to it when frustrations mount; Thanks!

Libraries are great. You don’t have to care where your files are (or you can easily redirect your data to a different drive) and they’ll all appear in one location. iTunes is retarded and has no concept of libraries on Windows. iTunes tries way too hard to be a Mac application on Windows.

I’ve been using Windows 7 for years now, and I too have no idea what libraries are or how to use them. I just use explorer to browse to directories here and there, and everywhere.

I ignore libraries in Win 7 too. Explorer works just like it always has. I don’t use Win Media Player. I use free software to play music and video.

Libraries have been a part of Windows all along. They were similar to zip files. But it wasn’t until Win 7 that Microsoft tried pushing them on us.

Double ditto this. I completely ignore the whole concept of libraries and pretend they do not exist.

I dread seeing what “improvements” Windows 8 has in store for us. Maybe I’ll die before I ever have to upgrade.

I’m with ya! I liked Windows XP, and was rather sad at having to upgrade. (Total system crash; had to buy a whole new system.)

I have always done some basic “pseudo-library” stuff with shortcuts. I have a “favorites” folder on my desktop that contains shortcuts to often-used data and programs. But this is totally, wholly, and easily user-defined. Win7’s libraries are ugly and clunky and hard to use.

Also slow! It took forty minutes for it to update my music library. This was particularly idiotic of them, because the vast bulk of my music files are Audacity data files, which aren’t “music” in any ordinary sense. They’re audio data, only usable by Audacity. Forcing me to include them in my music “library” in titanically stupid.

If they’re going to allow users to do stuff, they should also allow us not to do stuff!

Triple ditto.

Back in the day, when software was complicated and obscure and you actually had to RTFM (because there was no Google) there was this concept called “file management”. You the user had to figure out where to put stuff and how to keep it organized.

Libraries are the opposite of file management. Dump your files anywhere and Windows will make it look like they’re all in the same place regardless of the actual locations. It makes life easier for the lazy and disorganized.

Check Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows if you want to preview some gory details. I’ve also got a thread here called “I don’t like Windows 8 at all” which sums up some of the vast criticism this OS is going to endure when it drops like a turd.