Libraries in Windows 7

Libraries are just folders that contain multiple folders. I don’t understand what’s complicated about this at all.

And iTunes very much does use libraries. That’s why your songs are organized by Album and type and all that. That’s a library. It doesn’t matter where the file is on the disk. I understand not liking libraries, but if you like iTunes, your problem is just how Microsoft has implemented the libraries. (and, yes, that’s my gripe, too.)

Still, I don’t understand this idea that people are lazy who don’t organize things. Organization is something computers are good at. There’s a reason why stuff like Google is so popular–it organizes what isn’t organized, making it where you can actually find stuff. I see no reason not to let computers handle the bulk of the organizing.

Oh, and one of my biggest gripes of Windows 8 is that it’s less organized than Windows 7. You have the shoehorned in Metro, of course, but that’s not the big problem. All your apps, once you figure out where they are hidden, are just sitting in a large pile that you can scroll across your screen. Sure, you get labels for folders, but they can start anywhere. It’s just all out there. If I hadn’t started over fresh, my computer would look like a mess. And I actually spent time reorganizing my start menu.

I’ve actually thought of starting a thread about my experiences of Windows 8, and, more importantly, where I think I could do better. I bet I’m far from the only one with gripes and has an idea of how to fix them. But the idea of it organizing too much stuff for you? HA!

For those of us who grew up with directory trees, it’s counterintuitive, for being non-unique. Now, yes, shortcuts have already bypassed uniqueness, but most of us don’t use shortcuts extensively for our data, only for desktop icons to launch a few of our most-used applications.

Having two completely separate “trees” of files is disconcerting. It’s as if each of my files has both a zip code and an area code, and I can look things up each way. Okay, I suppose, if you’re used to it, but for those of us who believe in master-detail database structure, with unique key serial numbers, the idea of parallel keys is bothersome. I know where my data is; stop giving it completely new folder locations!

Also: when I delete something, I like to delete it. Really. Finding out later that I only deleted a pointer, and not the actual file, is extremely irritating.

(It increases the chances that the FBI will find those child-porn files I thought I erased! Oops, no, I didn’t say that…)

I find my computer to be utterly piss poor at organizing. I have the collected works of Richard Pryor in MP3 format on my computer. When Media Player tries to organize all of this, it comes up with nothing but “unknown name, unknown artist”. This is despite the fact that every album is accurately titled and every track is in order. WMP is supposed to be able to find and fill this metadata effortlessly. But because it has no intuition, it cannot jump to the dramatic conclusion that everything under the “Richard Pryor” folder is indeed by the artist Richard Pryor.

On the other hand, when Windows tries to be intuitive it fails. Put a single MP3 with album art into your Downloads folder. Now watch a totally unrelated video. When the video stops playing in WMP you must wonder why “cute kittens.avi” is represented by the album art for the Insane Clown Posse album Bang Pow Boom. Magic everywhere in this bitch, indeed.

I have also found that Windows simply does not like having too much content in a single folder. A single folder with a dozen MP3s in it? No problem. A huge master folder with thousands of MP3s, WAVs, MPEGs, MOVs, PDFs, DOCs, DOCXs and various other items can make Windows slow to a crawl or poop out altogether.

Unless you are somewhat OCD like me and absolutely do not want the computer to have any say in organization beyond doing exactly what I tell it to do, goddamn it. Windows 7 disables a lot of the functionality of the start menu. The first thing I do when I reinstall is to hack that functionality back in so that I can decide what goes where. Windows 8 does away with the start menu altogether. I will do away with Windows 8 until I can hack the start menu back in. I control the computer. The computer does not control me.

Does it help to break up that giant folder into sub-folders? That’s what I’ve always done: “MyFiles” contains folders for Music, Art, Photos, Documents, etc., and each of those is further broken up. When I do have a giant glop of mp3 files, I break them up into separate subdirectories about 100 at a time.

I’ve always done this for my convenience…but does it help Windows performance, or is it not relevant?

Hear hear! That’s always been my view to life also. I’m not good enough to do hacks of this type, but, little by little, I can usually nudge my system around to fit my preferences.