Getting the most out of iTunes

Tips and techniques of the trade

Moderators: Mr Awesomer, JesseMiner, CafeSavoy

Message
Author
User avatar
Bob the Builder
Posts: 525
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 6:53 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

#16 Post by Bob the Builder » Mon Feb 07, 2005 9:32 pm

Thanks lipi

Do you know if the .idl file is Directory specific.
ie if you restore your MP4 files from your iPod (the directory structure and naming is different on the iPod), will what you say work?

Thanks in advance.

Brian
Image

lipi
Posts: 789
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 3:26 pm
Location: menlo park

#17 Post by lipi » Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:08 am

excellent question...i don't have time to experiment more now (leaving for europe in two days...llx, here i come!), but my gut instinct is this:

when you start up itunes with the old idl file and the new library which you just _copied_ from the ipod, then it will complain about all the songs not actually being where it expects them to be. when you try to play a song, it will whine at you and ask you whether you want to a) remove the song from the playlist/library or b) locate the song. if you choose b), you can then browse through your directories and find the song.

unfortunately, i don't know of a batch way of doing this -- so you'd have to do it for each song separately. (ugh.)

however, if you _import_ the files then you don't have to jump through this hoop. if you can't import directly from the ipod, you can always copy the stuff off to a new folder on your hard drive like you've been meaning to and then import from that new folder into the new itunes library. that way, the tracks will end up in exactly the same place as they were before the hypothetical hard drive disaster. (that is, assuming you've been telling itunes to keep the library organised...)

makes sense? sorry for the run-on sentences and ridiculous clauses.

again, take it with a grain of salt, since i ain't tried it. and, geez, there may totally be an easier way that i'm just not thinking of. do try to sync a song from your ipod to your hard drive and see if it retains rating and playcount...because then you're home free. i may just be talking out of my a**, after all. :o)

User avatar
Shanabanana
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 10:29 am
Location: Boulder CO
Contact:

#18 Post by Shanabanana » Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:47 am

FWIW, when I got my new computer, I copied my old itunes folder off of my hard drive, and just replaced the itunes folder on the new computer with the old one. It worked brilliantly. I don't know why you couldn't use this as a backup. Copy your itunes folder on to external hard drive, and in case of emergency, copy back. This includes using your ipod as a hard drive if you have room.

It's more complicated to pull your music files off of your ipod if they aren't in itunes folder form, but it's also doable. This tutorial tells you how.

lipi
Posts: 789
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 3:26 pm
Location: menlo park

#19 Post by lipi » Tue Feb 08, 2005 2:44 pm

FWIW, when I got my new computer, I copied my old itunes folder off of my hard drive, and just replaced the itunes folder on the new computer with the old one. It worked brilliantly. I don't know why you couldn't use this as a backup. Copy your itunes folder on to external hard drive, and in case of emergency, copy back. This includes using your ipod as a hard drive if you have room.
yes, you can, of course. however, you cannot play the stuff from your ipod then (or you'll need to have two copies -- one you copied on manually, and one you let itunes copy on -- and then even a 60 gb ipod may be too small for some).
It's more complicated to pull your music files off of your ipod if they aren't in itunes folder form, but it's also doable. This tutorial tells you how.
ah...this is what we were looking for (in particular the last paragraph):
If you want to restore your entire library, there is a 100% free solution that requires NO additional software.

Look for the \iPod_Control\Music directory on your iPod (when accessing it in Disk Mode -- ie, as a drive letter).

The \iPod_Control directory is hidden, so you may need to turn on the display of hidden files and folder in Windows Explorer (go to Tools->Folder Options->View).

This directory contains all of your music files, in their original form, complete with proper tags and filenames. The only downside is that they aren't organized into very logical folders (there is no album/artist folder organization). This can make it difficult to find a specific file, or especially to recover an entire artist or album (since they will be scattered throughout different subdirectories).

However, when restoring the entire music library, you can just copy this entire \iPod_Control\Music directory to your hard drive. This will include ALL of your music files.

If you then subsequently import that directory into iTunes, with the "Keep Music Folder Organized" option turned on (see Edit->Preferences->Advanced in iTunes), then iTunes will not only bring that music back into your library, but will reorganize it into subdirectories by album/artist.

The only information that this will not restore is the playlists, ratings, and playcounts, since these aren't stored in the physical music files themselves, but rather in the iPod's database. Most third-party utilities won't restore this information either, although there are a couple that will, such as CopyPod, which will restore playlists, ratings and playcounts, or PodUtil which will rebuild your playlists.
in other words: the ipod keeps a copy of the idl file (or similar). you can use copypod to get it off. sweet. thanks, shanabanana. that was an interesting read!

o.k., i'll stop posting obnoxiously long messages about nerdy things now.

User avatar
Bob the Builder
Posts: 525
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 6:53 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

#20 Post by Bob the Builder » Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:11 am

It's funny how things work out. Last Monday (1 week after I was asking about backing up) by hard drive kicked the bucket.

So any way, I was able to restore everything thanks to some of the discussion here.
So here is what I did to recover everything.

First of all I had backed up the "iTunes 4 Music Library.itl", "iTunes Music Library.xml" & "Temp File" out of the C:\Documents and Settings\brenehan\My Documents\My Music\iTunes folder on to my iPod.

When my new hard drive was installed, I used my iPod starter CD to install the iPod Drivers and iTunes. I then connected to my iPod using the this method - link

Coppied the music files on my iPod across to the C:\Documents and Settings\wrenehan\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music.
I then coppied my "iTunes 4 Music Library.itl", "iTunes Music Library.xml" + "Temp File" over to my PC into a temp folder.

Disconnected the iPod in Explorer using the "eject" function when I right clicked on the iPod.

Opened iTunes. Go to File/add folder to Library and selected the folder that I just copied across. iTunes then goes through the library and imports the music files. Then, because I have had iTunes set up to "Keep iTunes folder organised" (which is how I had it before the crash) iTunes reorganised the folder names, back to their original folder names.

I then went File/Import and selected the iTunes Music Library.xml file. This restored the play lists.

I then closed iTunes and copied the original "iTunes 4 Music Library.itl", "iTunes Music Library.xml" + "Temp File" over the new ones.

I then re-opened iTunes and everything was back, ie ratings, pictures, comments, ect, ect.

I might have taken more steps than necessary, but the above only took my 30 minutes to do and it was relatively easy.
I know I'm very happy with how will it worked.
Hope it helps someone else in the future who is unfortunate to lose their hard drive.
My only advise is, don't by a Dell Computer. After working with them for 8 years and been a system Administer for a few years I can tell you they are Crapbady crap crap. I only have it because it is a work computer. The cd ROM feel apart a few months ago and the PC is only a few months older than that.

Brian :D
Image

User avatar
Mr Awesomer
Posts: 1089
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2002 10:21 pm
Location: Altadena, CA
Contact:

#21 Post by Mr Awesomer » Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:06 am

My home computer is still my Dell XPS T450 which I bought in March of 1999. Not a single original part on it has failed. Granted I've since replaced the 450mhz P3 it originally came with a 1.2ghz Celeron and swapped out the video and sound cards for newer ones, but it wasn't done due to failure. Everything else has just been add ons: more memory, bigger/faster hard drive, a CDRW. This 6 year old system runs XP quite nicely and performs all the tasks I need it to. Needless to say, I'll be buying another Dell soon, not out of need, more for want.
Reuben Brown
Southern California

User avatar
Bob the Builder
Posts: 525
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 6:53 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

#22 Post by Bob the Builder » Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:53 pm

My laptop had drive is starting to get full on music.
I've heard some where along the line that iTunes 5 you can have 2 library locations, ie I'd like to more some of my lesser played stuff across to an external drive.
Anyone know how It can be done?

Thanks
Brian
Image

User avatar
CafeSavoy
Posts: 1138
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2002 6:25 pm
Location: Mobtown
Contact:

#23 Post by CafeSavoy » Thu Oct 27, 2005 6:57 am

Bob the Builder wrote:My laptop had drive is starting to get full on music.
I've heard some where along the line that iTunes 5 you can have 2 library locations, ie I'd like to more some of my lesser played stuff across to an external drive.
Anyone know how It can be done?

Thanks
Brian
Songs don't have to be in your itunes library for them to be listed in itunes as long as the option to copy all songs into the itunes library is turned off. If you want to add songs from an external drive, you should use of the fields (maybe group) to indicate where the songs are actually located. If you click on a file from an external drive that isn't plugged in, all of the songs from that drive tend to show up as missing. In that case you want to close itunes, plug in the drive, and then re-open itunes.

User avatar
Bob the Builder
Posts: 525
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 6:53 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

#24 Post by Bob the Builder » Thu Oct 27, 2005 3:49 pm

Thanks Rayned,

Is there an easy way I can move a bunch of files across, without loosing rating and BPM tags?
Image

User avatar
CafeSavoy
Posts: 1138
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2002 6:25 pm
Location: Mobtown
Contact:

#25 Post by CafeSavoy » Thu Oct 27, 2005 3:53 pm

Bob the Builder wrote:Thanks Rayned,

Is there an easy way I can move a bunch of files across, without loosing rating and BPM tags?
I don't know if there's an easy way but one method would involve:
1) turn on copy files to itunes library
2) change the itunes library to the new location
3) allow itunes to copy and setup files
4) turn off copy files to itunes libary
5) change itunes library back to original location.

User avatar
Mr Awesomer
Posts: 1089
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2002 10:21 pm
Location: Altadena, CA
Contact:

#26 Post by Mr Awesomer » Thu Oct 27, 2005 3:57 pm

The BPM tag is apart of the actual song file... ie it has nothing to do with your library. Not sure if the same is true with the rating, but two second of experimenting with a file or two would give you an answer.
Reuben Brown
Southern California

User avatar
CafeSavoy
Posts: 1138
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2002 6:25 pm
Location: Mobtown
Contact:

#27 Post by CafeSavoy » Thu Oct 27, 2005 4:05 pm

GuruReuben wrote:The BPM tag is apart of the actual song file... ie it has nothing to do with your library. Not sure if the same is true with the rating, but two second of experimenting with a file or two would give you an answer.
the rating is within itunes unlike the bpm.

User avatar
Bob the Builder
Posts: 525
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 6:53 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

#28 Post by Bob the Builder » Thu Oct 27, 2005 4:12 pm

Thanks

The BPM one is a wird one. Anytime I have ripped tracks from CD's to over right the origional one, I've lost my BPM info. I held onto the other tags, but for some reason I loose the BPM info.

Brian :D
Image

User avatar
The Peanut Vendor
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2004 12:24 pm
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

#29 Post by The Peanut Vendor » Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:46 am

AFAIK, there is currently no id3 field for BPM. which sucks. One program I used actually created a id3 field for BPM... iTunes read the BPM field, but unfortunately it didn't carry the decimal place, so my songs were apparently 2000 bpm. Not sure where iTunes stores bpm.

I'm going to use some other id3 field to store bpm... probably in the comments field. If you know how to do scripting, you can easily and automatically move all your itunes bpm into another field.
---
The Sugar Swing Dance club

LindyCentral
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:23 am
Contact:

#30 Post by LindyCentral » Tue Dec 06, 2005 10:36 am

The Peanut Vendor wrote:AFAIK, there is currently no id3 field for BPM. which sucks. One program I used actually created a id3 field for BPM... iTunes read the BPM field, but unfortunately it didn't carry the decimal place, so my songs were apparently 2000 bpm. Not sure where iTunes stores bpm.

I'm going to use some other id3 field to store bpm... probably in the comments field. If you know how to do scripting, you can easily and automatically move all your itunes bpm into another field.
I have assigned bpm using id3-tagit and have had those tags show up in itunes. i'm not sure why you're having a problem.

Locked