How to help iTunes destroy your mp3 folders

I know better than to use the defaults! I go into the advanced preferences and check “Keep iTunes Music Folder Organized” and change the iTunes folder to where all my neatly organized mp3s folders are. Still I don’t see any songs in the library… I’ll Import them!

[Much churning]

Ta Da! I now have a different folder for every slighly misspelled artist name, title, album, ID3, and filename. Even better, any special collections folders I had, like, say, “girl groups”, are now empty, those songs neatly sprinkled throughout the mess.

OK. I wanted iTunes to manage my collection, fair enough, so let’s see what we can do now. I see a set of songs under a misspelling. Surely iTunes will let me fix this mess. Oh wait, I have to fix them all ONE BY ONE.

I’m open to suggestions…

4/20/05 Update!

I’m currently using ID3-TagIt to fix all my id3’s (at least all tracks with NO tags now have artist and title) and then I’m going to use iTunes and redo the operation…saving to a new location! Ideally everything will be rebuilt correctly. I think iTunes might still truncate folder and filenames, but I can live with that and fix the filenames with ID3-TagIt easily. I don’t think iTunes can store a multi-artist comp in one folder, so those will have to be fished out and reassembled with ID3-TagIt, a PHP script or something.

Wish me luck.

7 thoughts on “How to help iTunes destroy your mp3 folders

  1. says:

    Hehe, I did the same thing when I bought my iPod. I added my mp3 archive to the iTunes and thought it would keep my archive as it was. It started to churning so I went and did something else. When I came back I notice that someting was wrong, very wrong. iTunes had now gone destroyed my archive, roughly 20GB of mp3. All files had been moved around and changed name, a few thousand songs where named to noname as they did not have any tags. I have now restored the whole archive manually :( I have only moved all the files into the correct folder, I have not renamed them as they where before. This took me about 6 months to do, I did it a few hours here and there. Sorry

  2. Steve says:

    I had about 26G, but thankfully most of it was tagged, just a lot of naming inconsistencies. If this iTunes reshuffle works it’ll save me tons of time moving and renaming folders.

  3. says:

    hey dzude

    welcome to the 21st century! har i couldn’t resist. anyway. i have a couple tips for you though you may well have already got it down:

    1. you can “Get Info” on a track (or multiple tracks!) and specifiy “Yes” these songs are “Part of a compilation” (or that they are all in fact by your favorite artist (i.e. hootie))

    2. i keep a “smart playlist” called “NEW” that is set to “limit to x songs by most recently added” with “live updating”. whenever i add new songs that might be sketchy like downloads i check in there to make sure i don’t need to fill in the tags

    i definitely prefer to let itunes do the work of keeping the files organized even if it isn’t perfect. it does suck to have a bunch of untitled tracks with no way of knowing what they are though i only have about 50 orphan tracks (less than 0.5%) and those are either streams or mix cd tracks i don’t know.

  4. Snakse says:

    One magic program to solve all your problem guys: Helium 2005. Since I use it, I’m wondering how I use to live before that. ;)

  5. says:

    I am still really unhappy with what iTunes did to my library. If Apple would just create a drag and drop style option, I wouldn’t have this mess on my hands. Not to mention, it forces you to install Quicktime, which broke for me immediately. When I went to uninstall, it deleted my entire downloads directory. That’s about 60-80 gigs of material, gone or sent through the chipper. Apple’s monopolistic methods and DRM nonsense are at fault here, and I couldn’t be more angry with them. I wish I had an iRiver.

  6. says:

    I’ll be damned if three days ago I did the same damned thing you guys did and iTunes killed at least 45% of my mp3 library. what was even worse was I didn’t back up the AAC files it tosses into the recycle bin and I ended up having to use forensic software to recover what I could. A majority of them are all beat to h3ll, cut in half and taped back together, or have been formatted to an unreadable file.

    damn you iTunes, damn you I say.

  7. blur says:

    awhile ago I figured i would try to use iTunes just cause it looks cool and it started renaming all my files thats when i hit cancle and it took forever to rename what the damage it did in a few minutes. Then I uninstalled it but now im thinking about using it and UNCHECKING THE LET ITUNES ORGANIZE MY MUISC FILES. but i dont know if i want to take that risk again..

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