Custom vs. standard iTunes file structure management
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: For several years now I have been reluctant to let iTunes manage my music library, mainly because I dislike the system iTunes establishes for maintaining music files (for example, multiple album folders, truncated file names, and compilation folders). I carefully structured my own system for file nomenclature and management long before iTunes was made available for PC users, and I have been hesitant to surrender management to what I believe to be iTunes’ inflexible system. However, I pay a price. Every time I try to clear an unwanted file out of iTunes and delete it from my computer, I have to go manually delete the file using “Show Song File” first. I also have to work around the issue when importing music. Is there any option or trick that allows iTunes to manage your music library even when you use a system for file naming and organization that is different from the iTunes default?
A: Unfortunately, the short answer is “no.” There is simply no way to customize the “Manage my Music Library” function of iTunes, though several power users would surely like to be able to do so.
The long “answer” is on the surface an evangelistic, persuasive anecdote: Before iTunes debuted on the PC, one of our editors exclusively used Winamp in conjunction with Tag&Rename to meticulously maintain filenames and ID3 tags, ensuring a logical file structure and complete synchronization of ID3 and filename information. When iTunes was released for the PC, this editor too was extremely skeptical of the “hands-off” approach that iTunes encourages as far as the file system is concerned. He made 3 redundant backups of his pristine MP3 collection, and allowed iTunes to do with the master as it pleased, giving “the iTunes way” a week trial. In that week, he never once regretted the switch. Never did he need to access the filesystem directly. When he needed to deal with a file directly, he simply dragged the song(s) out of the iTunes library window onto the Desktop (which makes a duplicate copy) and used that. When he needed to fix a tag, he did it in the same program that does burning, playback, and syncing.
We’re certainly not suggesting that everyone can or should adapt to iTunes management, but it is potentially enlightening, even for the most die-hard “custom nomenclature” fans. Try it, and you might be amazed at being able to enjoy your music rather than care for it.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple releases fourth developer betas for iOS 9.3.2, tvOS 9.2.1
- Bowers & Wilkins acquired by EVA Automation
- India rejects Apple’s plan to sell used iPhones
- Rumor: Purported iPhone 7 component photo shows headphone jack intact
- Families fight in court over missing teen’s iPhone data
- Court allows police to force woman to unlock iPhone with Touch ID fingerprint
- Coach reportedly releasing bands for Apple Watch
- Invoxia adds Amazon Alexa to Triby
- Apple provides more details on new Apple Music API
- Apple Music for Android adds music videos, Family Plan support
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit support
- ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
- Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)