Dr. Organisationlove
Thursday, March 16 at 1:28 PM
Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love iTunes' Way of Sorting My Music

I've come to realise of late that I have a bit of an obsessive-compulsive streak.

It crops up from time to time, but one regular instance of it is found in my digital music folder, which is organised as such (where '/' signifies a folder division):

Music Folder / Artist / [YEAR] Album Name / Track Number - Track Title.extension

Now, this might not seem too bad. Except that this is the final step of the several that it takes for me to get a CD onto my computer in a satisfying way. The actual process usually goes like this:

01. Purchase CD
02. Rip shrinkwrap off as soon as I walk out of store (See this post for an explanation of that.)
03. Get home
04. Play CD (Repeat as necessary.)
05. Insert CD into CD-ROM drive
06. Launch Exact Audio Copy
07. Access CDDB to get album info (Type manually if not found on CDDB.)
08. Rip to .wav
09. Launch RazorLAME
10. Encode .wav files to .mp3 files using LAME at --APS (Now --V2.)
11. Launch TagScanner
12. Autotag files in ID3v2 using filename structure as created by EAC
13. Rename files to "Track Number - Track Title.extension"
14. Copy files to "Music" folder
15. Import into iTunes
16. Launch Clutter
17. Play one song from album
18. Allow Clutter to find album art. (Search manually using Google Image Search if art is not found by Clutter)
19. Insert miscellaneous tag info (Total Number of Tracks, Number of Discs, etc.)

And that's usually it. But sometimes it's not. Especially if the CD is a compilation of some sort. Then it needs to be named a little differently in order to ensure that iTunes keeps all the tracks together. But I think you get my point.

(Of course, none of the above steps include the initial setup of each application, which takes more time still. But it's usually a one time thing.)

Now don't get me wrong. I know I have a problem. I've just never found a reasonable way to alleviate it as yet. I have, however, taken a few steps to move towards a solution.

iTunes has a built in sorting feature. It will sort your music in the following manner:

Music Folder / Artist / Album / Track Number Track Title.extension

Personally, I find this flawed because, one, it doesn't order the albums chronologically, and two, it doesn't separate the track number from the title in a way that I find astheatically pleasing. But, it's a lot easier. A lot.

And so, I have given over the final sorting step to iTunes. It can rename and reorder my files as it wishes. At least I have one less thing to worry about.

My name is Chris and I'm an organisational junkie.

And here's yet another song from The Postal Service. I'm really loving this album.

Nothing Better Lyrics
The Postal Service
From the Album Give Up

Will someone please call a surgeon
Who can crack my ribs and repair this broken heart
That your're deserting for better company
I can't accept that it's over
And I will block the door like a goalie tending the net
In the third quarter of a tied-game rivalry

So just say how to make it right
And I swear i'll do my best to comply

Tell me am I right to think that there could be nothing better
Than making you my bride and slowly growing old together

I feel must interject here you're getting carried away
Feeling sorry for yourself
With these revisions and gaps in history
So let me help you remember
I've made charts and graphs that should finally make it clear
I've prepared a lecture on why i have to leave

So please back away and let me go

I can't my darling I love you so

Tell me am I right to think that there could be nothing better
Than making you my bride and slowly growing old together
Don't you feed me lines about some idealistic future
Your heart won't heal right if you keep tearing out the sutures

I admit that I have made mistakes and I swear
I'll never wrong you again

You've got a lure I can't deny,
But you've had your chance, so say goodbye
Say goodbye

I realise that quite a bit of my encoding process might seem like gibberish/jargon. If you're really that interested, I can explain. But I figured most of you are not.

Oh yes, one more thing: I rip on my PC. I know, I know... But I still haven't found a good ripping workflow that I like for the Mac. Hopefully, I will someday soon.
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