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Thread: Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

  1. #1
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    Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

    Sorry in advance for the long post. This pertains to the Playlist Writer & Run External DSPs, and iTunes, so don't be bothered if you aren't interested in those.


    The past few days, I've been working to resolve a long-standing annoyance with using dBp + iTunes. It occurred to me that others may have already tried to address this same issue, and that it would make sense to see if anyone has found a good solution before I continue with my obsessive experimentation.

    The Situation:
    - You prefer to rip music in dBpoweramp.
    - You prefer to use your own naming and organizational scheme for your music library. (One of the reasons you use dBp.)
    - You use iTunes.

    The Problem:
    - iTunes doesn't automatically add the newly-ripped new music to its library.
    - You have to manually add new folders to the library from within iTunes. Tedious, and prone to error if you happen to forget a folder now & then.

    Solution?
    - Configure dBp to use such DSP options as Playlist Writer and/or Run External to automate the whole "rip + add to iTunes" process.


    I've tried a number of solutions, but none are really satisfactory yet. The two main approaches:
    • m3u playlist. iTunes used to automatically add the songs in an m3u playlist, so I was hoping I could rip the music to my desired location, and use Playlist Writer to put an m3u file in the "Automatically Add to iTunes" folder. Then the next time iTunes was opened, it'd read the playlist and add the referenced files. But apparently, iTunes doesn't support m3u anymore, so it just puts the playlist in the "Not Added" subfolder. I tried the other options in Playlist Writer, but iTunes just won't seem to add the playlist music.

      So if anyone knows how to force iTunes to add the music within a playlist, I'll keep trying this approach. If I can get it to work, it seems like the most efficient solution, since it specifies the songs to be added and avoids unnecessary searching or broader update processes.

    • Various iTunes updater scripts. There are a variety of online utilities for forcing iTunes library updates, some of which are very handy little programs. I've been trying to configure the Run External DSP such that I can rip the CD, then invoke the external program to add the selected files to the iTunes library. "Selected" files is the glitch. I don't get why, but Run External doesn't allow dynamic elements in the command line parameters if you call the external program after the batch is run. This is very limiting, since you can't specify the new music location. Statically naming the whole library works....it does find and add the new music...but it's really inefficient and takes a long time to update a large library. I don't want to do that after every CD rip.


    So...if anyone else has explored this problem or has any suggestions, any feedback is very welcome.

  2. #2
    Da Man Spoon's Avatar
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    Re: Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

    iTunes has a special folder you write to, where it detects new files and automatically adds them to iTunes, I forget the name off the top of my head.

  3. #3
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    Re: Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

    Thanks for the response. Yes, that's the "Automatically Add to iTunes" folder that I mentioned. I'd hoped that adding the m3u file there would make iTunes just add the referenced files and leave them otherwise untouched, but that doesn't seem to work.

    iTunes does add the files if you put them directly into that folder, as you suggest. But it places the music according iTunes' default organizing scheme, which is different from mine. And it leaves the folder.jpg files behind, for some reason, so those will accumulate in the "Automatically Add to iTunes" folder until you manually move them to their proper locations.

    This is one of the main reasons I use dBp....it allows me to put my music (and artwork) exactly where I want it and use my own naming scheme. So I'm just hoping to automate the library updating process....actually more for other family members who want well-organized/tagged music but don't want to bother with a multi-step ripping process.
    Last edited by BrodyBoy; 10-08-2011 at 04:27 AM.

  4. #4

    Re: Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

    BrodyBoy,

    I realise you say you prefer to use iTunes but have you tried Floola and ditch iTunes altogether ?

    http://www.floola.com/home/

    Cheers,
    LM
    Last edited by lordmelch; 10-08-2011 at 08:23 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

    one can turn off the "automatically arrange" music files within itunes.* And once you add files/folders to where you want them (just copy the folders to where the itunes music files are located), use FILE/ADD FOLDER to add all the files to your library. This will read all the files but only add the new files. Regarding artwork, itunes won't recognize the folder.jpg as far as I know. So you should just change the dbpa option to embed the artwork instead and then itunes will see and use this.

    *and another approach is to keep your music files you don't want reorganized in a directory DIFFERENT from the one you have identified as the itunes music folder location. Itunes will NOT reorganize these files. You still need to use the FILE > Add folder to add these files to your itunes music library (and embedded artwork).

  6. #6
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    Re: Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

    Thanks for the responses, guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by lordmelch View Post
    BrodyBoy,

    I realise you say you prefer to use iTunes but have you tried Floola and ditch iTunes altogether ?

    http://www.floola.com/home/

    Cheers,
    LM
    Hi LM...I haven't tried that particular alternative, but I'm certainly aware of others. I like MediaMonkey, in particular, though it can be a little rough around the edges. But this isn't really a matter of my personal preference. With several family members using all kinds of iDevices, and preferring the simplicity and familiarity of iTunes, it has become the common denominator for all things music within the household. Our network music system uses it pretty seamlessly as well.

    They all love the ease of iTunes, but it's kind of horrible at ripping/tagging...that Gracenote database it uses results in really messy libraries. That's when they turn to me with "Can you fix this?" So I'm thinking carefully-constructed profiles in dBp, combined with automated iTunes updating, could get everybody on board with using dBp exclusively for ripping.....and ultimately, a lot less work on my part. Getting everybody here, with their iPods and iPhones and iPads, to dump iTunes would be a bridge too far, I fear.

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    one can turn off the "automatically arrange" music files within itunes.* And once you add files/folders to where you want them (just copy the folders to where the itunes music files are located), use FILE/ADD FOLDER to add all the files to your library. This will read all the files but only add the new files. Regarding artwork, itunes won't recognize the folder.jpg as far as I know. So you should just change the dbpa option to embed the artwork instead and then itunes will see and use this.

    *and another approach is to keep your music files you don't want reorganized in a directory DIFFERENT from the one you have identified as the itunes music folder location. Itunes will NOT reorganize these files. You still need to use the FILE > Add folder to add these files to your itunes music library (and embedded artwork).
    Yes, I'm aware that you can turn off iTunes' automated organizing and arrange your folders yourself. As I mentioned in my OP, this is in fact my preference and exactly what I do. I'm also aware of how to add the folders manually. But as I also said in my OP, that's kind of the gist of the challenge....for consistent tagging and organization across our music libraries, I'd like everybody to use dBp and keep all the music libraries organized the same way. But they're addicted to the easy one-step iTunes ripping procedure, where you just stick the disc in and you're done. Letting iTunes organize things, though, results in a mess...hence my desire to create an alternate "one-step" solution with dBp.

    Our music libraries are also used by other hardware & software, which do use the artwork within the album folders. So I do want it there.

  7. #7
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    Re: Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

    get a different family ;-)
    Seriously though, is there a way to have your family use a computer to rip (using dbpa) where everything ends up in a certain folder, and then ONLY YOU get to do the transferring of the stuff in that folder to the main music folder location and read into itunes, etc.

    In my own case (where only I touch the files anyhow), I rip with dbpa to a c:\TEMPFLAC directory (but dynamic naming does create the "artist/album" structure underneath TEMPFLAC. I do any cleanup on tags, artwork, etc. using dbpa (or mp3tag) at that point. Once the FLAC files are perfect, I use dbpa "convert" to create a mirror image of mp3 versions of these FLAC files. All artwork and tags copy over automatically. Then I move the FLAC files to my main music directory (which is what my Squeezebox system at home uses) and I move the mp3 versions over to ITUNES, which I use for iphones/ipods.

    Sounds like a lot of steps, but really only a few mouse clicks and a couple of minutes and it helps me make sure it's all done right (tagging!)

    Then of course, I make backups of everything on several 2TB drives, which I keep disconnected when not using (and stored at 3 different physical locations). I DO NOT want to have to rip my 75,000+ tracks again!!!

  8. #8
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    Re: Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

    LOL! Not possible, me thinks....

    We have too many computers around the house, and to many stubborn minds, to get everybody using just one computer for ripping. Besides, we do each want our own individual libraries on our laptops. Everybody has immediate access to their chosen music, and can update their Apple devices easily.

    I'm sure that there's a way to get this work....it's just tedious getting there. But I'm sure I will, and I think it'll be a good solution to the messy libraries problem. Now I'm pondering a "Before" Run External that could use dynamic elements to write the variables for another "after Batch" Run External. Good old DOS batch files still come in handy once in awhile!

  9. #9
    dBpowerAMP Fan Wayne's Avatar
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    Re: Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

    Does iTunesLibraryAdd no longer work? http://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthre...acks-to-iTunes

  10. #10
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    Re: Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

    the ARRANGE AUDIO DSP (or a similar function in mp3tag) can take a bunch of files and automatically rename and/or move them to new locations (subdirectories). So you could gather up all the newly ripped files now and again (sort on date added) and copy them to your "main" machine. Then run them through ARRANGE AUDIO. Then again, if they ripped them with itunes, you'd want to rerip.

    With different computers, different users, different libraries, frankly I think the best approach is to maintain your own library the way you want it, and beg your family to loan you their CDs when they are done with them, and if you want them, rerip with dbpa, and organize your own stuff accordingly. And otherwise ignore what they do with their own music on their own computers. Just like my mom closing the door on my bedroom and ignoring whether I kept it clean or not. the rest of the house was organized. The kids did what the kids wanted to do, but ONLY in our own rooms. ;-)

  11. #11
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    Re: Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

    @Wayne: Thank you for that link! I tried searching for anything related to my little project, but nothing turned up. I'll be sure to check into that, as it looks like exactly the kind of thing I've been working on.

    @garym: All the "rooms" are part of the same network music system. I appreciate that there are alternate ways of using our music...I'm sure these work great for some people. But we already use and organize our music the way that works best for us....now I'm just trying to make it as easy and efficient as possible.

  12. #12
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    Re: Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    Does iTunesLibraryAdd no longer work? http://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthre...acks-to-iTunes
    Well, it's a step forward, but I still have a ways to go. Like the several other updater programs I have, you can't run the program after the batch is completely processed. Rather, it starts running after the first song is ripped. It does add the songs this way, which some updaters won't (I suspect they're not meant to accept incremental file additions after they've already started.)

    Unfortunately, ripping in dBp concurrently with the iTunes updater wreaks havoc with the ID Tag Processing DSP. So now I'm back to working on a solution that can run after the entire batch is completely ripped and converted. Trial & error......

  13. #13

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    Re: Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

    I use the little application iTunes Folder Watch (itfw) for this purpose. You can set it to launch on computer startup, and it will run in the background. It can be set so that whenever new files appear in your music folder, it will automatically add them to your iTunes library. If you don't want such applications running in the background, you can just manually run it after you're done ripping with dBp.

  14. #14
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    Re: Automatically adding ripped music to iTunes Library

    Quote Originally Posted by IrishPub View Post
    I use the little application iTunes Folder Watch (itfw) for this purpose. You can set it to launch on computer startup, and it will run in the background. It can be set so that whenever new files appear in your music folder, it will automatically add them to your iTunes library. If you don't want such applications running in the background, you can just manually run it after you're done ripping with dBp.
    Thanks for that. I'll take a look. Does it leave your files in their original locations?

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