• http://www.facebook.com/nileshricciparmar Nilesh Parmar

    iTag is pretty crap, I use and recommend Doug’s Scripts (http://dougscripts.com/itunes/) on my iTunes (mac) and this does wonders for my Traktor tags. Obvoiusly it doesnt cover every tag but pretty much a good amount that you require to set a decent playlist. So once you update your iTunes tags, it then reflects in Traktor as long as you do not have both open while tagging.

  • http://www.facebook.com/djstayinschool Martin Wilson

    Can someon explain why it’s important to rename the file? (step 2) Does it affect how things are sorted or searched? I just fiddle with the tags.

  • http://www.facebook.com/djstayinschool Martin Wilson

    Can someon explain why it’s important to rename the file? (step 2) Does it affect how things are sorted or searched? I just fiddle with the tags.

  • http://www.facebook.com/djstayinschool Martin Wilson

    If only Traktor could automatically update ITS playlists based on iTunes smart playlists. That’d be SUPER SMART!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lukas.olszaniec Lukas Wookie Olszaniec

    Its worth to mention that if you use iTag, it will make a new file of your track. So if you had a track, and you processed it thru itag, you will have 2 copies!!!!!!!!
    thats sucks really hard, cause you will have to go thru your music again – am i right?

  • Dave

    I’m looking at all 3 parts of this post and want to go ahead a re organize my music as my current sytem isn’t working for me. The problem is I DJ 2-5 times a week and am worried about starting this job and not finishing it in time for my next gig.

    Can I organize my tunes on a different computer, then when it is complete import the database file into my main computer’s itunes with everything in place?

    Hope that makes sense

    Dave

  • Clara Lotus

    [quote comment="15456"]

    ….

    btw, are you letting iTunes handle your library for you? if not, what's the benefit of not doing that?

    are you formatting you tags with iTunes or some other software before importing it into iTunes. i find it helpful how some of these programs out there can retrieve data from discogs, but i've noticed that sometimes that stuffs up files inside of iTunes since its renaming file names etc..how do you go around that?

    anyway, its essential to have a good setup when working with your files and tags when loading thousands of songs in to your library. if you have more tips on setting up good smartlists and how to work with gengres, labels etc etc…that'd be awsome!!!

    thanx mike[/quote]

    I let itunes handle my library aswell. that's the benefit for me. It's the best way to access/see your music collection and work with it in every possible way (there is a script for discogs).

    I got to love this post. the smart lists are rocking my world. But sometimes it's hard for me, to really find the right genre. I have a rather eclectic music collection and i am not a musical enzyklopedia. i like to do it my way. there are my tunes,i have to work with them. I don't care if it doesn't comply to a certain norm. besides it would get me to many lists anywhere.

    so, i try to find criteria that are usefull to me: e.g. things that are not so common in one genre and pick it out. use muliple attributes for certain tracks. charactarical decade of a certain genre. work with mellow/lo/groovey vs. hard/happy/party for a mood. My favourites are my personal taste.

    Basicaly, i think you have to go with your guts.

    MY question now is, is there a way to change the way itunes manages my music folder (name/album) in the way it's posted. for me the last step to complete my picture.

  • http://www.eangolden.com Ean Golden

    as the people mentioned in the NI forum this is a tag version issue. I did some extensive research on it and found that Itunes does have some major problems writing some info- especially album art to certain tag versions.

  • http://www.mikecharles.net/blog/ Mike Charles

    By verifying the ability to write tags in other programs, it would appear that the issue is iTunes. Unfortunately, I don’t have any useful suggestions on my to fix that, but maybe try your local mac genius?

    At least in the mean time you have a viable work-around in using songbird to edit the stubborn tags.

    If you find a solution, let us know.

  • DJ Anthony Jacobs

    Thanks Mike,

    I've triple checked and verified that all the permissions of my iTunes music folder (and enclosed items) are read/write. I have also used Songbird today to enter information (genre, comments ect,,) and successfully written comments and other information to some of the Mp3's in question, and verified the changes in iTunes. So this MUST be an issue with iTunes then?

  • http://www.mikecharles.net/blog/ Mike Charles

    My best guess is to check the permissions of the affected files AND their corresponding folder. Even if you have write access to a file, if it is in a read only folder that would still prevent you from being able to edit the tags.

    I doubt that is the issue, be you are saying you can actually edit tags, but they revert at a later time. If your permissions are wrong you won't even be able to edit at all. Its still work checking out.

    Also, I suggest trying to edit the tags with another "tag editing" program and see if the changes stick. If they stick, iTunes is the issue. If they don't stick, the problem is more likely with the files themselves.

    If all else fails, try a genius at your local apple store.

  • DJ Anthony Jacobs

    Sorry, I don't mean to hijack this thread with this issue. I know it's probably not the right place to post it (but I AM desperate to find a solution anywhere so I can use these iTunes power-tips propperly!), so I have also posted this issue on Native Instruments Traktor Pro Forum for those that may be interested in solving this issue with iTunes not saving changed information while organizing our tracks.

    http://www.native-instruments.com/forum/showthrea

  • DJ Anthony Jacobs

    To be clear,,, This behavior seems to only affect certain tracks not all of them.

  • DJ Anthony Jacobs

    As always, I love your work Ean!!! Thanks.

    Following your advise, I've found and issue with iTunes 8…

    Has anyone else has any trouble with iTune 8 (on Mac OSX 10.5) not writing changed information to the track? I'll edit the genre, name, ect,,, of a track but the next time I click on it to play it, all the information I've entered reverts back to it's original state. =oS Almost as if the track were locked.

    Can anybody else confirm this as a bug or is there something I'm missing? All my mp3's are ID3 v.2.4 and my iTunes purchased music has been burned to disc and re-imported as mp3 so I don't believe it's the AAC copyright.

    Is there a fix or should I revert back to iTunes 7 instead?

    Thanks,

    AJ

  • http://www.mikecharles.net/blog/ Mike Charles

    Glad i could help. iTunes has a lot more tags then just one ones on the "info" tab, so might as well make use of em. I was pretty surprised myself.

    A little trick i like to use is right clicking on the top bar and viewing what columns are available to display. It you can display it, you can tag it!

  • Minotronic

    Thank you Mike.

    "Sorting Name" column does the trick in iTunes. Numbers to express energy and that's it. You're right, I had not been digging enough…

    I still hope one day, we'll be able to color full line of a track and have instant info. In the meantine…

  • http://www.mikecharles.net/blog/ Mike Charles

    Minotronic

    You might want to check out:
    http://www.mikecharles.net/blog/2008/12/14/itunes

    To see more on this subject.

    iTunes tagging does have a dedicated BPM field so you might consider using that for BPM. The grouping field is pretty much an unused field so I advocate using it for any purpose you desire. Keep in mind that smart playlists can be built off of any tag criteria, so you aren't limited to just what I have outlined in this post.

    I know you said you don't know of any other field that you can put text in. Something you may want to check out are the "Video" and "Sorting" tabs of a track's tag. There are a whole slew of additional tags there you can repurpose. One example is the "show" field on the video tab and put "energy" there. Then build a playlist that has criteria of [Show - Is - Energy] and boom, new playlist built off an otherwise unused field!

    I use ratings to rank the priority of the tracks i play out. 5 Stars is a must play, 1 star is an orphan i might look to if i need something unusual. If that doesn't work for you, try using one of those unused fields to prioritize your tracks, or just go with what works for you. The possibilities are limitless, you just have to dig in and figure out how to use the software to your advantage.

  • Minotronic

    As usual on DJtechtools a very good and useful article. Great work, I love your website.

    I actually find it difficult to organize my tracks by say, energy.

    - I love the Ean tip to give artwork plain colors as it gives a strong visual and immediate info, but I still like to have actual artwork.

    >>> Ideally, I'd love to have all the line of a song in iTunes in a given color, that would be paramount info in a glance. Some programmer in the house ??

    - Your solution of using ratings to establish some hierarchy is interesting, but in a given energy, some tracks that are better than others, and I still like to use ratings to rate my personal taste of a given track.

    - Under grouping category, I include BPM and key info after analyzing my tracks with fantastic RAPID EVOLUTION.

    I don't find another category where you can include text.

    So, to retag all my tracks (1800) to include BPM and Key in the name of the tracks as I think Ean does, and use "grouping" to categorize by energy would be the only solution ?.

    Thank you

  • DJ Phaidon

    Another, maybe overlooked, reason that the ITunes smart playlist is a great idea when sifting through many tracks and genres is that you can choose to sync the specific genres to your Ipod and Iphone instead of having to go through and pick and choose tracks. When you have almost 10k tracks, you can't just put it all on your IPhone, but with the smartplaylists, you can choose to put only Progressive Trance on you phone so you can rate them while riding to work or sitting at work, instead of eating up time sifting through tracks to put on your phone.

  • http://www.mikecharles.net/blog/ Mike Charles

    Guys,

    I've contacted Ean about posting my follow up to this here at DJ TT. In the mean time check out the following link to my newest blog with more power tips to make you an iTunes Ninja.

    http://www.mikecharles.net/blog/2008/12/14/itunes

  • Tomek

    Mike,

    Really thanks for this article & I hope you can finish yr other Itunes article soon.

  • http://domas.podomatic.com Domas

    Great article Mike! About to attack 4000 tracks that could be much better arranged in iTunes. Hopefully I'll be able to delete some junk as well…

  • fred

    Mike, i'd be very kean to see that article!! if u could write something up that'd be much apreciated, would be cool to hear how you go with setting up Record Labels etc in your tags too.

    i think ppl are stuggling with this topic, or they dont understand how important it is! there are a few ways of doing it 2day but it'd be good to get some guidance on which way that works best, especially since there are now different ways of rendering tags. ie iTunes vs Traktor Pro etc….

    btw, are you letting iTunes handle your library for you? if not, what's the benefit of not doing that?

    are you formatting you tags with iTunes or some other software before importing it into iTunes. i find it helpful how some of these programs out there can retrieve data from discogs, but i've noticed that sometimes that stuffs up files inside of iTunes since its renaming file names etc..how do you go around that?

    anyway, its essential to have a good setup when working with your files and tags when loading thousands of songs in to your library. if you have more tips on setting up good smartlists and how to work with gengres, labels etc etc…that'd be awsome!!!

    thanx mike

  • http://www.mikecharles.net/blog/ Mike Charles

    [quote comment=""]i just read Ean's guide on tagging files for iTunes and that looks pretty good, but there's a problem.[/quote]

    Fred, just wanted to let you know know that I actually authored this post. No biggie.

    [quote comment=""]can u type in whatever gengre u like in the *Gengre* tag, or what's the work around?[/quote]

    Yes and thats actually the answer you are looking for. iTunes, unlike many other apps, give you the ability to type free form text into the genre field. Click or tab into the field and then start typing away. I tag my files with Genre – Sub Genre [ex. House - Electro] in the iTunes "genre" field. I find this works best for the way I set things up, and maybe somehting similar will work for you too. The good news is its very flexible so you can set it up however works best for you.

    There is also another field in the iTunes tag called "grouping" that is generally overlooked and unused. I'm considering writing another tutorial on using this field as a second genre field and some serious power user tips that go along with this and smart playlists, if people are interested in taking this to the max? Would you guys like to see something like that?

  • fred

    whats the best way of tagging mp3s for electronical music so that it works with iTunes? i just read Ean's guide on tagging files for iTunes and that looks pretty good, but there's a problem.

    iTunes doesnt let you setup tags such as *Style* *Record Label* etc etc…

    how do you get around it?

    how do you get multiple gengres in to different playlists when there's only one field called Electronical for the *Gengre* tag?

    i need to have different gengres for different playlists, just like Ean's setup? instead of using the Style tag (which iTunes wont pick up, whats best ) ?? can u type in whatever gengre u like in the *Gengre* tag, or what's the work around?

  • B-SIDE

    [quote comment=""]A BIG thank you for this article![/quote]

    I've been doing this the same way but i was missing the iTag portion which is crucial because using Traktor on both PC & MAC my files constantly get "jacked up" … Thanks

  • Niko

    A BIG thank you for this article!

  • Corax

    it wos one year ago. itunes brocked 50% of all my music((( vary good that ipod-backup helped… after this i dont use itunes and original ipod firmware(use alternative RockBox ))) foobar + total commander

  • Anonymous

    I downloaded Itunes a day for this to come out. I really didn't have a need for itunes because I didn't have a ipod and I am simple and always used windows media player or vlc player to play my music. But I do like it now that I can use it as a database to organize all my songs. I was thinking of a way to do that and was about to go the hard way about it and make a database in access lol thank god I didn't I am loving the smart playlist thing, I love that I can drag the tracks from Itunes directly into ableton. I hated the way I had to search tracks for ableton.

  • DJ Phaidon

    While we're talking about tagging, I have another tip you guys might want to check out if you're into harmonic mixing. There is a program called Rapid Evolution that will go through your tracks and get the key of the song. It's correct about 75% of the time, and it's free. It also works on PC and MAC. It's a very good program, although it does run kinda slow, but it can do tag editing and file renaming also, so I use it a lot. Cheers

    DJ Phaidon

  • DRC

    [quote post="946"]I will say that I have recently moved to Traktor Pro and everything is better in Pro land. Traktor Pro automatically writes to the ID3 once you lock a track. So you’re changes, beatgrids and cue points are saved directly to the song itself. (Meaning if you emailed me a track, I’d have your beatgrid and cue points and traktor comments ect) [/quote]

    Wow – thats great news!

  • beattz

    I use a similar file sorting system to you, B33SON, with directories reflecting when I acquired a track, then utilise the power of iTunes+ID3 tags for organising playlists. I have also got into the habit of using the "Grouping" ID3 tag field to designate the record label on which the track was released, plus the catalogue number in brackets afterwards. I find this useful because often labels will conform to a small set of sub-genres that go well together, so sourcing a few similar labels can give you a good pool of tracks to play with. Also, having the catalogue number in there as well means that you can sort your library by Grouping and it will list a label's tracks together in the order that they were released, so you know which are the later releases versus the classics.

  • B33SON

    I used to worry a lot about how the files were organized on my hard drive. Now I just use playlists exclusively to sort and catalog my collection. The only thing I do on my hard drive is throw a all the tracks I got about the same time into a folder so that I can retire material as I go. I tend to forget track names a lot, but I almost always remember when I got it for some reason. I'm strange like that. My folder looks like this:

    My Music

    –Library

    —–B33SON

    ——-A01

    ——-A02

    ——-A03…

    –Mixes

    –Playlists

    I also use Winamp instead of iTunes, but it works the same way and it also has smart playlists. :)

  • http://www.myspace.com/weheartfisher Fisher

    So I live in Traktor/iTunes land and I have a few tips that I thought would help you guys.

    1. If you edit an ID3 tag in Traktor and you want the changes to show up in iTunes. Right click in the track and choose "Write tags" this writes the changes to the ID3 tags and iTunes will automatically read the changes next time you play the track.

    As for changing playlists in traktor, you're kinda shit outta luck there.

    The way I work is I do 100% of my library editing in iTunes using many folders, smart and regular playlists. Then in Traktor I use the iTunes node (as opposed to importing from iTunes to the library)

    Using the iTunes node lets you always have a fresh up to date version of your iTunes library in Traktor. Win/Win situation.

    I will say that I have recently moved to Traktor Pro and everything is better in Pro land. Traktor Pro automatically writes to the ID3 once you lock a track. So you're changes, beatgrids and cue points are saved directly to the song itself. (Meaning if you emailed me a track, I'd have your beatgrid and cue points and traktor comments ect)

    Hope this helps

    Fisher

  • DRC

    [quote post="946"]lazerbass[/quote]

    +1. How can you go wrong with lazerbass.

  • DRC

    Thanks again Mike.

    Maybe with the auto-updating from iTunes that you mentioned in Pro, it may make it more feasible for me to do it all in iTunes as you say. Does Pro support drag-n-drop from iTunes now? That could help too if doing it all in iTunes… (I have been down these roads – lol)

    I know your tutorial was about iTunes, not Traktor!!

    Thanks for your comments!

    Cheers

  • http://friendfeed.com/alexandercarlill PTCHFRKR

    The best windows ID3 tagging software I've come across is Mp3Tag (http://www.mp3tag.de/en/). I use very basic genres in iTunes – i.e. Electronic, Hip-Hop, Rock, and then add keywords like "80s", or "lazerbass" to the "Comments" field so I can quickly find songs that fit specific characteristics.

  • http://www.mikecharles.net/blog/ Mike Charles

    [quote comment=""]I have tons of smart (and dumb) playlists, but they get stale because you can't manage them unless I am doing it in iTunes, its makes it tough to be practical – so I end up abandoning them.

    Have you all had good luck doing it in both places like this?[/quote]

    DRC I'm with you brother. I completely understand. I have NOT had luck with making tag edits in 2 places. I make all of my edits in iTunes now to avoid this. Its a trade off, but b/c the smart playlist make my life a lot easier, I'm willing to deal. My suggestion to you is either have iTunes open while DJing in trakor so you can make the edits in iTunes quickly or write down notes and do it at a later time.

    If you are really stuck on making your edits in Traktor, then the my tutorial isn't for you. Sorry man I wish I had a better answer for ya. Maybe NI will change its tag editing functionality in the future or maybe someone else has a better suggestion?

  • DRC

    Thanks Mike for your reply.

    [quote comment=""]While this makes managing your collection a lot easier, you are still going to have to do some leg work. In order to keep your "star rating" playlists from going stale, you are gonna have to re-visit them from time to time and update the stars. Just like the old days, when we had to re-visit the record crate and take a few out, put new ones in, and move a few to the front.[/quote]

    Yeah, I hear you.

    Its not just the star ratings, its any changes you do in Traktor. Move a song from the 'House – Electro' playlist to the 'House – XXX' or whatever, that doesn't work for iTunes of course. Or add it to your 'Builder' playlist, iTunes will never know. If you remove it from a list, iTunes will just re-add it making any management you did null. The idea of iTunes/Traktor is great, but it just doesn't really work I don't think.

    Personally, I end up just importing playlists from iTunes that are in 'Date Added' playlists (12/05/2008, etc). I tend to get a bunch at a time, so this makes sense to me – I know a particular group of songs that way. All the other type of playlist editing I do in Traktor and forget about iTunes just because it can't sync them. It makes iTunes kind of always hard to find things, and my iPod just really useful for new tracks that I am currently going through.

    Would love for this to work better. I have tons of smart (and dumb) playlists, but they get stale because you can't manage them unless I am doing it in iTunes, its makes it tough to be practical – so I end up abandoning them.

    Have you all had good luck doing it in both places like this?

  • http://www.mikecharles.net/blog/ Mike Charles

    [quote comment="15355"]I am using iTunes and Traktor, but the iTunes sync with Traktor leaves a lot to be desired (at least in the non-Pro version, maybe things are better?).[/quote]

    I'm using Traktor Pro now, and yes its better. It imports iTunes playlist on every start up.

    [quote comment="15355"]Any edits you do to the files in Traktor don't get mapped back to iTunes, so when you are in the middle of playing a song and thinking, wow this song deserves 4 stars, not 3 – what do you do? [/quote]

    I have that problem too. One work-around would be to have iTunes open while you are playing your set, so you could quickly flip over to it and make the change there. I know thats not the answer you were hoping for.

    [quote comment="15355"]The smart playlists are great to initially set up a list in Traktor, or to update with new songs that you have downloaded. But if you need to manage your files besides when you first tag them, your playlists all become stale.[/quote]

    While this makes managing your collection a lot easier, you are still going to have to do some leg work. In order to keep your "star rating" playlists from going stale, you are gonna have to re-visit them from time to time and update the stars. Just like the old days, when we had to re-visit the record crate and take a few out, put new ones in, and move a few to the front.

  • http://www.myspace.com/discosapien Discosapien

    You are a genious Ean

  • DRC

    I am using iTunes and Traktor, but the iTunes sync with Traktor leaves a lot to be desired (at least in the non-Pro version, maybe things are better?).

    Any edits you do to the files in Traktor don't get mapped back to iTunes, so when you are in the middle of playing a song and thinking, wow this song deserves 4 stars, not 3 – what do you do? Update the song in both places?

    The smart playlists are great to initially set up a list in Traktor, or to update with new songs that you have downloaded. But if you need to manage your files besides when you first tag them, your playlists all become stale – at least in my experience… any tips on how to keep those all in sync?

    My setup is that I add songs to iTunes/iPod and go through them and rate them while listening to them and familiarizing myself with them. Once they are in a decent enough shape (rated and proper genre), I add them to Traktor, but I know that I can't ever really sync them again. Changes in Traktor are basically lost. Comments don't get synced, etc.

    Comments are actually a big deal, like adding 'builds up to 4:15' – but adding that in iTunes is a pain because you have to do all these other steps for Traktor to read the comments half the time, same with doing it the other direction. The id3 tag version is whack from iTunes or something, I don't remember, just know it hardly ever works for me.

    I see the future of how this can be great, but its so far from it right now at least for me. I am missing something?

    Been thinking about switching to Songbird from iTunes and maybe writing some plugin that will work with Traktor playlists…

  • http://www.mikecharles.net/blog/ Mike Charles

    Alright, I'm glad you guys like my tutorial. I've got a lot of tracks, and got tired of manually updating each playlist every time I got a new track. I couldn't find anything out there like this so I decided to do a write up for the community.

    [quote comment="15352"]Is there a "lock" or way to make it where if accidently hits delete on a playlist.[/quote]

    I tried to find the same thing. After a lot of searching I think the answer is no, but there are ways around this. One way is to export your playlist to a back up folder, so if get accidentally deleted, you can just re-import.

    Of course if you set thing up in the fashion outline in this post, then the playlist build themselves and the only thing you would need to do is create a new smart playlist with the desired criteria.

    [quote comment="15351"]For Windows users I find TagScanner an excellent and FREE tagging tool. Grab it here: http://www.xdlab.ru/en/index.htm/quote

    Nice one Al. I'm on a Mac but i knew there were windows utilities out there.

  • mark

    [quote comment=""]Amazing… was literally just thinking that i need something to get more control over my id3 tags and organisation (recently went mac), thought to come to DJTT first to search and behold! – here this post is as if by magic! :)

    A+ Ean[/quote]

    Exactly what the doctor odered. Your itunes tips are great, nice work.

  • Dave Function

    Is there a "lock" or way to make it where if accidently hits delete on a playlist like "old school", it will not delete it or a warning sign can pop up? I have lost some nice playlists because it hot delete on what I though was a song, but was the entire playlist.

  • http://www.jinja-ninja.co.uk Big Al

    For Windows users I find TagScanner an excellent and FREE tagging tool. Grab it here: http://www.xdlab.ru/en/index.htm

  • Nny Buchanan

    Nice nice, all I do in my spare time is organize my music in itunes. didn't know about itag, that'll really make things more efficient.

  • Sc1C

    … and A++ Mike ofc ;)

  • Sc1C

    Amazing… was literally just thinking that i need something to get more control over my id3 tags and organisation (recently went mac), thought to come to DJTT first to search and behold! – here this post is as if by magic! :)

    A+ Ean