Storing Music in iTunes/Music Help

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by kasperak, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. kasperak

    kasperak Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fort Mill, SC, US
    I've been using iTunes for many, many years and have a few terabytes + of lossless music on an external drive, always keeping "copy music to itunes" and "let itunes organize" checked. I also keep a separate drive of the lossless music that is not tied to iTunes--just in case. I just switched from iTunes to Music and I'm rethinking the whole "let iTunes do everything". One of my major issues is backing up the iTunes library 2x and also backing up the Lossless HD 2x. This also means having files on the drives that aren't synched as far as tags.

    Out of curiosity, I just started a second iTunes library where I'm importing songs from my lossless drive and "copying to itunes" and "let iTunes organize" are unchecked to see how it goes. This allows me to change tags in itunes/music and it match the lossless drive. Only one drive to back up, which I will do twice. I like the idea of one, well-organized music drive, and my OCD is pulling me in 2 directions. Downside: This will take some serious time to change over and if something screws up in iTunes, it will also be on the original HD; I'll have the back-ups if I catch it before the next back-up.

    Sorry for the long post, but I would greatly appreciate any thoughts and opinions on how you store music when using iTunes/Music these days, especially the "copying to iTunes" and "let iTunes organize" boxes. I've looked elsewhere on the web, but this forum has always my best resource.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Galley

    Galley Forum Resident

    I synchronize my external drive on a monthly basis, using backup software. It only copies files that are new, or have been updated.
     
    walrus likes this.
  3. mcrichley

    mcrichley Forum Resident

    I use an application called Arq to sync, encrypt and backup my iTunes library to the Amazon Cloud.
     
  4. RicB

    RicB Certified Porcupine Tree Fan

    Location:
    Pacific NW, USA
    I'm struggling with this as well. I don't trust Apple Music (too many stories of carefully tagged files replaced by "Music" versions with different artwork, etc.), but it is a lot of work. Having had an external hard drive go bad, I agree with the double back-up or back-up to the cloud. I can't fit all of my music on my MB pro, so I'm always switching things out.

    I'll be watching to see if anyone has a good solution.
     
  5. mindgames

    mindgames Forum Resident

    Location:
    -
    Will not upgrade to Catalina until I'm 100% sure "Music" works the same as iTunes with play count, smart playlists, easy syncing to iPhone (previously iPod) and so on.

    My organisation: throwing every music file in iTunes with the "Keep iTunes Media folder organised" and "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" boxes checked. Then extensive tagging in iTunes. I can't be bothered about the actual filenames ("01 Do I Wanna Know_.mp3") or folder structure, since I never see it and access everything through iTunes.

    A full back-up of my whole Mac, which automatically includes the full music library and iTunes library files. Which I routinely try to do every week, on a separate external drive. That external drive (with other files) gets backed up about every month to another external drive. All those back-ups through Chronosync using the option to keep both drives 1 on 1 mirrored, so with just the changed files being transferred, and deleted files removed from back-up as well. Hope this makes sense.
     
    supermd likes this.
  6. kasperak

    kasperak Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fort Mill, SC, US
    I have a pretty good system right now for backing up the drives with Super Duper and one drive of each is always at my office away from home--And I also use Backblaze. My big dilemma right now is whether or not to continue keeping all of my music and iTunes music on separate drives. Having one music drive to worry about seems more manageable. Just wondering if people are using one drive for music (not including back-ups) and just letting an application like iTunes or Room pull from that.
     
  7. kasperak

    kasperak Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fort Mill, SC, US
    This is similar to what I'm doing now. So all of your music is stored on the HD through iTunes? No extra copy not touched by iTunes?
     
  8. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    i use Carbon Copy Cloner for this. Super easy and efficient.
     
    stackswim likes this.
  9. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk "You say you'll change the constitution"

    Location:
    Gilbert Arizona
    Though I use other apps for music playback along with Music (iTunes), JRiver, Sonos and Roon, Music (iTunes) is still my primary library management tool. I enter metadata, add artwork and then RIP with dBpoweramp. I use Music to import. My library resides on an external SSD. Any metadata or artwork changes is edited through Music (iTunes). I have three backup drives. I have one Time Machine backup on an external HDD that backs up both my MacBook and Music Library. That is done weekly. The second HDD is used with Carbon Copy Cloner and backs up only my MacBook. That is done on a monthly basis. The third backup is on a SSD and uses Carbon Copy Cloner to back up only my Music Library and is also done monthly. The monthly backups are stored in a fire safe.
     
  10. mindgames

    mindgames Forum Resident

    Location:
    -
    Ah, I now get what you were explaining in your first post. You are not trusting iTunes to not mess up the files, and are afraid to be stuck with just the one back-up. Errrr I wish I never thought of this, it doesn't make me that certain about my system any more :D. But yes, all music is stored on the internal HD of my Mac through iTunes, but I do an one on one back-up every week, and in the unlucky event of both Mac and back-up failing at the same time I've got another back-up of all music and data.
     
  11. kasperak

    kasperak Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fort Mill, SC, US
    Exactly! The switch from iTunes to Music just made me rethink how I store my music (which is why I'm curious to see how others store their music when using iTunes). My separate hard drive has all of my music, including may albums that are not imported into iTunes. This requires 6 hard drives to do a proper back-up. Just want to simplify my life this year.

    If I just continue with the new Music library with "organize music" and "copy to music" unchecked, at least my music on the HD will not be altered by Music unless I change a tag. The good news is that Music will follow an imported music file, even if it's moved or renamed--I tested this a few times and I'm still amazed by it. This will allow me to keep using iTunes and also have something like Roon access the disc. Only one large HD to back up:)

    I just started a trial of Roon and I'm really liking it so far.

    I appreciate all of the input so far.
     
  12. mindgames

    mindgames Forum Resident

    Location:
    -
    I see. Well, now my question for you is... is Music just iTunes without the clutter, or is all functionality gone?
     
  13. RicB

    RicB Certified Porcupine Tree Fan

    Location:
    Pacific NW, USA
    I don't know what functionality stays and goes with each upgrade of Music. When "Music" subscriptions first came out, many people had their own music files replaced by "Music" files (with different metadata) - or deleted, when they intentionally had duplicates (track on an album and on a compilation, etc.) in the name of efficiency. I think that has stopped, but it always makes me nervous.

    Music is, I think, designed to be a subscription service for people who mainly listen to singles. They accommodate those of us who are more album focused and who want to maintain our own libraries, but those are, inherently, secondary considerations.

    I've been operating in the Apple environment (PC/Phone) for quite a while now and I like it for the most part, but boy, they make it hard to use the tools other than as they think they should be used.
     
  14. kasperak

    kasperak Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fort Mill, SC, US
    It's hasn't changed that much as far as structure. They are trying to integrate it more with the Music app to expand the capabilities; after using Roon for a few hours, I can see what Apple is trying to do and I can't blame them. I've been only using iTunes for years and haven't taken a look at what else it out there.

    One of the big changes was getting rid of the column browser, which they quickly brought it back in the first update after many complaints. They did eliminate the old search engine, which was a quick and easy way to navigate, and replaced it with a search that takes you out of the main screen and is not useful. Hopefully, they will bring this back, but at least we have the column browser. I really like using iTunes/Music and tinkering around with tags and sorting while I'm listening to music; similar to when I used to go through all of my records. So far, I feel Roon is doing this better and they offer interesting notes and links to other things.

    I've been using all Apple products since the mid 90's and they usually come through. Trying to control music purchases is where I think they lose the ability to have an app like Roon--although Music app is free.
     
  15. mindgames

    mindgames Forum Resident

    Location:
    -
    Ok, no Catalina for me :hide:. Sounds like the iTunes Match nightmare. Something I would've never ever tried, mind, painstakingly collecting the best masters one by one for my library.

    Thank you. Yes, I like the tagging and sorting process as well. And then having it nicely synced to my devices.
     
  16. kasperak

    kasperak Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fort Mill, SC, US
    Apple always has an agenda, and they ideally want everyone using Music and purchasing from Music.

    What frustrated me changing from iTunes to Music was the library storage. They changed the path back to my local hard drive when I upgraded to Catalina. I noticed after importing a bunch of files and changed the path back to the HD. This confused Music and it kept creating a new Musi folder every time I imported something new. I ended up with several Music folders and Music was really slow and kept crashing. I had to create a new path and consolidate my entire library which took days. Apple tech said that the new Music isn't working as well as iTunes with "organize" and "copy" boxes checked. Importing was really slow and the app was crashing on me. probably should have included this last part in my first post
    I accidentally checked iTunes match a long time ago and that was one of the few times I had to go to my other HD to get my original version. I also have issues once in a while with missing tracks and I just delete the album and import it again. So maybe only 3 times in nearly 20 years that I needed the
    Sometimes I miss the simplicity of vinyl and a record player. One album and no back-up--except maybe a copy on tape for the car.
     
    jupiter8 likes this.
  17. D-rock

    D-rock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    anyone know if you can adjust the number of albums and songs in the "recently added" category so that it doesn't cut off after a certain number is reached, which isn't many.

    Is there a way to customize a playlist with a range that will include recently added?

    Thanks in advance
     
  18. kasperak

    kasperak Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fort Mill, SC, US
    Under view options, you can check date added. This will add a tab in your library allowing you to sort all music by the date added; most recent at top or click again and oldest music at the top. I use this function often.
     
  19. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk "You say you'll change the constitution"

    Location:
    Gilbert Arizona
    Maybe a Smart Playlist where the Date Added is either after a certain date or in the range of two stated dates. Or Date Added "Is In The Last" # Of Days
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020

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