I Hate ITUNEs. That horrible software package pretending to be a database management system has really screwed up my music library. It’s OK IF
1. You only have a few songs
2. NEVER EVER want to share any music, even with your family
3. ONLY HAVE a limited number of devices like ONE IPOD
4. Don’t know and don’t care how the music is getting stored.
5. Doesn’t let you sort the data based on standard factors like date or name.
6. Doesn’t respect it’s own playlists.
Otherwise, the software STINKS.
Now I”m a database engineer. And I know how to manage huge amounts of data. Not just a gigabyte or even a terrabyte but databases of pedabytes and more. First thing one always does is define a schema for the data. That means a structure optimized for how you might want to use the data. Then you create lists that help you keep this data under control. One key point for managing lots of data is integrity. We want to know that the data is stored only once, is accurate, and cannot be hurt by being used. Well ITUNEs violates all those rules.
I have 1000’s of CD’s, subscribe to a large number of NPR podcasts, have lots of audio books, and many other wonderful things in my music library. First thing ITUNEs did was take 400 gigabytes of music arranged carefully by folders and redefined the structure. ITUNEs loves short 4 letter random combinations as file names; so now I HAVE rgi7 as a file name instead of something more understandable as “Celtic Music”. Oh well, ITUNES is probably trying to be economical in electrons; saving a few bits and bytes here and there.
But was only the starting point. Next was that I was supposed to use a locked directory on the computer hard drive. Note the hard drive only has 500 gigabytes and I wanted to store the data on an external drive. Well, ITUNES knows better, so it immediately made a copy of the random 4 letter folders on the hard drive. And then they locked them up and protected it from everyone else in the family because of course my husband or kids would never want to listen to any of my music. I can turn on sharing; but only if I give them access to a credit card and allow purchases of music directly from ITUNEs via the apple account.
But it doesn’t stop just there. Every time the external drive got disconnected, it made another copy of the library, made a very minor change of the data file, and stored in the same directory. So now I have stuff with 3 or 4 versions of the same file. And to clean it up, I need to manually look at every directory and file.
Thank you ITUNES for a lot of unnecessary ugly work managing my music. And it’s all because you want to sell me some more music. Well, I don’t even want the stuff from your store; it’s not high quality. I rip my CD’s at the highest fidelity; you provide at a high price very low quality versions.
So my plan going forward is
1. I’m going to make a copy of my entire library and then remove everything from ITUNEs. FAmily will be allowed to add anything they want as they want it, we will just purge ITUNEs on a regular basis
2. I’m going to rearrange and clean up the entire library (probably at least 6 months of work)
3. I”m going to finish ripping all the CD’s I own into a high quality digital format (another 6 months of work)
4. And then I’m going to buy music directly from the artists; getting high quality unrestricted usage music
5. I will never ever let ITUNEs manage my music library again.
Finally, I’m going to look for some 3rd party software that can keep my IPOD’s filled with good music. In the playlists I like, with the sort I like, and a truly random mode if desired.