- that comment about ending up with one huge album called GREATEST HITS? Well, funny I should have mentioned that, because I did eventually notice that in the album listing was one huge album called – you guessed it. I had to go in and rename them Greatest Hits (Artist name), etc. THIS doesn’t show up in album flip view, which I was using to try to find the scattered tracks. Not even sure it was showing up in the album thumbnail views. I think I eventually noticed it when searching for a specific track.
- Here’s a weird one. My brother has a Mac McAnally album (self-titled) in vinyl. It’s from 1977, and it’s not even available in iTunes. So I asked a friend to dub the album to CD. He did so, and separated it into tracks for me. I loaded the CD into iTunes for ripping, expecting to have to manually enter all track info. It came up with all track names and the album name, perfectly (I had to add the album art manually, natch). I asked my friend later if he’d put the artist/title info into the track data. He hadn’t. Even assuming iTunes is performing a Shazam-style analysis of the wave form on the tracks, this is weird because I can’t buy the album on iTunes (I did find that shazam.com had the track data for this album on their site, and says their track data is courtesy of iTunes. Hmmmm.).
A few random notes on the process, some of which isn’t going to totally make sense because I started this post and then forgot to post it, so it’s updated before it posts:
- there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve been feeding the CDs to iTunes basically any time I can have the laptop set up and do other work. Last few days I’ve been on the road locally a lot, but even so I’m down to a manageable stack.
- Gracenotes provides accurate data 99% of the time. The rest of the time it’s in Chinese (perhaps still accurate, but doesn’t do me much good). I’m kind of impressed at how it seems to have virtually every album that was actually published (as opposed to self-published).
- However, album art is often not there when you say “Get Album Artwork.” I’m sure it works better for something recent, but older CDs, especially genre CDs – forget it. I’m sure there are copyright issues involved. Some of the things it does pull up have been amusing. A white guy named Charlie, in a cowboy hat, in place of Charlie Parker, for example.
- Fortunately for that last point, Google Images almost always has it for you. I’ve only had to make something up entirely once or twice. I do admit to having a picture of Bambi on one recording of “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.”
- Getting albums together, as opposed to scattered through the collection, has been a challenge. They’re hard to spot in any iTunes view except the album flip view. Wish there was a big magic button to pull an album together if some key field, say, to pick an example at random, THE ALBUM TITLE is all identical. I realize nothing is as easy as it sounds. Perhaps one would end up with an album with 153 tracks called GREATEST HITS… still there has to be a way.
- Update – I’m completely through, although I recall owning some CDs that I can’t seem to put my hands on. Perhaps they’ll be added sometime after I move, or clean out a mini-warehouse… approximately 3,300 tracks, 30 GB or so, although my computer count doesn’t exactly agree with the iPod. To celebrate, I bought Jason Harrod’s album Living in Skin from iTunes. Good stuff!
- And then Sunday I ran into a friend whose music collection is about 500 GB. Huh.
I’m adding all my CDs. Every single one I own. Well, maybe not the homebrewed ones that are made from live recordings, all too often of me playing. And I’m drawing the line at my wife’s Olivia Newton John collection from the ’80s, because technically those aren’t mine. But if Grace Notes can find the track info, it’s going on.
Even the bad ones. Even “Night & Day” by Chicago.
Speaking of which, why can’t iTunes find the album artwork for Chicago 19?
More as this develops.