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Topic: iTunes + ID3 Tags (Yup.. Another One)

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Old 12-28-2010, 07:13 PM
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iTunes + ID3 Tags (Yup.. Another One)

I have used iTunes as my music/device manager for years pretty much without a blip but I just ran into an issue regarding ID3 tagging.

I have been collecting music for 30 years and I finally finished importing my music about a month ago. I have been really anal as I imported my music to make sure that all the info was interred correctly and when I look at it through iTunes it is perfect.

I decided that besides my backup measures I would also get a portable hard drive that I could tote to work with me. I setup iTunes and told it my portable drive is the library and the added the music. When it was all done adding I noticed that about 120 GBs worth of music was missing all or parts of the tag info. Now this really doesn't make me happy. The majority of that music isn't some thing I can find on amazon or wiki to get the song info. The music is from LPs, CDs, DAT.. hell there was one rip from an 8 track. I would say it's 80% non-commercial.

The question I have is why is all the information on my main computer there and not on the files themselves? Is there some way to force what iTunes has listed on to the ID3 Tag?

I read somewhere about converting the tag to a different version. Does this force iTunes to rewrite the tag? Can just highlight my library and convert? I am really sorta sick thinking that all of that work was messed up. I can just pray that my main computer lives forever because.



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Old 12-28-2010, 09:29 PM
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Well, if those files are WAVs you're out of luck -- WAVs cannot accommodate any type of tagging. What file type(s) are involved here?
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:02 PM
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I took all media and converted it to FLAC for permanent storage and I then made 320kb MP3 copies of them for day to day use.

Every single file in iTunes on my home is tagged correctly. All album, artist, song, track, number of tracks, number of CDs, year, etc. What I found after I tried to hook my new portable drive with a copy of my library to my work PC is:

1- 80% of the files are perfect.

2- 10% show no info except for artist in iTunes but If I go into windows explorer and look at the properties of the track all of the info is there.

3- 10% show no info except for artist in iTunes and the info doesn't show up in explorer.

What I need to know is if there is some way to force my iTunes at home to write the info it has to the tracks. It seems that a good chunk of this info got written to a library that iTunes can use but not to the song file its self.

Does this make sense?



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Old 12-29-2010, 12:53 PM
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2. If the tags are v2.x playing the song in iTunes should update the iTunes info.

3. You can set the data in iTunes, right click the file, choose Convert ID3 and choose version 2.3 for best compatibility to write the iTunes data to the ID3 tags.



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Old 12-29-2010, 01:03 PM
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The tags look to be 2.3 now but playing the songs is a bit problematic due to the number of songs, there are tens of thousands of them and some of the files, like the live shows I took of off DAT, are very long.

So if they are already tagged with 2.3 can I still tell it to convert them and it will write the info? And is there a recommended number I do at one time or can I just select all?

Thanks for your help by the way. I had made an assumption that all info I entered into iTunes was written to the file. I have already spent a very long time making sure everything was correct and I really don't want to have to do it again if my hard drive dies and I have to use my back up or in this case just want to use the files on a different pc.



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Old 12-29-2010, 04:15 PM
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You don't have to play the whole song, just the first few seconds should do it, this is to get the ID3 tags from the files to appear in iTunes. You could write a script for it.

Here's one I threw together to play 1 second of each track in a playlist. Annoying to listen to but it may allow you to create a playlist of the 20% of songs with good tags but bad iTunes information and alter this script for the playlist name and update iTunes relatively quickly.

You may have to extend the playtime from 1 second to 5 seconds to get the ID3 tags to take. I don't have enough MP3 files to test this with so I'll let you experiment.

Save the code below as PlayTracksInPlaylist.js (use Notepad or other text editor)

Run the code by using a command prompt:
cscript /nologo PlayTracksInPlaylist.js

Code:
var 	iTunesApp = WScript.CreateObject("iTunes.Application");
var	source = iTunesApp.LibrarySource;
var	playLists = source.Playlists;

if (playLists != null) {
	var numPlaylists = playLists.Count;
	if (numPlaylists >= 0) {
		/*  Set the Playlist Name here  */
		var	playList = playLists.ItemByName("Recently Played");
		if (playList != null) {
			playList.PlayFirstTrack();
			var numTracks = playList.Tracks.Count;
			var counter = 0;
			while (counter < numTracks) {
				WScript.Sleep(1000);  /*  Sets play time of each track to 1 second - May not be needed. */
				counter++;
				iTunesApp.nextTrack();
			}
		}
		else {
			WScript.Echo("Failed to find specified playlist");
		}
	}
	else {
		WScript.Echo("There are no playlists to search");
	}
}
else {
	WScript.Echo("Failed to find playlists in MainLibrary");
}
As for your other 20% where iTunes has the info, but ID3 does not, select ALL those tracks, right click one and choose Convert ID3.



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Old 12-29-2010, 04:22 PM
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lol. I remember now why I never wanted to code for a living. I will give that a try when I get home and report back.

Thanks again for your help.



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Old 12-30-2010, 12:29 PM
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Funny enough I took this script and altered it to play 30 second snippets, wait 5 seconds, show the track name, artist and year, then wait 2 seconds and play another track.

We played who can guess the song for a couple of hours. The iTunes window was minimized so no one could see the track names, and the command prompt was on the TV screen to see the tracks after they played. Cheap family fun.



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Old 01-01-2011, 04:20 PM
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I found another method to do it better

This will rescan all the files in your library without playing them.
It will make the MP3 file ID3 tags get read into iTunes.

Code:
var iTunesApp = WScript.CreateObject("iTunes.Application");
var mainLibrary = iTunesApp.LibraryPlaylist;
var tracks = mainLibrary.Tracks;
var numTracks = tracks.Count;
var i;

for (i = 1; i <= numTracks; i++)
{
	var currTrack = tracks.Item(i);
	currTrack.UpdateInfoFromFile();
}

WScript.Echo("Done");



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Old 01-01-2011, 06:38 PM
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Think this works in iTunes 10? On the Applescript side of things this command is "refresh", but several sites I looked over when this thread first opened said that this command no longer did the trick in 10.x. (But those were all centered on Applescript; no one had anything to say about Windows scripting.) In the same vein, I read that the old trick of selecting every track, then File->Get Info, then clicking OK button no longer worked in 10.
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:25 PM
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I didn't get any errors running it on my library. Though my MP3s are also in sync with my iTunes so I can't see that too well.

If you can get your iTunes and your MP3 files out of sync, we could test it. I only use iTunes so I don't have an MP3 updater to test with.



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Old 01-01-2011, 09:00 PM
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I didn't get any errors running it on my library.

Yeah, on the Mac side, the Refresh command won't throw an error -- it just won't accomplish anything ;-)

I'm fascinated by this glitch when it turns up every couple of years. But, like you, I've never had it go bad and so never had the chance to test the various fixes. (One fix I think is often overlooked on Windows machines is turning off the hard drive's "delayed write" setting, or whatever it's called. I set up a Win 7 machine a few weeks ago, and was pleased to see that it's apparently off by default now. Great -- more peace of mind, and no need to remember about Safely Eject Hardware.) Well, I hope the OP can get it sorted out.
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