Bug, PEBCAK, or something else (Two iTunes libraries problem)

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Code Monkey

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OK, I'm about to punch something. I've got some spare hard drive space now and I started the process of taking my DVD lossless archives and importing them into a second iTunes library via holding the SHIFT key at launch to choose which library to load.

The lossless library is a completely different directory on the same physical drive as my standard lossy library.

Now, I've already discovered the utter stupidity that no matter how many .itl files you have, they all share the same preferences file so you have to keep switching the preferences for where your music goes, fair enough, I can live with that.

What I can't live with is this:
I import some ALAC lossless files to my lossless library. Generate AAC files from them, copy the AAC files to somewhere else. Delete them from the library. Close out, launch with the lossy .itl file, import the lossy encodes. So far so good.

What's not so good is the next time I launch the lossless .itl file, if the preferences file has the library pointing to the lossy directory, it will switch all the mappings to the AAC files in the wrong directory. If I launch the lossy .itl file with the preferences pointing to the lossless directory, it will switch all the mappings to the ALAC files in the wrong directory. What's worse, is that once this happens, I can't unswitch it in the same way the bug first occurs. I've repeated the process several times to verify it and every time I wind up with the lossy files in the lossless library and vice versa.

Do I just have to put up with all the *_1 files and keep everything under a single directory? With all the ten million threads about exclamation points, I always figured iTunes was pretty strict about paths, well, it's not strict enough.
 

Code Monkey

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So far, the only thing I've found to stop this is to change the relative paths, i.e. I've appended the "tag" [Archive] to the album name for all lossless versions of the albums. Since there went the appeal of being able to bulk convert everything and simply import the lossy versions at some future date without further mucking, I went ahead and surrendered to keeping all files under the same general iTunes directory.

I assume that unchecking the "Keep files and folders organized" preference might stop this goofiness, but that's more than I'm willing to do. The whole point of iTunes for me is to minimize my work, so unless someone else has a different functional suggestion, [Archive] "tag" and sticking everything in one directory seems the minimalist solution.
 
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