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I have a couple of basic iTunes and iPod questions. Help a dad out...

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I have a couple of basic iTunes and iPod questions. Help a dad out...

Old 04-13-06, 08:26 AM
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I have a couple of basic iTunes and iPod questions. Help a dad out...

I'm trying to get my daughter's new iPod nano and iTunes set up on our PC, and after screwing around with it for a while and getting aggravated I have a few questions. Or if someone can recommend a worthwhile site that answers dumb newb questions, I'll take that, too.

I'm running XP with 3 user accounts. All the mp3s on our PC are in one folder. If songs are added to that mp3 folder, will they automatically appear in the library on iTunes? The reason I ask is I tried that, and the new song didn't appear until I manually added it, using the "Add File..." option.

Can songs be deleted out of individual libraries without deleting them from the HD, or is that what the check/uncheck option is for? The reason for that question is that if my daughter only wanted her library to show her music while logged in under her XP account, could she delete songs she didn't want, but those would still be there in the iTunes library under my XP account?

Likewise if she changes the artist/song data in her library, will that change show up when I log in under my XP account and open iTunes?

I inadvertently added a bunch of songs to her Nano that she didn't want. How do you selectively add/delete songs to the iPod?

I'm sure I can mess around with iTunes and figure it out eventually, but I'm trying to get her setup so she can use it. I want to make sure I have the settings in iTunes optimized so it's easy to use for all of us, and I was starting to get dizzy last night.
Old 04-13-06, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 12thmonkey
I'm running XP with 3 user accounts. All the mp3s on our PC are in one folder. If songs are added to that mp3 folder, will they automatically appear in the library on iTunes? The reason I ask is I tried that, and the new song didn't appear until I manually added it, using the "Add File..." option.
No. The best option to do so would be to go into the preferences menu, click the advanced tab and then the general sub-tab. Then check "add music to library when playing." This way all you have to do to add music into the folder and iTunes library is to play it (you can play more than one song at a time). Furthermore, I would recommend you check "keep iTunes folder organized" since it is very easy and a big help IMO.

Can songs be deleted out of individual libraries without deleting them from the HD, or is that what the check/uncheck option is for? The reason for that question is that if my daughter only wanted her library to show her music while logged in under her XP account, could she delete songs she didn't want, but those would still be there in the iTunes library under my XP account?
Yes they can. When you hit delete when you have a song or songs selected, it will ask if you want remove from the library. If you hit yes, it will then ask if you want to delete from the hard drive. Hit no, and the files physically remain, but don't show up in the library. The checkboxes tell iTunes whether or not the file should be played.

Likewise if she changes the artist/song data in her library, will that change show up when I log in under my XP account and open iTunes?
Yes, these changes are made to the ID3 tags in the file.

I inadvertently added a bunch of songs to her Nano that she didn't want. How do you selectively add/delete songs to the iPod?
Go into the preference menu, select the iPod tab, and then the music sub-tab. Click the manually "manage song" button and then hit ok. Now you should be able to click the nano on the left and make changes. This will affect syncing though and everything in the library will not automatically be placed on the iPod since you are now managing it.
Old 04-13-06, 09:02 AM
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to Brain Stew.....
Old 04-13-06, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by 12thmonkey
I'm running XP with 3 user accounts. All the mp3s on our PC are in one folder. If songs are added to that mp3 folder, will they automatically appear in the library on iTunes? The reason I ask is I tried that, and the new song didn't appear until I manually added it, using the "Add File..." option.

Originally Posted by Brain Stew
No. The best option to do so would be to go into the preferences menu, click the advanced tab and then the general sub-tab. Then check "add music to library when playing." This way all you have to do to add music into the folder and iTunes library is to play it (you can play more than one song at a time). Furthermore, I would recommend you check "keep iTunes folder organized" since it is very easy and a big help IMO.
So the only way to get new new songs that I add to my pc into the iTunes library is to do it manually?
Old 04-13-06, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by 12thmonkey
So the only way to get new new songs that I add to my pc into the iTunes library is to do it manually?
If you want to keep your existing mp3 storage system, I believe this is correct. Most people just give up and let iTunes manage their mp3s.
Old 04-13-06, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by TracerBullet
If you want to keep your existing mp3 storage system, I believe this is correct. Most people just give up and let iTunes manage their mp3s.
So if I choose to let iTunes manage my mp3s - whatever is easier works for me - what are all the settings I need to have checked off in iTunes?
Old 04-13-06, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by 12thmonkey
So the only way to get new new songs that I add to my pc into the iTunes library is to do it manually?
Just to throw an alternative out there...

I'd highly recommend using the newest version of Winamp instead of iTunes. The most recent version of Winamp added built-in iPod support, as well as per-profile options. I don't know offhand if the Media Library can be different for different profiles, but I do know that you can set up watch folders in Winamp, a feature that iTunes sorely lacks. You can then tell the ML to scan the specified folders at startup, or at regular intervals.

However, if you ever plan on picking up a Video iPod, do not use Winamp with it. While the functionality in regards to audio is the same, there are some pretty signifigant problems when it comes to dealing with videos.
Old 04-13-06, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by 12thmonkey
So if I choose to let iTunes manage my mp3s - whatever is easier works for me - what are all the settings I need to have checked off in iTunes?
I gave the steps in the recommendation at the end of my first answer.
Old 04-13-06, 11:11 AM
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Also, you might want to check Apple's website. In the support area you can find some pretty good discussion forums. There are areas for PC users under both iPod and ITunes. You should be able to find a lot of useful info there.
Old 04-13-06, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by 12thmonkey
So the only way to get new new songs that I add to my pc into the iTunes library is to do it manually?
You can also drag and drop, while still manual, it is a helluva lot quicker than going to "add file..." then searching for the file.

If you choose to let iTunes control the organization it will restructure your entire MP3 folder, and put them in a Artist -> Album tree structure. So if you have 500 songs by 500 different artists, it will create 500(technically 1,000) new folders, 1 for each artist, and 1 inside each of those for the album the track is from.
Old 04-14-06, 08:40 AM
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I appreciate all the great assistance with my newb iTunes questions. It has all been really helpful.

I do have one more question (at least for now) that kind of confuses me re: the library. As I mentioned, I have three users on my PC, which is running XP. Prior to iTunes, I had one central folder that contained all users MP3 files.

I may have done this wrong, but when I added the MP3 folder to the library, it recreated it in another subfolder under MyDocuments, so now I have two folders full of the same files - with only the the newer MyDocuments/itunes sub containing the mp3s organized into artist/album folders. And I noticed it created similar subfolders for the other two users. Should I have set the library folder to the original MP3 folder? And if so, is this something I can correct?

Last edited by Pointyskull; 04-14-06 at 09:58 AM.
Old 04-14-06, 02:09 PM
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I think what happened is you have the option checked for itunes to copy music files to the library when importing. It makes a copy of the music, puts it in itunes file structure, and leaves the original file where you had it. You can delete the original files once they are imported into the library.

One thing others forgot to mention, unless I missed it (I am a little hungover), is if you change the filename in one profile, it will not show up in the other profiles. Since you changed the filename, itunes library is now pointing to the wrong song. It will give you a popup saying something like "itunes cannot find the specified song. Would you like to find it." You'll have to hunt down the song so itunes will point at it again.
Old 04-14-06, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mndtrp
I think what happened is you have the option checked for itunes to copy music files to the library when importing. It makes a copy of the music, puts it in itunes file structure, and leaves the original file where you had it. You can delete the original files once they are imported into the library.
Yep, I did have "the copy music files..." checked.
Do I want that? What's the benefit?

If I uncheck, what does that do to what's already been done?

thx
Old 04-16-06, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by 12thmonkey
Yep, I did have "the copy music files..." checked.
Do I want that? What's the benefit?

If I uncheck, what does that do to what's already been done?

thx
I have it checked. I don't know if there is any benefit, to tell you the truth. I should probably uncheck it.

Unchecking it won't change anything you did prior. From that point on, though, it will move the files instead of copying them.
Old 04-16-06, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mndtrp
I have it checked. I don't know if there is any benefit, to tell you the truth. I should probably uncheck it.

Unchecking it won't change anything you did prior. From that point on, though, it will move the files instead of copying them.
So if I have 3 separate users on my PC, iTunes will replicate the music library 3 times in 3 different locations?

I had hoped I could just reference my main MP3 folder for all users.
Old 04-16-06, 01:50 PM
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I'm at my high point of aggravation with iTunes, and it's getting the best of me. To recap, I'm on XP with 3 users, only one of which uses the iPod. The other two just want to have access to a main folder of MP3s.

In screwing around with it today, I had the brainstorm to try and set two users to the same iTunes library folder - in this case the main MP3 folder I had previously set up. I was sure that was the way to go, but it still seems problematic.

Why doesn't iTunes automatically recognize when I drop a new MP3 into my music folder? What friggin' setting do I have to change?

Why, if one user changes a song description, is that change not evident for another user?

Shouldn't all the music files be in one central shared folder, rather than replicated in three separate iTunes folders for each user?

I cannot figure out the easiest way to configure iTunes, and it means more user-unfriendly than I could have imagined.

Is it best to uninstall and start all over? I'm frazzled!!!!!!

Last edited by Pointyskull; 04-16-06 at 01:54 PM.
Old 04-16-06, 07:27 PM
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Alright, instead of trying to decipher the problems how about this:

Do you have 3 seperate accounts on the PC?, sounds that way from what you have said.

Let itunes organize for you. That way if any of the three users import a cd it is accessable to everyone.

Now each user can drag and drop what they want out of that "itunes music" folder into itunes. Each user will have their own playlists, and not necessarily ALL the music in the folder. Just what they want.

Anything you import from a cd will automatically be added to THAT users playlist but it will be in that main "itunes music" folder. Anyone else would have to manually add it by drag and drop.

Hopefully some of this is coherent.
Old 04-16-06, 08:45 PM
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The only problem I've found with having seperate user accounts, is exactly what you stated. If one user imports a cd, the other user has to add that folder to the library. I haven't found a way to make it happen automatically.

You would think that consolidating the library would do that, but apparently not.
Old 04-16-06, 08:49 PM
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My guess on the reason itunes doesn't automatically update when you drag and drop an mp3 file into your itunes folder is that it's a sort of benign "fuck you" to people who like to download illegal music. They won't stop you from importing it into the library, but they will make you manually add that folder/mp3.

What I personally do is put ALL my mp3s into one folder titled music. Everything is under artist/album subfolders from that point. Once every couple weeks I delete the itunes library database file in my documents/itunes, and then add folder to library, and that folder is my root music folder. I may not always have all the music I have, but if i want to listen to something specific that isn't showing up, I can add that manually.

I don't advise you to do what I do, as the way your folders are managed you might end up deleting some of your mp3's. I keep my music on a hd that is completely different from the one itunes is installed on, so messing with the library database has no ill efects on my music files.
Old 04-17-06, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by deadlax
My guess on the reason itunes doesn't automatically update when you drag and drop an mp3 file into your itunes folder is that it's a sort of benign "fuck you" to people who like to download illegal music. They won't stop you from importing it into the library, but they will make you manually add that folder/mp3.

What I personally do is put ALL my mp3s into one folder titled music. Everything is under artist/album subfolders from that point. Once every couple weeks I delete the itunes library database file in my documents/itunes, and then add folder to library, and that folder is my root music folder. I may not always have all the music I have, but if i want to listen to something specific that isn't showing up, I can add that manually.

I don't advise you to do what I do, as the way your folders are managed you might end up deleting some of your mp3's. I keep my music on a hd that is completely different from the one itunes is installed on, so messing with the library database has no ill efects on my music files.
Except that itunes allows you to stream music to any networked computer. If they wanted to "fuck you" to people, they probably wouldn't have allowed that.

Anyone thinking of trying deadlax's plan, keep in mind that deleting the wrong file will get rid of all of your ratings/playlists/etc. Some may not care, but I've spent a lot of time on that, and it would really piss me off to lose it. Not to mention, it still puts you in the position of adding music to your library more than once.
Old 04-17-06, 09:45 AM
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So let me dumb this down for my own purposes and see if I'm right.

1. iTunes will not automatically scan specified folders for new music files not purchased from directly from them. (which leads to point 2)

2. User A downloaded a "free" iTunes song (part of the song of the week, or something like that). That song will not show up for the other two users unless they manually add it?

3. If I have three users, a user changing a title/artist description under one account will not impact that for other users.

Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
Do you have 3 seperate accounts on the PC?, sounds that way from what you have said.
Yes, three separate accounts, that originally shared one main music folder in our pre-iTunes world.

Should all users have the option checked for itunes to copy music files to the library when importing?

Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
Let itunes organize for you. That way if any of the three users import a cd it is accessable to everyone.
For some reason that's not happening. If user A imports a CD, it's not showing for the other users. Do those users have to actually do a manual import?

Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
Now each user can drag and drop what they want out of that "itunes music" folder into itunes. Each user will have their own playlists, and not necessarily ALL the music in the folder. Just what they want.
So should I stick with default settings for each user accounts iTunes music folder? My brain was trying to tell me all users would be "sharing" one central folder, and that software would deselect titles from that users playlist without physically deleting any music files.

Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
Anything you import from a cd will automatically be added to THAT users playlist but it will be in that main "itunes music" folder.
That's what is confusing me. Music imported from a CD will only go to that particular user's iTunes music folder, not the main?

Last edited by Pointyskull; 04-17-06 at 09:50 AM.
Old 04-19-06, 03:58 AM
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Pretty much everything you said is correct. The only thing that's wrong, unless I'm reading you wrong, is the very last thing.

When user A imports a cd, itunes will put it in its folder structure. It will show up in user A's library. User B will have to do a File->Add Folder to Library, hunt down the folder, and add the songs. The actual files don't go anywhere, the songs just now show up in the library. It is not necessary to have the cd in the drive after the initial import. You just have to have each user's library point to the song files.

If user B decides they don't like the songs, user B can clear them out of user B's library, and they will still show up in user A's library.
Should user A give these songs a 4 star rating, and user B give them a 3 star rating, that will stay seperate to the user.
If user B changes the song name, user A's library will show an exclamation point next to the song, stating it cannot find the file. user A would then have to hunt down the song to have their library find it again.

Hopefully that all made sense.


Edited to change "checkmark" to "exclamation point".

Last edited by mndtrp; 04-19-06 at 08:53 AM.
Old 04-19-06, 08:29 AM
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Good follow up explanation mndtrp.
Old 04-19-06, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mndtrp

Hopefully that all made sense.
Things make sense now. thx!
Old 04-19-06, 09:12 AM
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I'm having major problems. I just got a Nano yesterday. I'm a windows user. I've owned a shuffle for awhile now and had no problems setting it. Here's a summary of what's happened:

I installed the disc and then plugged in the ipod. It asked for the serial number, etc. during setup. And it also launched itunes like it's supposed to. I also registered it on apple's website. I purchased a couple of songs and tried to move them to the Nano, but got a message saying something like "you can't transfer this song to your ipod because you are not authorized to play music on this computer."

This is where I really started having problems. I reset the ipod thinking I did something wrong during setup. Now, my comptuer won't recognize it. When I plug it in via usb, itunes DOES NOT launch now. I know with the update installer you can restore the ipod to factory settings, but I can't do that because it won't recognize the ipod either. I've also encountered the service error. But I've entered in the text that you're supposed to enter to correct this. I've also gotten a "can't mount ipod" message.

Sounds like once I reset the ipod, things went all to hell. Can anyone help? I'm thinking of returning it because I've run out of things to try.

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