Blog2007 ≫ How I am the best at IPOD / genres / tagging / etc...

A valued chum just posed these questions by email, and it fired me off in a huge response, so I thought I'd whack it up here too...

  1. When you have a CD what are you using to rip the CD, what bitrate and what codec are you using?

  2. what is the minimum bitrate you will allow in your collection?

  3. How are you dealing with a collection larger than your ipod ie do you sync or do you drag or do you semi sync???

  4. What would you use to clean up the collection (make sure it is labelled correctly, has nice pictures where appropriate, and even dedupe record (this would be nice)

My collection is bigger than my 'pod, what you want to do is set up a load of smart playlists in itunes... Then you can just sync certain playlists. I use the "My Rating" quite a lot on mp3s, so I have a smart playlist where my rating is higher than two stars, then sync that playlist... I sync a load of other playlists, including 100 random tunes, and all the most recently ripped stuff, plus new books and podcasts I've not listened to yet, you can do all this with smart playlists.

I have a range of bitrates, though everything is MP3. When I rip something myself I do it at 192k, but I don't suppose I can hear a difference with 128k (definitely not now with this ear infection). I have a load of audio books at 16k, and other things at various rates, as a lot of it's downloaded.

I'm not using any tools to tag things or add artwork, I do that by hand, mostly I'm good at doing it when I acquire a new choon. If you have an itunes account, that can grab cover art automatically, or there's a yahoo widget1 (you need yahoo widget engine2) that supposedly does it, it kept stalling on me though so I gave up on it.

Someone gave me a DVD with 40 years of the top 100 billboard charts on it, that boosted my collection in one hit, but it's mostly crap that I don't listen to... I don't tend to delete mp3s though as you never know when you might want a tune, so I use the "my rating" thing again - 1 star means I don't like it, so all my playlists have a "and my rating is not one star" rule, then 2 - 5 stars are for rating how good it is, and 0 stars just means I've not rated it yet. Another tagging thing that I think I invented and am the best at (...) is being sly with the genre tag. I put in the genre as things like "Rock / Funk / Live / Bootleg / Instrumental" divided up by slashes. This means that I don't browse by genre any more, but I have a smart playlist for every tag instead, ie "Where genre contains 'rock'" and so on. One day a music player will catch up with me and make genres by dividing up the genre tag by slashes automatically (I hoped to extend the ipod linux player, ha), but until then my way works for me. I really don't have many funk rock

instrumentals, that was just for illustrative purposes.

While I'm indulgently prattling on about this (hey I'm going to repost this on my blog, can't go wasting content like this) I wish the player knew to divide up artists by some delimiter or other, so that if I have a track by Super Furry Animals & GLC it would be listed under Super Furry Animals and under GLC when browsing by artist, instead of adding a new artist called "Super Furry Animals & GLC", that's just annoying. Probably "Album by artist" is the tag for this... Also I wish I was consistent with my delimiters, slashes are good for dividing things up, except for artists, I don't want it messing with my vast AC/DC library.

How do you use your IPOD?

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Paul Clarke's weblog - I live in A small town. Wed and father to two, I am a full stack web engineer, and I do js / Node, some ruby, python, php ect ect. I like pubs, running, eating, home-automation and other diy jiggery-pokery, history, tree stuff, Television, squirrels, pirates, lego, + TIME TRAVEL.