iTunes 12 Breaks Music Organization

Apple has been having iTunes organize music the same way since the inception of iTunes. Now in version 12, it’s totally different.

I’ve been an iPod user since 2003/ 2004 time frame. I still have my 60 GB Click Wheel iPod. It’s in great shape and still plays music well. The battery is in decent shape, too; so if I had to, I could cart it around without constantly searching for a power outlet or USB port. I still make certain that it’s as updated as it can be. You have no idea when you might need a portable hard drive with all your music on it…

I’ve really invested in the Apple ecosystem, too. Actually, that’s an understatement… I jumped into the deep end of the pool with both feet. I’ve got almost 600 movies and over 50 TV shows (multiple seasons on some, not many…but some). I’ve got 65GB just in music and audio alone. When you’re looking at 4-6MB per song, that’s a lot of songs to get to 65GB.

There’s been an influx of Apple gear in my house thanks to Gazelle and No More Rack and the recent Christmas Holiday. I’ve got at least two new Macs and two new iPad mini’s in the house that need to be connected to Apple services, including iTunes and iCloud. I’ve had reason to setup new devices and new Macs in existing iTunes and iCloud accounts, and honestly, I’m not a happy person right now.

That may be just me, as I did cut my teeth on DOS/Windows and on the Microsoft side of the world, but I’ve recently noticed that the latest version of iTunes has changed the way it organizes the music library.

itunes12-music-song-list

In previous versions of iTunes, when you checked the option to have the app automatically organize your music library (it actually organizes your whole media library on your computer, including music, movies, TV shows, etc.), it organized the media in the following folder tree:

iTunes Music

<Media Type>

                        <Sub-Organizer 1>

                                                        <Sub-Organizer 2>

                                                                                        <Media File>

So for Music, this would translate to

iTunes Music

Music

<Artist Name>

                        <Album Name>

                                                  <SongName.aac/mp3/etc.>

For TV Shows, this would translate to

ITunes Music

TV Shows

<TV Show Name>

                               <Season #> (where # is the number of the season)

                                                  <EpisodeName.m4v>

In the current version of iTunes, the middle, organizing folders have been removed. This means that for music, the Album folders have been removed, so, all of the songs you have for a given artist, coming with all the songs from all of their albums. For TV Shows, this means that every episode of every TV show is stored in a single TV Show Name folder.

Now… you HAVE to be asking yourself, “Why do I care?”

That’s a GREAT QUESTION. Here’s why – It’s totally screwed up my local copy of my EXTENDED iTunes Media Library.

While iCloud is GREAT, the key word in its name is – CLOUD. The big problem of backup and access TO the cloud is still a concern for a great many people, and quite honestly not ubiquitous and totally NOT trustworthy, even in a large metropolitan area like suburban Chicago. I’ve also got TERABYTES of media; and that’s not something that I want to have to rely on internet access to get access to; and I always download a copy of anything that I buy so that I don’t have to rely on the internet or to any other service. Having a local copy on my home network also backs up a copy for me… AND because MacBook Pro’s, MacBook Airs, and Mac mini’s no longer come with upgradable storage, I don’t keep everything I buy on my Mac.

As soon as I download a copy of anything in iTunes, I copy it to my NAS and make a backup copy. That’s just smart computing.

The problem now, though, is that the new file structure doesn’t mesh with the old file structure, and I’ve got shows copying to show folders and not in season specific folders. I’ve got a huge mess of a movie folder on Mac that now copies movies to the root of my movies folder on my NAS.

Now, after I make any new iTunes content purchases, I have to go into iTunes, find out where iTunes has stored it, move it to match the folder structure of all the content on my NAS and THEN copy over the backup. This is a huge increase in overhead, and a change that totally screws up a bunch of stuff on my network. I have to ask, WHY did you do this, Apple, especially without telling anyone?

I’ve been being a good Apple boy. I’ve been resisting to organize my iTunes library myself and have been letting iTunes organize it for me. Part of the reason why this worked for me and was so easy to accept was the fact that they organized it exactly the way I would have done it, if I organized it myself. The obsessive-compulsive, anal retentive organizer within me now screams every time I download new content.

I think what’s bothering me the most is that the change in this is unannounced, and for me to follow the Apple “company line,” I’d have to reorganize my entire extended library and I really don’t want to. I don’t want to do that not only because it’s a huge amount of work with very little return in value, but also because the new organization structure is not what I want. I want what I had. I want it the way it was. The new “organization” method that iTunes does on its own creates a huge mess…

Am I alone in this? Am I the only one that’s noticed this? Have you noticed the change? Does it matter to you? Am I the only anal retentive nut job out there that keeps a local copy of their extended iTunes media library? I really can’t think that I am…

What are your thoughts on this change? Does it matter to you? Do you have a local copy of your extended iTunes library, or do you totally rely on iCloud to get you access to content you’ve removed from your iDevice, Mac or PC? I’d really love to hear what you have to say on this, as I’d like to know how big of an issue this is for everyone. Have you looked it up in Apple’s Support Forum? Why don’t you meet me in the discussion area below and give me your thoughts on this?

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GoodSyncProtect your data with this important multiplatform app

Everyone – or at least nearly everyone – knows what cloud sync apps are today. Its quite possible that you’ve heard of at least one or two. Getting your data into the cloud isn’t easy without an app like GoodSync. It’s a data backup and cloud synchronization app for Windows.

GoodSync is an easy to use file synchronization application. It automatically analyzes, synchronizes, and backs up your data locally – between desktops, laptops, servers, external drives, and Windows Mobile devices – as well as remotely with FTP, SFTP, WebDAV and Amazon S3 servers. The best thing about GoodSync is GoodSync Connect, which helps you to connect computers easily, even through the internet.

GS-03

Cloud synchronization options abound on the internet today. GoodSync is just one of them. However, you really need to watch what you get when you sign up. Other services may provide better options. While GoodSync Connect offers a real advantage for the service, if you have non-Windows computers you want to sync with, you have other issues to deal with. Licensing costs on non-Windows computers is much higher. You also don’t get a discount for purchasing multiple PC licenses, so you may pay more using GoodSync than with other services where you pay for storage. You’ll need to price it out and shop around a bit to insure you get the best deal.

 

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mwbrKeeping your data safe is probably the one of the most important things a computer can do. Without your data, there really isn’t a reason to have or use a computer.  Its for this reason that having a backup strategy is important.  If I were you, I’d give serious consideration to Malwarebytes Secure Backup.  It’s a backup program for Windows.

With Malwarebytes Secure Backup, your files are backed up automatically to a secure server, according to a schedule that you set. Every version of a backed up file is archived. Every backed up file that is deleted from Malwarebytes Secure Backup is archived. Every file can always be retrieved, so you never have to worry about something being lost forever. With Malwarebytes Secure Backup, your data is always, ALWAYS safe.

The app even backs up infected files; but thankfully, the app automatically scans your files with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware engine and cleans them.  Don’t worry about your data. Malwarebytes Secure Backup keeps it safe and clean.

MSB-03
Many backup services backup your most current dataset and that’s about it. As items change, so does your backup set. That’s not the case with Malwarebytes Secure Backup.  It backs up and archives every version of every file on your PC.  You’re not limited by the number of devices it backup, either.  It will backup most any device on your PC or network with just one license.

If you’re looking for a backup service or thinking of making a change, then you really need to give Malwarebytes Secure Backup a serious look. Its worth the cost and the time it takes to backup the data.

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amazon_cloud_drive_1223946_g1Access your data from anywhere with one of the most trusted names on the internet today with this must have cross platform tool.

Storing your data in the cloud is really in right now. Accessing your documents from anywhere, on any computing device, is the future of modern computing. Its for this reason alone that I really like Amazon Cloud Drive.  With it, you can do just that – get your data where you need it, when you need it from any supported, connected device, with just about any operating system.  This multiplatform, universal tool should be on your list of must have apps.

Amazon Web Services is one of the most trusted names in cloud storage. It powers Amazon Prime’s video on demand service and Amazon’s Cloud Player, and now can power your universal storage needs, too.  Cloud Drive securely stores your photos, videos, documents and other digital files. Though its Cloud Player and Cloud Drive are now thankfully separate services, you can still upload music to Cloud Drive for storage and backup.  However, if you want to play it from anywhere, you will also need to import it into Cloud Player.

ACD-02

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Like Dropbox, Google Drive or other service Amazon Cloud drive makes your files accessible from just about anywhere on just about any device with either the software installed or through a web browser. With 5GB of free storage to start you off, and reasonable prices for additional storage, it’s easy to get started with one of the most trusted vendors on the internet today.

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VMware Workstation is cloud capable and cloud aware. VMware Workstation’s operating system support, user experience, feature set and performance will dramatically change the way you work with virtual machines. It’s one of the best companion apps for any technical professional as they move to the cloud.

VMW-01

One of the most popular reasons why corporate customers use a virtual machine is to evaluate the next generation operating system.  With VMware, you can install, say, Windows 8 and give users access to it, without actually upgrading a specific machine or risking introducing an undesirable user experience into the enterprise.  The latest version of VMware Workstation is optimized for running Windows 8 on Windows PCs. Its Easy Install feature simplifies the task of creating Windows 8 virtual machines. Its Unity mode will intelligently scale windows with Metro applications and multi-touch support will ensure you get the true Windows 8 experience in a virtual machine.

VMW-02

One of the BEST reasons why you’d use VMware Workstation is its new web interface. It allows you to access your virtual machines from a tablet, smart phone, PC or any device with a modern browser. No plugins or special add-ins are necessary. Now you can power on, off, or suspend your virtual machines and interact with them from almost anywhere.

Using a virtual machine on your computer is one of the best ways to use incompatible applications. It also makes it easy to keep your PC free from poorly written apps or apps that don’t uninstall cleanly. VMware wrote the book on virtual machines and is one of the BEST ways to accomplish these tasks.

The biggest problems with VMware are that it’s expensive and complicated to setup and use. At $250 for a single workstation license, you need to make sure you take advantage of its 30 day trial before you buy.  It’s also a very complicated application to setup and configure. Many consumer users will need to either seek assistance from the help file, printed documentation or support forums to insure that they get the best performance out of the app. Please note that I’ve given this app a low usability rating because of its level of complexity.

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More and more the term “cloud” is used in our lives, and this feature of the internet is getting more and more popular. It is easy to share, to access your files anywhere, and most of all, it is safe! I save my important files there, I don’t have to worry anymore that my computer might crash. You can start by having 5 GB of space for free in the SugarSync Cloud, and you can gain more free space by sending invitations to friends (send 20 invitations to get 2 GB extra for free), do some small tasks that will teach you how to use the SugarSync application and you get extra space, and whenever one of your friends will accept the invitation, you will gain 500MB, at maximum of 18 GB. Wow, now that’s a lot of free space, a safe space to save ALL your important data! Imagine that you can store a little less than the capacity of 5 DVDs there, and share what you want, with who you want, even if that person doesn’t use SugarSync! And the best part is that the application is multi-platform. It’s working on Windows (including Windows 8), Mac, Android, iOS, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows Mobile.

No matter what device you have, you can use it!

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Microsoft Office 2013 Home Premium Presentation

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Microsoft Office 2013 Home Premium, which is part of the Microsoft Office 365 family, is already available for free as a preview version, which will expire on its official release. All you have to do to get it and make it run, is to download the installer from here, then sign-in into Office 365 Home Premium account with your Windows Live credentials. A new online UI will appear from where you can open your applications, documents, and custom settings on any PC (PC running Windows 7 or 8 and Internet connection required).

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read full review | download Dropbox

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