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Syncing and Albums: the problem

I haven’t been very good at syncing stuff, although I expect to have progress on it eventually.

I have a Shared Documents folder containing mp3s (I Have XP Home Edition) until I realized that these are actually virtual files (and I was storing the real versions on various hard drives). I’ve been gradually moving files from the Shared Documents folder to the E:/My Music folder. I started with 20 gigs and I’ve gotten it down to 11 gigs; I’ve spent a lot of time doing this task.

The problem with syncing is that mp3 player manufacturers assume you want to keep duplicate copies of everything on your local PC (and conversely, copies of all your PC mp3s on your player, which is definitely not the case at all). Another problem is bad labelling; whose idiotic idea was it to have hundreds of different genres listed for each mp3? If I just want to randomize jazz music, I can’t, because taggers have labeled things as “Jazz Fusion,” “Experimental Jazz” etc. (The better idea would have to been to create two fields: Genre and Subgenre, with genre limited to 10 families of music).

One particularly obnoxious thing about iTunes (which other players have followed) is its album-centric focus.  Most of the time the mp3s I deal with have nothing to do with albums or were individually downloaded from websites or p2p. But the most common way to play mp3s is by album, which for most purposes is irrelevant to me.

When I first started collecting, I used to diligently tag everything; now I simply don’t care. I have no time. Mp3 organization systems assume consistent tagging systems, but frequently I never get around to updating things. Another bothersome thing: I’d like to drill down to a directory, and play all the contents within one directory. I think it’s possible (I forget), but Touch operates under the album metaphor, so you can only play selections within an album (which as I pointed out, means nothing to me).

With my older iriver player (RIP), I created a small number of very flat directories; but the default of iTunes and Zen Touch  creates separate directories for each stinking album. I would like to try an ipod for a week just to see if iTunes is as great as they say it is. My guess is no.

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