Digital Booklet iTunes

Dear All,

album bought on iTunes are sometimes shipped with a digital booklet, that is, a pdf file associated with the album.

How do people in the forum deal with such files? They are clearly not mp3 (hence MP3Tag can not tag them together with other files), and they are also not Album artwork (I think) because they are not a single file, but a multi-page file that users may want to browse.

Thanks in advance.

There was a thread in the German part of the forum:

The gist of it: pdf is a proprietary format that is not part of the mp3 standard.
So the idea is to transform the booklet into something that is supported by the standard - which is either text or picture.
E.g. you could copy the text from the pdf to a tag field, e.g. UNSYNCEDLYRICS if you want to be able to see the text in better players. In most cases the formatting of texts is not really relevant, so you could use any other plain text field.
If the layout is important, then transform the PDF into jpg files (the professional Acrobat has such a function) and add it as booklet picture.
Perhaps other users have other ideas.

I gather whole albums and store the files of an album in a folder of the same name.
In this folder I store all related files, also PDFs or text-files.

Thank you @poster. This is the arrangement that I currently have. However, if I do that, then the Music app displays the booklet and the songs as two separate Albums. I am searching for a way to apply tags from MP3Tag and have the changes reflected in the Music App

Thank you @ohrenkino. As I explain below, I would like the Music app to display the booklet and the songs as a single Album.

How?
As soon as you know what your player can do, then most likely, MP3tag will be able to arrange the data accordingly.
So, which player can show pdf files?

And, if you are willing to go the way of text and pictures: does your player (and the file format) support more than the display of the front cover?
If the answers to these questions are not clear, then I would assume that the support for the player should be consulted.

Thanks. I’m using the default macosx player (Music). This app puts in the same group mp3 and pdf files with a common set of tags (say title, artists, year). So, in the same folder I must treat the pdf booklet as if it is a track. It’s the last track, say. When I click on it, a pdf viewer opens, but from the main menu this is part of the album: I click on the album artwork, and I can see a list of tracks and, at the end, the booklet. This is achieved exactly as you think: there is one folder with mp3s and pdfs. But they share metadata, and I’d like to edit the pdf metadata with the mp3.

Now, since pdf can not be acted upon via mp3 tags, I’m in troubles, I think.

You can edit the music files with mp3tag. After importing these into the Music App, or updating the tags if they already have been added, you should see these changes.
From there you can highlight these tracks, plus the pdf booklet, and from within iTunes you can update the info to match. Note that the pdf file won’t have any tag info in the file, but your iTunes library will keep it within it’s own database.

Thanks @poster, I will continue doing that then (what you describe is my current workflow). I was after a solution within Mp3Tag because the music app messes up with tags every time there is a software update, or every time there is an instance of the same library on a new computer. I hoped mp3tag could let me fix my library once and for all, or in a quickly reproducible way.

How could that be? I bet there are settings in the player that avoid this.

I think your optimism derives from not having used iTunes before… its inability to handle well tagging is well known, and it is the very reason why I’ve bought mp3tags. Also, there are not very many alternatives to it: the ones currently available are either subscription based, or they do not offer airplay compatibility…

This should get into a discussion about the pros and cons of Itunes ... I use it mainly to get podcasts - but that is in the Windows world.
I disabled the option to let iTunes handle my folder structure.
I do not use iTunes to tag at all - that is done with MP3tag exclusively.
I frequently let run an update script to update the iTunes database.

For WIndows there was the "trick" to modify the tag version to force iTunes to write the tags anew which also ment that all data that was only stored in the database was then written to the tags. The "trick" was actually, to modify ID3V2.3 tags to ID3V2.3 tags. No data loss but updated tag data was the result.
As that works for me in WIndows, I was optimistic that it also should work on a native Mac.

Thank you so much for your explanations, and for your keenness to help.

I will look into what you suggest. I think my problem is complicated further by the fact that some albums are bought on iTunes. This means that, for instance, if I start a brand new library (on which I have 0 albums) the Music App will still populate it with content that I have purchased. Even if I have it in my own folder, which I’m about to import.

I’m trying to sanitise the library and do it my own way, but it’s proving very hard. If you have suggestions of alternative players , I’d be very happy to consider them

Also I’m so fed up I’ll never buy albums from iTunes ever again.

This is how I have mine set as well. :+1:

I still use iTunes regularly, even using it with most of the other devices in my home to share via AppleTV units (4 of them currently, different versions). I decided long ago to stop letting it manage my library. Since then all has been perfectly fine. I have never had any issues with it making changes that I didn’t initiate. Not has it removed any tags either. I would give this a try to see if it suites what you are aiming for.

Thank you very much. Does this prevent Music to visualize purchased tracks on iTunes website?

No affect at all, this is maintained remotely from your library.

Sorry perhaps I am being really thick here. The experience you describe seems quite different from the one I have on Macosx Catalina. Suppose I launch the app, press the option button at launch. This makes the app create a brand new library from scratch. There is just a folder with no mp3 for a library. Before I even import any mp3 from the collection, my iTunes purchases are visible, as albums. So I really don’t get how you can have a library that is fully controlled by you in this way.

These would be the versions in the cloud, and cannot be changed. They show up in any library you look at when new and logged into your iCloud account. To change these make sure you download them to be local files first.
In your existing library, I assume you are using a downloaded version already?

Yes, I have a folder with all my purchased items. I would want to detach completely from the iCloud ones, that really make a mess of the tagging.