library management suggestions


#1

I haven't found a way to do the following in Mp3tag or any other application, but these capabilities would greatly improve my ability to manage library instances that I copy to different locations and need to synch manually when I mistakenly make changes in one location and forget to make in others:

  • compare two libraries and list files in one and not another
  • compare two libraries and list files with different tags
  • have the ability to decide either in total, or file-by-file which difference should be overwritten into the other
  • find albums by different artists that have the same album name ("greatest hits" is a frequent offender)
  • compare one subset of a library to another subset of a library (for example, the flac version of my library compared to the mp3 version of my library) for differences in files that exist or tag differences.

If I "knew" which of my libraries was the the golden copy these tasks would not be any probelm - I'd just delete the other libraries and recopy my golden copy again. But through error and laziness, I sometimes make changes in one library and forget to make the changes in all my instances, and I have no golden copy in one place anymore. In addition, sometimes applications like Windows Media Player makes changes without my knowledge that screws things up (creates 200x200 versions of art, etc).

I realize that not making mistakes would avoid the need, but humans aren't perfect (or at least I'm not), and having a way to shift through a large number of files for differences would be of great help. Any thoughts appreciated.


#2

You might try one of the following (I use all of them)

  1. Beyond Compare - http://www.scootersoftware.com/
  2. GoodSync - http://www.goodsync.com/
  3. SyncBack Pro - http://2brightsparks.com/

they will answer the questions

  • compare two libraries and list files in one and not another
  • compare two libraries and list files with different tags
  • have the ability to decide either in total, or file-by-file which difference should be overwritten into the other

I don't know of an easy way to answer the following but you might try Everything - http://www.voidtools.com/, this is another utility that I use a LOT.

  • find albums by different artists that have the same album name ("greatest hits" is a frequent offender)
  • compare one subset of a library to another subset of a library (for example, the flac version of my library compared to the mp3 version of my library) for differences in files that exist or tag differences.

To answer the question - compare one subset of a library to another subset of a library (for example, the flac version of my library compared to the mp3 version of my library) for differences in files that exist or tag differences., try Directory File Listing Utility - http://download.cnet.com/Directory-File-Li...4-10474358.html

All of the above will require effort on your part. I've also used Kedit - http://www.kedit.com/ to do something like what you want. However Kedit will require a bit of learning and getting your data in the "correct" order. Example, once you get your data in the right order (let's say that the song title is in column 1 - 30, I can sort on column 1-30, set the "zone" to 1-30 (this restricts the commands to columns 1-30 or whatever range I select) and with an internal command I can either show all of the single or duplicate lines. If I show the duplicate lines I can then copy them to another file for additional processing. This of course assumes that the "text" for the title is the same, e.g. A.B.C is not the same a ABC or A B C - this is beyond the scope of anything above and I'm not aware of anything available.

Another very helpful utility is Bulk Rename - http://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/Main_Intro.php this is a must have and it is free.


#3

Thanks for the suggestions. If I needed to know which files were different without needing to know what was different other than the last modified data and other file metadata, such utilities could be helpful.

But I need to know which of the music metadata is different to know which files to keep and what changes to make, and none of those utilities seem to compare the music metadata attributes (for example, artist, album name, track name, etc).

I've never heard of anything that will do whaty I need, but I'll keep looking. Perhaps there is a way to run something within Mp3tag that could be run on each of my libraries and generate an export file, and then import each of the files into an Excel workbook and do some kind of operation to find differences, but I'm not good enough a programmer to figure all that out.


#4

As soon as you modify anything in the tags the whole file changes.
So a comparison on a file level would suffice if you want to keep 2 libraries synchronous.
I would suggest Microsofts free Synctoy 2.1 for that purpose.
This program lets you merge two sets of folders for the first go and duplicates only those which are not alike. It is then your task to work only on one library before you synchronize it with the other.

If you are so chaotic to modify the same files in both libraries then there is little help - you get duplicates.
If you stick to the discipline then you will get "the golden copy" in the end. Synctoy is very cheap and very powerful.

If you want to compare labels then use Itunes and the function to display duplicates. This is a first approach. In my opinion iTunes function is not thourough enough as it displays duplicates which are not like the mentioned "greatest Hits".
Also you could use Albumartfixer to find these "greatest hits" as that program complains that the tracks do not reside in one folder and have not the same artist...

And finally: you could use "similarity" to find duplicates in respect to tag and contents, although some functions (which are not really needed) only work after registration.