After a lot of time in front of my Mac, I have just finished the first pass of the iTunes Match downloads. My “work” went from 4,000+ songs down to 1,500+.
That’s a lot of downloads throughout the course of the day. The rest will be re-ripping CDs (1,500+ songs). Also… I’ve SMASHED my hard drive space. The good news is that I’m pruning things – removing a lot of duplicate songs and albums/songs not worthy of my hard drive or cloud space. So I’m managing as I go. BUT… it’s coming along. Once this is over with, I’ll be set for a long time.
My First Hurdle
I’m a little shocked, actually. It would appear that ‘back in the day’ there was DRM protection burned into music CDs. The ‘Mac’ (or OS X) didn’t care back then and did its thing to rip the audio from the CD.
Now, a decade later (as the music CD is now 10 years old), OS X actually “respects” DRMed music CDs! I actually had to use Windows Media Player to rip the music (in WAV format of course). I’ll take that WAV file and convert it to Apple’s 320 Bitrate.
The funny thing is, I used my Mac to rip this music back in the day at 192. It had no problems then. Now, OS X just ejects the disk – it doesn’t even mount. This is rather unbelievable and disturbing. Disturbing that Apple, not Microsoft, is respecting DRM for once…? Wow.
An Update On Where I’m At Now
All of the music I have that is not on CD has been re-downloaded by iTunes for “free”. All of the music that is not >256 and on CD is a pain in the arse. This is mainly because re-ripping is a slow process. Since I have a lot of CDs that are <256… it’s going to take a while.
I also continue to prune my hard drive. I have freed up space by getting rid of music I simply do not listen to anymore. I’ve deleted probably 100+ songs. I have also made the decision that any album that I deem to be “good” but not “great” will either be re-ripped at 256 or simply downloaded via iTunes Match were applicable. This will speed things up.So far, I can conclude the following:1. If you’re going to do this, get your library as much in order as possible before starting. Therefore, prune your collection for unwanted material and get your files in order.
2. Downloading from iTunes is fast and easy… and kinda fun.
3. Any song that is not found in the iTunes catalog is uploaded to iCloud, so make sure all of the metadata is as accurate as possible.
4. iTunes Match is not very customizable. Therefore, once you hit ‘go’… you’re off to the races.
I’m quite proud of my music library and I’ve felt this way since 2004. It’s been this way because of the iPod, and eventually it paid off BIG TIME when ‘Genius Playlists’ came to light. But my library is huge, and since 2004 it has become slightly unwound. I am tightening it back up with higher quality music files and optimized metadata. I have found that pruning what you don’t listen to or care about anymore is very important. The overall process is like making your music library get into shape. It’s going to be slow at first, but the payoff will be huge.iTunes Match is best served with a tight library. Since it’s designed to work with a tight music buying ecosystem (iTunes Store), iTunes Match is flawless. Since I have a vast music collection and more than the iTunes Store catalog, it’s this part in particular that must be tight before clicking ‘go’.Personally, I kinda like doing this stuff. It really is flexing your hard drive space which happens to be a big source of entertainment – and the payoff is just too great. All you have to do is it once, then the rest is cake. Well… maybe again a decade later.After everything so far, do I recommend that iTunes music lovers go through this process?Absolutely. Yes. Do it.Take control of your music and hard work.This concludes today’s report, but there’s more to come. Stay tuned over the coming days for more of my Music Library Refresh Experience.