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View Full Version : Best way to burn/rip/organize iTunes Music Store music on a Mac



jgoody10
2006-04-25, 16:57
I am using a Mac, and an SB3. I have a significant amount of iTunes Music Store music that I do not just want to discard. I also do not want to use jhymn. So that leaves me with the burn-to-a-cd-and-rip-to-the-hard-drive method.

But I also want to continue to listen to the protected iTMS music as protected iTMS music on my iPod, because I understand the sound quality to be better it its original format.

What I have been doing is burning the music to a CD, then for each song adding a suffix such as “--wav” to the song title, artist, and album name fields. Then I rip the music back into iTunes. This is enough of a hassle when it is music from one original album, but it is even more of a pain for playlists from different artists--in the latter scenario, I have to add the suffix manually for three different fields for each song.

What this process yields is two copies of each song in iTunes (and, I assume, on my iPod), with one of each having the “--wav” suffix. And one copy on the Squeezebox.

Also, most of my playlists have both protected and unprotected music in them, so converting the playlists is going to require identifying the protected tracks, burning them, adding the suffixes just to those tracks, ripping, and then combining with the unprotected music and building a new playlist with the suffix at the end of its name.

Here are my questions:

1. Is there a more efficient way to accomplish the burning-and-ripping process, either with additional software or without?
2. Is there a more elegant way to organize this, so that I do not see two copies of everything in iTunes and on the iPod?
3. Also a format question: when ripping back, is there any advantage at all in using a lossless format, given that so much has already been sacrificed (the AAC was lossy to begin with, and it was further degraded when it was burned to the CD)?


Thanks.

aubuti
2006-04-25, 21:44
1. Given that you prefer to keep the DRM'd music on your iPod, I'm not clear on why you are ripping back into iTunes. Are you using iTunes to manage your music for your SB? That's the only reason I could see for ripping the CDs back into the iTunes from whence they came. I'll confess my bias and say that I don't see any great benefit for using iTunes to manage music for the SB, and would recommend that you stick to iTunes for your iTMS, iPod, etc and manage your SB music with something else.

If you have the hard disk space (or the budget for additional hard disk space) I would strongly recommend separate and parallel libraries for your DRM stuff from the iTMS and the non-DRM stuff that you get from burning-and-ripping.

2. Doing the above would take care of the duplication problem you're having.

3. There is an advantage to using a lossless format when you rip the CDs-from-DRM, because using a lossy format would compound the losses you already incurred in the AAC files. AFAIK, there should be no additional loss of quality when you burn AAC to CD -- you should get the same output as the input, but without the compression.

jgoody10
2006-04-26, 07:50
Thanks for your help, aubuti.

That sounds like a reasonable approach, but am I right that I would then have to go back and create duplicate copies of all the music that I currently have in iTunes that is not DRMed and never was (i.e., stuff that I ripped into iTunes from CDs), and store those duplicates in the second library used by the Squeezebox?

Or is there a way to have the Squeezebox look to two different libraries: the iTunes library, from which it would take the non-DRMed stuff but ignore the DRMed, and a second library, which would hold my previously DRMed music that has been burned and ripped?

aubuti
2006-04-26, 09:02
Or is there a way to have the Squeezebox look to two different libraries: the iTunes library, from which it would take the non-DRMed stuff but ignore the DRMed, and a second library, which would hold my previously DRMed music that has been burned and ripped?
Yes, you can set Squeezebox to look to two different libraries. Take a look at the Beginner's Guide in the wiki, specifically http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?BeginnersGuideToOrganising

Personally, I keep two parallel libraries. At home I have a LinkStation that has FLAC files ripped from my CDs, including some that started as DRM'd iTMS files. Then I use Robin Bowes' flac2mp3.pl script to make low-to-moderate bitrate MP3s for my laptop and personal MP3 player. I also keep the original iTMS files on the laptop. I use lower quality MP3s for my portable needs because of storage constraints, and the fact that the limitations imposed by one or more of earbuds/laptop speakers/road noise/plane noise make it pretty much impossible to distinguish high-bitrate MP3 (and probably even lossless) from low-bitrate MP3. At least for my ears.

jgoody10
2006-04-26, 12:12
[QUOTE=aubuti]Yes, you can set Squeezebox to look to two different libraries. Take a look at the Beginner's Guide in the wiki, specifically http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?BeginnersGuideToOrganising

This talks about setting up a symbolic link to another directory within the directory to which the Squeezebox is looking. But if my symbolic link is within my iTunes Music directory, then won't iTunes look to the second directory as well, so that I am back where I am now, with the Squeezebox displaying one copy of everything, but iTunes showing a second copy of all the previously DRM'd files that have been un-DRM'd?

aubuti
2006-04-26, 12:31
Yes, I see the predicament. There might be a clever arrangement of directories and links that would do the trick, but it doesn't jump right out at me yet. But here's a possible option: when you rip the CDs that you burned from the DRM'd iTMS files, how about ripping to FLAC, which iTunes won't recognize? I presume it will ignore them, like SB ignores the DRM files. And you were considering ripping to a lossless format anyway.

aubuti
2006-04-26, 12:38
And if you didn't like the FLAC idea, here's a quick stab at the directory structure you might be able to use:

-B&R (the DRM files you burned and ripped)
+- link to RCD

-iT
+- DRM (your DRM files from iTMS)
+- RCD (the CDs you ripped in iTunes)

Point iTunes to the iT directory, and it will find your DRM files and non-DRM ripped CDs.

Point slimserver to B&R, and it will find the files that you un-DRM'd. It will also find a link to take it to your non-DRM ripped CDs.

That work?

EDIT: The ascii directory tree comes out worse in the forum then it does on the edit screen. In case it isn't clear, DRM and RCD are sub-directories of iT. B&R is a directory that is neither above nor below iT in the folder hierarchy (it could be same level as iT, it just can't be anywhere in the path under iT or above iT).

jgoody10
2006-04-27, 08:09
Thanks, aubuti. These both look like viable options. I will give one or both of them a shot when I have the time, and let you know how they turn out.