View Full Version : Setting up iTunes a little differently - multiple libraries?

2009-09-14, 09:54
I think that the title is probably misleading

Here's what I have:
One iTunes library with about 500GB of Apple Lossless music.
One Logitech Squeezebox v2
iPods, iPhones, etc.

Here's what I want to do:
I want to make a library of compressed tracks (AAC) to sync on my phones, iPods, etc.

I want the Squeezebox to only stream the lossless files.

I know how to make copies of the existing tracks and convert them to AAC but I don't know how best to manage it. Two libraries? Checking/Unchecking?

How would you do it? I don't mind having redundant files but I want to make sure that the squeezebox knows what to do. I have the squeezebox set up to look at my iTunes library currently. Can I choose different libraries in the squeezebox setup?

2009-09-14, 10:24
I seem to remember there being a box to check (copy files at lower rate) when syncing my Nano. This would allow you to keep the files on you computer at the higher rate and not take up so much space on the player.
I don't remember seeing this option when syncing my wife's iPhone.
And I don't know if it is still there in iTunes 9.

2009-09-14, 11:13
That option is there for my Shuffle but it's not available on my iPod Classic or iPhone. Apple... (shakes fist).

2009-09-14, 11:25
If you can't downsize on the fly: (and that would be a serious Apple oversight)

Hold the "shift" key while starting iTunes.

This will present a dialog that let's you choose/create iTunes libraries, allowing you to "toggle" between the good and the down-sampled libraries.


2009-09-15, 08:26
I made an AAC version of everything in my iTunes library. Is there a way to tell Slimserver to only pay attention to checked or unchecked songs? That way I can un-check my Apple Lossless files so they won't sync to my iPods and then I could instruct Slimserver to only play the high-quality stuff.

Will that work? Should I just abandon iTunes? All of my songs are tagged so will I still have genres and stuff if I remove iTunes from the Squeezebox equation?

2009-09-15, 12:50
I have the same issue. Here is my solution:

I have a single iTunes library with lossless and lower bitrate tracks in it. All of the lossless tracks are checked; the lower bitrate tracks are unchecked (unless I don't have lossless versions). In Squeezecentre settings, iTunes tab, I select the option to ignore checked songs. That way Squeezecentre just picks up the highest quality version of each track.

Then to make sure the smallest version of each track goes onto my iPod, I create smart playlists that only pick up songs with a bitrate below a certain threshold (if your lossy tracks are at 256, just put something less than 400), and sync those with my iPod.

It works pretty well. Also, since I'm on OS X, if I get a new CD, I have an Automator action that automates the import - imports lossless, creates a lower bitrate version and unchecks the latter.

The only issue is that you don't get play counts synchronised properly - but that's a pain with iTunes / Squeezecentre integration anyway.

Hope this helps.


2009-09-15, 13:08
Not direct answer to your problem (let me also say that I hate iTunes and only use it because I love the iPhone and have to), but would it be easier to maintain two separate libraries?

That is what I so. I rip all my songs to FLAC. Then the songs I want on my iPhone, I rip to MP3. I also only back up my FLAC library. If I lose any MP3s, all I have to do is reconvert them from the FLAC files (knock on wood, this hasn't happened but it would not be that big of a deal). The other thing I like about this is that if iTunes screws with tags or artwork which is known to do from time to time, I just fix the songs from the FLAC Masters. Its what I call a safe from iTunes library.

For others thinking about this but just starting, the Vortexbox is great for handling this. It rips a FLAC copy and also converts and stores an MP3 copy at the same time.

2009-09-16, 05:04
I am using an iPhone with iTunes on Windows and a SqueezeCenter running on a Linux-based NAS. I could not use the iTunes integration since on Linux it does not support special characters like German umlauts yet. Therefore I could not use the checked/unchecked option and actually also wanted to preserve this option for something different.

My solution then was:

I rip everything in Apple Lossless. I convert it with iTunes into AAC. I have one Smart Playlist for Apple Lossless and one for AAC to access the music in the different format. I think this is easier to maintain than two libraries, especially when making changes to the metadata. Another normal playlist is used for the stuff that goes to the iPhone since it does not have enough memory to hold all AAC files.

To synchronize with SqueezeCenter I use SmartSync Pro, which can call scripts before or after the sync. Before I call a self-written script that goes through the iTunes library and marks all AAC as hidden on the file system. The hidden files are excluded from the sync and therefore don't end up on the NAS. After the sync I have SmartSync Pro call a script that triggers a rescan of SqueezeCenter via the CLI.

Sounds complicated but once set up it works pretty neat and with the least effort I can imagine for my situation. With that solution I can sync iTunes on Windows with the Linux-NAS with one click on a link on my Windows desktop and also the maintenance in iTunes is easy. If anybody is interested in the scripts of course I could provide them.

Regards, Robert