I just can’t help myself…

So I’ve been sat here for the last few hours, “organising” an assortment of files on my computer. I’ve been going through and creating new folders, moving files around, renaming stuff to make more sense and generally “tidying up”. I had loads of individual files just thrown into my “documents” folder and it was starting to get unweildy, and I didn’t know what was in there. Despite the fact that OSX’s wonderful “Spotlight” search feature makes it a doddle to find stuff, I felt like I needed to get a handle on what I had, and where it was.

After doing all that, I decided to start on a few iTunes files to make sure they were organised sensibly too – particularly the ones that I’ve bought from the iTMS store. I cannot stand it when things are all categorised using different conventions – it makes things really untidy. Again, iTunes itself does a pretty good job of organising things for you but occasionally it does things wrong. Well, maybe not “wrong” per se, but certainly not the way I’d do it. Particularly the way it handles compilation albums does my head it, so I take matters into my own hands for those.

Whilst going through, I then noticed that virtually every track you buy on iTunes has different metadata embedded in it – I think it depends on the record label, but some tracks have the bare minimum, some are stuffed to the gunnels with irrelevant bits and pieces. So, me being me, I’ve had to go through and standardise things a bit. You’d think this was easy wouldn’t you? But I’ve come up against all sorts of headaches – there’s a lot of hidden data in some of those files and it’s a bitch to get to. But eventually I’ve managed to go through and wipe a lot of the unnecessary stuff, and then complete the more important bits.

A few weeks back, when Apple announced that they were making the entire iTunes Music Store 256kbps non-DRM files, they offered the option of upgrading your existing purchases for 20p a track to change them from 128kbps DRM-protected tracks to the new non-DRM higher bit rate ones. I was quite pleased about this (I hated the 5-burn limit on those tracks more than anything) so I duly clicked the “upgrade” button and prepared to take a hit for about a tenner’s worth of non-DRM goodness. However, things are never that simple. Seven of my purchased tracks are not yet available in the new format, so they’re still the 128kbps versions. That’s annoying me immensely, as you can imagine. Apple reckon they’ll soon be available to upgrade too, but I don’t know when.

This has presented me with another issue though. Now I have these new shiny versions in 256kbps, but I’ve ripped the rest of my library as 128kbps and that means THEY NO LONGER MATCH.

I’m quite convinced I can’t/won’t hear the difference between the two bit rates, but knowing that they ARE different makes me uneasy. I’m seriously considering reripping my CDs at 256kbps now. You see, this is why I’d never be able to get rid of my CD collection in favour of digital versions – there’s too much to go wrong in the virtual world. One day, (Apple heresy coming up here…) there will be no iTunes. Then what will we all do?

And then I got to thinking – why am I bothering with all this? Why don’t I just leave stuff alone? I’ve come to the conclusion that I have some kind of computer-related OCD. I need help. Seriously.

This entry was posted in AAC, Apple, Audio-visual, Computing, DRM, files, iTunes, music, OSX. Bookmark the permalink.

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