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In Praise of the iTunes Column Browser

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2 hours ago, DavidL said:

I stopped using iTunes as playback software many years ago BUT it is by far the best software I've found for curating a large music library and the column browser facility is a major reason for its superiority.

 

 

Same here :/  I also sent feedback.


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as did I - put that Link on this thread and more will do so


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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I can honestly say I never made use of that feature, but I wanted to complement you on the choice of genre for the example.  


--

Do facts matter?

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Dood!!   Gotta Browse da Columns!!


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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In general, I think they did the right thing to de-bloat and carve up iTunes into several stand-alone applications with distinct functionality.

 

However, there has been this trend to "improve" applications by removing "advanced" functionality.  They really lobotomized Keynote, Pages and iPhoto, for example.  

 

These are deliberate design decisions, unfortunately, so I think it is unlikely that they will reverse course.


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Do facts matter?

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On 9/10/2019 at 5:49 AM, wgscott said:

Wow, scriptable and regular expression searches.  How did I manage to miss this?

 

:D

 

HQPlayer v3 has had regular expression searches almost throughout it's life cycle. And I guess I was the only one ever using it... (so now I've dumbed it down to internet search -style simplified version)

 

On 9/10/2019 at 5:09 AM, Superdad said:

Loss of the Column Browser is beyond sad.

 

There are many other applications with "Column Browser" or similar, so I'm a bit lost why iTunes is somehow special on this front?

 


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23 hours ago, Miska said:

 

There are many other applications with "Column Browser" or similar, so I'm a bit lost why iTunes is somehow special on this front?

 

 

As a user wedded to the iTunes column browser it might be helpful if I was more specific. Referring to the screen shot below which is an example of my preferred layout, I choose 'Songs' in the LH column, then the 'Genres' column in the top window which then allows me to scroll through either the 'Artists' or 'Albums' columns in the top window. In this case I've chosen an 'Album' (classical work here) by Bach and can immediately see I have 3 performances in my library. Hence I can very rapidly select the music I wish to hear or edit its meta data.

I'd be very interested if you know of any other software that can do this, preferably from a source that I could be confident would provide long-term support.

 

Screenshot 2019-09-20 at 21.45.04.png


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On 9/19/2019 at 1:37 PM, Miska said:

There are many other applications with "Column Browser" or similar, so I'm a bit lost why iTunes is somehow special on this front?

 

Exactly what @DavidL explained above.  Sorry Jussi, the columns in HQ Player Client are not at all like what iTunes Column Browser fans enjoy. 9_9

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On 9/19/2019 at 9:37 PM, Miska said:

There are many other applications with "Column Browser" or similar, so I'm a bit lost why iTunes is somehow special on this front?

 

The Column Browser is in my opinion "the" reason to use iTunes.

It also helps that it automatically stores the files neatly in a Library of your choice (I chose to split my music over several: Classical & Modern / Early, Renaissance & Baroque / Opera / Sacra / Jazz / Ethnic & Traditional / Rock & Pop / Soundtracks).

And manual Tagging is actually quite effective if you buy one or two of Doug's add-on scripts.

 

For classical music I expand the Column Browser to 5 columns (Genres, Composers, Groupings, Artists, Albums):

 

itunes-hqp.thumb.png.5ba8ef5569bbd52e4c046d5a999ec42a.png

 

This allow's me to quickly visualise all Romantic Violin Concertos played by Janine Jansen, or all Brahms recordings by Günter Wand.

And I can choose to see a small image of the cover and which of the tags are visible.

 

Does any other software allow me to do this?


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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P.S. no matter how practical you make file browsing, I still much prefer to flip CDs but unfortunately they've been stored some 1200 miles away for 5 years now...

 

I used to keep them in a cupboard full of filipin' racks just like this one:

 

3031_CD_FLIP_1.JPG


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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it would be more effective to copy your pro-Column Browser posts here to Apple itself

 

(yes, I did it for mine)


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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On 9/21/2019 at 6:23 AM, DavidL said:

 

As a user wedded to the iTunes column browser it might be helpful if I was more specific. Referring to the screen shot below which is an example of my preferred layout, I choose 'Songs' in the LH column, then the 'Genres' column in the top window which then allows me to scroll through either the 'Artists' or 'Albums' columns in the top window. In this case I've chosen an 'Album' (classical work here) by Bach and can immediately see I have 3 performances in my library. Hence I can very rapidly select the music I wish to hear or edit its meta data.

I'd be very interested if you know of any other software that can do this, preferably from a source that I could be confident would provide long-term support.

 

Screenshot 2019-09-20 at 21.45.04.png

 

Exactly!😀

Being able to scroll through the artists to find the album to which I wish to listen is ESSENTIAL for me. My LPs and CDs are also filed this way.

 

And as I don't listen to classical I also have the album art displayed.

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Much as I deplore Apple's decision to drop the Column Browser for the new Music app, I have to say that it wouldn't prevent me from upgrading to Catalina - just so I can keep iTunes running. The Column Browser was certainly THE best way to get around when you have a lot of music, but it's not the only way. The new Music app is certainly a step backwards in this regard, but I want Catalina for other things, so I'll just have to put up with the loss. Column Browser RIP. 😥 But time heals.🙂

 

I did have a good look at Swinsian. Apart from the daft name, it all looked rather good. Its ability to keep and use artwork files in the album folders is a significant improvement over Apple's apps and there is a Column Browser. But...

 

Then I realised that Swinsian makes NO use whatsoever of the SORT tags. Lists are sorted alphabetically by the basic tags, like Artist, Album and all the carefully crafted Sort Artist and Sort Album tags I have spent so long meticulously creating so everything is sorted how I want, are totally ignored. Sorry, but sorting Eric Clapton under 'E' is utterly hopeless and any decent database designer would understand this. That's why there are those SORT tags. Users can use them if they want, but not if they don't care and everyone can be happy. But for a database app like Swinsian to completely ignore them is incomprehensible and unacceptable.

 

Whatever its shortcomings, iTunes is in fact a great app for curating ones media collection and providing the tools to sort and display your data any which way you choose and apart from the missing Column Browser, the Music app looks to operate in the same way. Too much reliance on fancy graphics and artwork, I agree, but it is the only app I've come across which allows me to sort everything in the way I want, because with the SORT tags everyone can sort their data in any which way they choose and that to me far outweighs any other minor advantages offered by Swinsian, which let's not forget, also costs money. Not a lot, but Apple's products do not and that counts for something.

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I've always wondered why there's such a fuss around OS updates.
I would still be using 10.9 if it weren't for lack of support and security updates. In fact the only noteworthy thing that I can think of which has been introduced since is the ability to rename multiple files... Anything else?

Meanwhile some of my software stopped working and I've had to replace my WD NAS which could no longer be found on the network by the newer OS versions.

 

Consumerism is sickening...


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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The fuss around OS 'updates' is due to them breaking programs and apps people use, including Apple's own software.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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