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FixTunes looks like a dream come true. Is there a catch?


sgbaird
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Okay it's only day 3 of loading the CDs into iTunes, and I am coming up with all sorts of snags — bugs in the software, incorrect data at CDDB, yadda yadda.

 

This program claims to do a lot for users, but I'm guessing that there's not a lot of album art out there for classical music or old jazz titles, but I've been wrong before. At least the price is right. Anyone have any experience with this?

 

http://www.fixtunes.com/features.php

 

 

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I'm not familiar with this, but I think there is a catch. If iTunes is having problems even identifying the discs then I don't think this program will help much because it seems to be focused on the cover art issue most. If you manually fill in the information you may have some luck. From what I've read this program depends heavily on Amazon.com for the cover art. You should look up a few of your titles on Amazon to see if they have cover art. If they do chances are this app will pull it down.

 

I would email the creators of the app to see what they say.

 

I may have to look into this app further and review it for the site.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

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There are almost always minor problems with the CDDB data. I check every disc I rip.

1. Insert disc, wait for the tracks to appear in Itunes.

2. Hit Cmd-A to select all.

3. Hit Cmd-I to view info for all tracks. I glance at all the tags and make sure they're what I want.

 

Sometimes there are even problems with the individual tracks. If so, I correct them, and then I rip the CD.

 

Imperfect as CDDB is, I find it's quite a bit better than the alternatives. Especially for classical music, AMG is really weak and that's what Windows Media Player uses. I don't know where dBPoweramp and Winamp get their data. AMG will provide album art, which CDDB doesn't do. This doesn't matter to me.

 

I don't see any benefit to the organizational abilities of the alternative program. Itunes organizes by artist/album/track. How it's organized on the hard disk really matters when I add music manually, but now that I know how Itunes works it's not hard to find things. Just check the "Keep Itunes library organized" in the preferences.

 

People bad-mouth Itunes a lot. I know it's not perfect, but I've been around this block a few times and have found Itunes to work better than the others.

 

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"People bad-mouth Itunes a lot. I know it's not perfect, but I've been around this block a few times and have found Itunes to work better than the others."

 

I agree with you LC. The only reason I look for an iTunes alternative is for FLAC support and maybe something that can handle huge amounts of music. Other than that iTunes is the best all around program out there. It should play bit perfect and it is simple. You don't need a Phd to use it. For most people it is perfect.

 

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Take another look! There is a bug in iTunes that hasn't been corrected even with v. 7.6 released just two days ago. A tip of the hat to those of you who were smart enough to stay with 7.4. There is so much misinformation about what's going on in this great application, that I've been forced to take everything I've read with a grain of salt. I've learned the easiest work-around for that bug, LC, it merely entails keeping Disk Utility open to remount the CD, and everything then goes fine in the importing.

 

What's going on at CDDB certainly isn't Apple's fault, but it is clear from all of the variation you'll see that there never was any standard imposed on those who input data into their database. I had one instance in which the only data that CDDB returned was the number 9! This has me slowed to a snail's pace, as I really see no advantage to loading all of the CDs and then going back to try to figure out what is what.

 

As for FixTunes, I downloaded the free trial program, and found this to be a total waste of time. It would probably be a great supplement to iTunes if your music collection was largely of pop music from the past 15 years. Not worth the powder it would take to blow it to Hades otherwise. Did I mention that it froze up three times before I ditched it?

 

One thing is clear, though: In order to make the best use of the iPod touch as my remote, I will need to import album art.

 

 

 

 

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Hey SGB - I surely wasn't referring to you as bad mouthing iTunes. I know you are a big supporter of it, but like all applications everything doesn't work all of the time.

 

With all the information and misinformation flying around about iTunes I am in the same boat as you. it is hard to tell what is up and what is down anymore. From now on I am sticking to my ears for sound quality and waiting for apple to fix things like the disc disappearing act you have.

 

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I agree that checking tags a pain, but although Itunes handles corrections well I still prefer to check the tags before importing CDs. Sometimes I forget. I just found out that my version of Vaughan Williams' "Sea Symphony" had the four movements each tagged identically as "A Sea Symphony." I made the corrections and unlike Winamp and WMP, the corrections showed up in all of the playlists that include this symphony.

 

It only takes a couple of minutes to check what CDDB has offered.

 

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OK guys 'n' gals, I began importing my CD collection on 1/14/08, and the window tells me that I have loaded 2022 songs, 8.6 days, 68.32 GB as of right now. I guess that figures out to about 10GB per day. I have been selective about the import process — no need to import 6 different sets of the Beethoven Symphonies, for example — otherwise I would still be less than half way through the classical portion of my collection. I am just about ready to start importing the jazz library.

 

A couple of things I've encountered along the way:

 

1. If you download your tunes in AIFF you will not be able to view your cover art on anything except the host computer; you can view your cover art when the music is loaded as Apple Lossless. There was a big discussion about the sonic differences at the Hoffman site a week or so ago and it got me to thinking. A bit of audiophile nervosa set in about this at first, and I began wondering whether or not the cover art would be visible to the iPod Touch. If it does not then the appeal of this device as a remote.

 

2. Of the CDs that have been loaded, only 2 snags have emerged. The Dorati 1812 Overture CD will not mount at all, and makes all sorts of scraping noises in the optical drive; ONE track on the TUTTI CD from Reference recordings would not load. I tried playing this back on my iMac, and it hung there too (an old Mini will be my server), but I have not tried it on the CD player to see if this one is a victim of laser rot.

 

3. I am in a quandary about the next step. Should I start shopping for the USB/DAC or go for the remote next?

 

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Hey SGB, I think you can test the cover art idea with aiff v. apple lossless without purchasing an iPod Touch first. If you download the demo of Signal you should be able to browse your library using Safari. This is exactly what the iPod touch does. If you get cover art you are good.

 

For me the next step would be a DAC. I would be itching to begin listening.

 

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will not read a music CD at all now.

 

Well, I was using disk utility to mount the CD after it disappeared when it connected to CDDB. NOW even using D. U. will not get the CD to re-emerge in iTunes. Even after Force Quitting iTunes (you get the colored spinning wheel from Hell & it won't go away), the music CD doesn't show up on the desktop. Only after forcing iTunes to quit can you use D.U. to eject the CD — ANY CD.

 

Remember, I for all intents, have a new computer here... new internal system hard drive, new optical drive, & RAM to the MAX the machine will take. I thought the new optical drive might be at fault, but NO, if I run off the old startup drive that's now in an external case (using Tiger with iTunes 7.5) Those same CDs load up like a charm. I've been trying to get any CD to load for several hours now.

 

What are the chances of me being able to salvage more than 100 hours of work by going back to Tiger and an earlier iTunes? Apple's support pages are not clear at all about how to move your iTunes library to an OLDER OS.

 

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A thought about your plight has been pinging around the base of my skull recently and it just escaped the 'lizard' part of my brainstem:

 

HAVE YOU TRIED USING DISK UTILITY TO "VERIFY AND REPAIR" both your system drive and your external drive yet? I hope you 'verified and repaired' them before you started putting data (transfering your original sys disc) on them in the first place too....... Especially if the HD's arrived in a large brown or white truck, instead of being purchased in a store and brought home by a caring consumer. ....... Also try booting the computer with the 'install' system disc (the cd/dvd thingie) and using those diagnostics if Disk Utility yields no solution. You may be able to 'repair your way' out of this yet.

 

YIKES!! Do you have updated drivers for your "new" HD and Optical drive installed also (if any are needed...) ? I didn't know you had done all that stuff at the same time... 'lizard brain' sensed SOMEthing though....

 

I await your response ( I see that you have been up late - I just got home ).

 

markr

hoping.......

 

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SGB, no matter what happened with Itunes, your music should be OK. You can delete the Itunes library file if it has become corrupt, and then Itunes will rebuild it from the music it finds on your system. You can move your library to another hard disk and then just tell Itunes where it is.

 

The Itunes Library file is a special all-in-one database that holds all of your playlists and the music catalog. I think it always stays in your Itunes folder.

 

(I'm making a note here to get moving on a backup solution...)

 

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always walked around with a dark rain cloud over his head. I went to bed so was not at the ol' com-pyoot-er when markr tried to come to the rescue.

 

It ain't like I'm all thumbs with these things. After all, in a former life I was an Apple VAR in education, and supported 3 school networks right here in town. I was mistaken in thinking that there wasn't a single Mac issue I couldn't solve. (I could tell you stories...)

 

This I know: The two new hard drives are working great, and have been tested/verified and whatever else you want to consider. Likewise, I know from testing the optical drive that it is working as it should — that is, I have no load issues with it when I go back to Tiger and a non-updated 7.5 iTunes on the old startup drive.

 

My only concern regarding hardware is that this is an original 1.25 G4 Mini. As good as it was at running things a few years back, it might not be up to the task of running Leopard as Apple would want its customers to think. Granted, there are a lot of folks with newer machines posting all sorts of problems with Leopard and iTunes at several user forums (including Apple's own), but as my dad used to say, "you don't send a boy to do a man's job". The last CD I was able to load before the stuff hit the fan brought the total file size to a mere 86GB/2705 tunes. That shouldn't be much of an issue since I have been using Filemaker databases much larger than that for years (with nearly 10 times that number of records in them), but you never know.

 

As far as Apple's support pages on iTunes, it seems to me as if their attitude is that if you've got a problem, it's the operator and not the software. Try as I might to locate anything there that could help me on troubleshooting, I just couldn't. The articles I did find were all directed at Windoze users and even these provided no clue as to what was going on here. I looked for but could not find some kind of support files (in OS 9 it was easy to find these in your system folder) that would enable me to remove any damaged preferences. And, if anybody else here has upgraded to Leopard, you will soon discover that repairing permissions doesn't work anymore.

 

I've learned what software files I need to try using the new iMac to load the music — so far iTunes hasn't gone whacko over there — but then I relented after reading that both PC and Mac users are having tons of problems with the Pioneer optical drive that Apple uses in these. I feel like the Ohio State punter in the BCS championship game.

 

At this point, I'm thinking of getting a new C2D Mini and then starting over from scratch. Maybe I can find one on ebay that's never had a Leopard install. At least then I'll know for sure that I can get this preliminary work done.

 

 

 

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Lord Chaos wrote:

SGB, no matter what happened with Itunes, your music should be OK. You can delete the Itunes library file if it has become corrupt, and then Itunes will rebuild it from the music it finds on your system. You can move your library to another hard disk and then just tell Itunes where it is.

 

The Itunes Library file is a special all-in-one database that holds all of your playlists and the music catalog. I think it always stays in your Itunes folder.

 

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93313

 

This here Apple support article is supposed to work, but it doesn't. Like they say on those TV shows with daredevils in 'em, "don't try this at home." ;-)

 

Thank y'all for your words of support. At this point I'm off to Google to find the cheapest price on a C2D mini.

 

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Ah ha, I see what happens when I'm out for a few hours. SGB is buying a new Mini, LC is thinking about backup more seriously and markr is using my famous quote out of context!

 

I love it!

 

Hey SGB - I think you have tried this before but I can't remember. Go to the Apple store and try to do the exact same thing you're trying to do on one of their Minis. I guess it could lead somewhere or maybe to an interesting conversation anyway.

 

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markr's questions about repairing permissions in Leopard have taken me to a new twist on the old Mini. Just for laughs, I thought I'd give the permissions repair another shot. So, about 90 minutes ago, I clicked on the ol' Permissions Repair button, then went to do a few other things — take the dogs out, go to the post office, phone a friend. Well, not more than 3 minutes ago I came in, and it is in the midst of printing loads of trash messages in the details box. Don't know how long this has been going on, but the progress bar is about a third of the way with a repair estimate time of 52 minutes. If things are the same as with this exercise on the iMac when things come to an end, the readout will say these things can't be repaired. I've been typing here for a few minutes and the progress bar is still the same. Oops, just looked again: estimated time is now 2 hours 10 minutes.

 

NOW for some good news (for a change).

 

A very dear audiophile friend of mine has decided that he needs to give me an iPod Touch. I had mentioned to him yesterday when I saw him that I was thinking about picking one of these up used off ebay. This morning I got an email from him telling me that he ordered one yesterday, and that UPS will probably deliver it Monday.

 

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My 'double secret' theory is coming into focus nicely now. Cannot yet share it though. It needs LOT's of polishing.

 

So, free iPod Touch huh? That is really cool Steven. You deserve it after the recent, and continuing ordeal. I am glad for you. ..... if you're hinting around for a free MacMini, you can forget it though! At least it won't come from this audio-paraphanalia-induced-pauper.

 

Seriously though,

I suspect that the 'file-permissions' issue for SGB started at just about the time he began having the disappearing CD icons on the desktop issue. Too, I think that all of the printout that was generated will prove to be related to each of the following CD's loaded in to the OS and HD. WHY I think that is not yet fully clear. I am going to stay tuned here. I believe that this is going to get fixed. I wonder if there are any Apple, Inc. folks peeking in at CA that might be interested in joining in on the theories? We could use some friendly help.

 

markr

hmmmmmm.....

 

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It took Disk Utility 12 hours to repair permissions without repairing a one, and would total about 32 pages of junk lines returned (as opposed to 16 as it did on the new iMac) if I chose to print them out. The reason for this is that I had created two users on this machine whereas the iMac has only one. I did look thru them kind of cursorily, and didn't see any song or album titles, just stuff relating to each of the 477073 files that comprise a basic install of OSX 7.5.1. Since I will click on the Buy it Now button on that Mini at ebay, I've decided to put any additional CD imports on hold.

 

QUESTION.

 

As it pertains to the re-creation of an iTunes library, the Apple support page I referred to above, Apple directs the user to move two (2) files — namely, iTunes Library.xml and iTunes Library out of the iTunes folder. It also says to trash the second of these two files, then import the .xml file. (I tried this and it didn't work for me, but that is not the question.) I am wondering whether y'all think that when I get the new Mini it will be sufficient to take these two files out of it and replace them with these two from the old Mini.

 

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Hey SGB - I really hope you can use the library files after all the manual work you've done. I've done the import and it has worked for me. I've also just copied the whole iTunes folder and been successful without deleting things. There is a way to get it done no matter what.

 

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