Due to my workflow, and my need for lossless and lossy files depending where I am going to be listening to them, managing a synchronised approach for metadata on my music files is, to be quite frank, an absolute nightmare.
My main source of music is my NAS, which contains my entire music collection in FLAC format, where it is read by my Sonos set-up and also acts as an archive storing bit-perfect lossless copies of my music library. Whenever I rip a CD in FLAC format, I copy the new FLAC files to my iTunes library and then use dbPoweramp Music Converter to convert the tracks into AAC such that my iPod can also play them.
If I need to update the metadata, I typically do it on my FLAC files, copying over the modified FLAC files to my iTunes library where I covert these to AAC in place over-writing my original AAC files. Imperfect as it may be, this approach works but getting iTunes to recognise the fact that the files have changed is not as easy as it sounds.
Firstly, I would have hoped that iTunes could tell when the version of a file is not the same version it last looked at (by say, looking at the last modified date) and hence the metadata might have changed (and maybe even go as far as loading this updated information into its internal database).
There are options to get iTunes to recognise an updated file and update its metadata appropriately, each of which is suitably horrible.
The first option is to remove the file from the iTunes library and then rescan the library adding the file back in with the correct data. This causes iTunes to remove the track from any collection and playlist that it is part of, which can be a pain, especially given that there is no way of telling which playlist a track is part of.
The next option is, on a track-by-track basis, to use the Get Info function to force iTunes to go fetch the updated metadata which has the advantage of not removing it from any playlist. Given that I update the metadata on several files before transferring them across to my iTunes library and reconverting them, this can be very time consuming.
I don’t mind that iTunes doesn’t automatically pick up every metadata change automatically, I would be fine if iTunes could pick up metadata changes in a batch through a single user action but it just can’t.
I know that I am probably not the average iTunes user, but I know I am a fustrated iTunes user. Anyone with some influence in the Applesphere listening?