When someone starts to think about organizing music and sample collections, on the Macintosh platform of course, the first thing that comes to mind is iTunes.
It is free, has tons of features, and you could do all kinds of tricks with the application. Here’s a list of pros and cons that I could think of just now when I’m evaluating this product.
- You could store most kinds of audio files, drag-and-drop and it’s done.
- You could convert audio to any other needed format easily.
- You could also drag out audio files by drag-and-drop.
- You could edit MP3 and AAC meta information, the mp3 tags, and so on. This even includes Apple lossless, WAV, and AIFF files, but this information is then not stored in the actual audio file itself (wish it was stored as Spotlight information…).
- You could make playlists with all kinds of variations for quick grouping.
- You could do searches across all the audio files, and find based on even esoteric things such as BPM.
- The audio files are placed in one single folder location, this needs to be around. In other words, you can’t have multiple directories with audio material. Also, having the same file across multiple directories, especially big uncompressed audio files, could quickly eat up disk space.
- If you move the data from a desktop to a laptop, most likely you need to re-generate the playlists and other settings as those don’t easily move between locations. It is also true if you move around the audio files.
- It’s easy to get mixed up with personal audio files and work files. This could be fixed by having a separate MacOSX account for work and pleasure, but it’s easy to forget this
So, iTunes is very close, but there are some drawbacks associated with this solution. I think my biggest gripe is the issue of moving between a desktop and laptop environment, and keep it all synchronized which is a problem.