When I first ripped all of my CD’s to MP3 files, I found out that if the music continued all the way to the end of the song, it would stutter at the end of the MP3. I got rid of that computer and my new one didn’t have the stutter. But for some reason with some CD’s it would put skips in the music. At first I thought the CD’s must be damaged, but if I ripped the same CD on my newer laptop, I didn’t have the problem.
Then when I was trying to re-organize all my MP3’s, I wound up erasing a bunch of them. So I spent a while a few months ago re-ripping all of my CD’s on my laptop. Then I would sync my 4G iPod nano with my laptop. But when I got the iPod touch, I wanted to sync with my desktop computer. However I still didn’t have all of the music moved over and in fact I had never even finished ripping all of the CD’s in my collection. So the first thing I had to do was find out which CD’s were on the iPod and which ones were not. The only way to do that was to go through one-by-one on my iPod and through my alphabetized CD’s. But I alphabetized my CD’s by last name or group name whereas the iPod alphabetizes by first name or group name. Plus they put numbers at the end insead of the beginning (UNIX!) and I have all of my soundtracks under the artist “Soundtrack” whereas on my shelf they are under the title of the movie. So I reorganized all of the CD’s to match the iPod which took a while (about 300 CD’s). Anyway, I wasn’t missing but a handful of CD’s on the iPod as it turns out. So I got all of that sorted out and got rid of the MP3’s I had ripped from Mom’s CD’s when I was synching the iPod she uses (my 3G nano) with my desktop. So that was a lot better and I won’t really miss the Beegie Adair Trio or Celtic Woman.
I also have some episodes of TV shows I have ripped from my DVD’s (it is legal to do this if you record the video stream from the DVD rather than rip the show by breaking the DVD’s encryption). I ripped them as AVI files when I was watching them on my Palm, but the iPod can’t play those files. Therefore I had to convert them first. But once I imported them into iTunes, they were all put in Movies. That was okay when I just had a few, but I finished converting all of the files and had enough room to just go ahead and put all of my remaining episodes (about 80 episodes of things like Everybody Loves Raymond, Battlestar Galactica, Seinfeld, and Get Smart). But I would like them to be better organized and it seems like they should be put under TV Shows instead of Movies, but I couldn’t figure out how to do this in iTunes. It would also be good to have them ordered by season and episode number (I did this originally by just using the file name, like “Seinfeld 9-04 The Peephole.avi” for the 4th episode of the 9th season of Seinfeld, call “The Peephole”).
This was so much harder than it needed to be. In iTunes you can do Get Info on any song or video and modify it. And if you highlight an entire Season, at least you can change all of them to Season 2 at once. But with a video, there is still a bunch of music-related information like Artist, Album Name, etc. in addition to another tab full of fields with things like Season and Episode number. If you don’t do it just right, then none of it sorts correctly on the iPod even though it might look okay in iTunes. Eventually I got it all in there right, but it took a few times and each time I had to go in and add a piece of information to 80 different files, then sync with my iPod meaning it had to re-load 16 GB of files onto the iPod which takes a really long time (seems silly to have re-load the episodes when all I thought I was doing was changing values in a database). It was agonizing, but it actually worked out really nicely in the end. I found some very helpful instructions at iLounge. Those instructions are like a small book and give you an idea of just how complicated the process is. I think Apple would rather you buy the episodes from them and the information will already be stored in the files. Of course part of the problem is iTunes won’t help you import a DVD like they do with CD’s because DVD’s have encryption that is illegal to break whereas as CD’s do not (has nothing to do with copyright law since making personal copies of disks you have bought is legal).