Just Killing Time with iTunes

Last night, I spent the better part of three hours making adjustments to my iTunes library. I have three computers I use regularly, all with iTunes installed. I only have one iPod, and I use it on all three machines. I kept my manually-managed music library on one of the desktop computers, and I did all the podcast syncing automatically from my laptop. Then at work I have iTunes on my desktop so I can plug in my iPod and listen to whatever while I’m at work. This worked well for the last couple of years, until the most recent updates to iTunes. For whatever reason, all three machines thought they suddenly needed to sync podcasts, and when I plugged the iPod into my work computer, it wiped out all podcasts and put old ones on the iPod instead. I turned that off, then found the laptop was attempting to update playlists automatically. I turned that off as well. But in the meantime, my iPod had gotten pretty discombobulated, and I couldn’t find anything I was looking for.

Ergo, my three hour adventure last night trying to get everything re-arranged. First, I backed up my iTunes music on a portable hard drive and then transferred them to the laptop. Then I spent many tedious minutes manually updating music onto the iPod that had disappeared. After three hours, I gave up and went to bed. Too many songs were still giving me the dreaded exclamation point (“I can’t find this song, want me to find it for you?”) even though I knew they were on both iTunes on the laptop and on the iPod itself.

So this morning, I went all rash and bold and just auto-synced the iPod to iTunes on the laptop. I clicked “yes” when it gave me the “all playlists on your iPod will be deleted,” gritted my teeth, and let it go. Ten minutes or so later, I had the iPod ejected and working.

So far, so good, but it’s still early in the day.

What bugs me is how long this took me. I had wanted to remain manually in control of what got updated on the iPod, but it seems that that option is not time-effective, much less good for my temper. This was partially iTunes fault, partially my fault for wanting to control it manually, but also Windows Vista’s fault. It was more a matter of trying to get to all the music on my hard drive, not all of which was in iTunes, than anything else. Every time I would add a song, I would have to navigate to it through multiple steps, and for that, I blame Vista. I don’t get all my music through the iTunes store; some is from Amazon’s MP3 store, some from eMusic, some from my own CD’s. One thing I’ve had a complaint about Vista all along is how file explorer works. No “back” or “up one level” button like I used to have on XP, so there’s a ton of clicking and clicking. And explorer’s need to default to “my documents” and the equivalents just REALLY bugs me. Clickity clickity click just to get to somewhere, when if it were just on the C: drive, it would be easier. But no, it’s c:/Users/Usernames/My Documents/Music/ or some such other convoluted place.

No wonder users are frustrated and can’t figure out where to find things. Hopefully, I don’t have to do this again any time soon! Although I have realized that I’ve lost several of my podcast feeds on iTunes, and need to figure out what they were and get them set up again. Grumble.