Organizing music library with iTunes + MBP from scratch [Need some help & advice!]
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Default Organizing music library with iTunes + MBP from scratch [Need some help & advice!]

    Hey everyone! I've been DJing for a while, but a big problem of mine is that my music library is terribly organized. When I started I decided to organize everything within regular maps, but this system isn't really working for me. After doing a lot of research here on the forum and on other places, it seems that the general consensus of music library organization is:

    Edit ID3 Tags > Analyse in Mixed in Key (or similar) > Import in iTunes > Import to Traktor

    I wanted to make sure I did enough research because this is a largely asked topic. However, I'm still not sure how to approach this from my situation, which is why I made this post.

    My situation:
    So currently I have this fairly large music library with different genres and not always correct ID3 tags, organized in different maps.
    I have two computers:
    - a Macbook pro for DJing live
    - a Windows desktop where I usually download music and practice in my bedroom (bigger screen).
    - I also have a new unused External HDD which I bought some weeks ago but haven't used yet.

    My questions:
    1. What would be the best way to approach this situation? Should I edit all the ID3 tags first, then analyze everything and afterwards import everything in iTunes? I've also read about smart playlists which I will definitely use, but I think the ID3 tags need to be fixed before I import everything to iTunes

    2. Are there programs or scripts that could help with editing the ID3 tags? Going through all files manually will take a lot of time.

    3. Any tips how to do this between two computers? I like using my desktop because it is faster and has a bigger screen, so I usually download songs there and practice my DJing. Of course I need my library on my macbook because that's what I use for DJing live.

    4. I've read that it can be very convenient to let iTunes copy all songs into the library on import because it makes sure that you have all songs in one place, and then organized inside iTunes with playlists. Would you advice this? Is it easy to maintain two of those libraries on two computers?

    Question 1 is by far the most important question, the other 3 are optional. Hope you guys can help me as I'm very eager to get my shit together haha! Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Mannheim / Germany


    After downloading new tracks, I put them into a new playlist in iTunes.
    There, I clean & edit the tags first. (iTunes organizes my library and it sorts tracks by its tags)
    Then I import this playlist into rekordbox to analyze the keys.
    After analyzing, I sort the new tracks into playlists in iTunes for each key. So I can write my key notation into the comment tags for all songs of one key.
    After editing all my relevant tags, I open traktor and import the iTunes collection. Traktor recognizes the new tracks and analyzes them. For additional editing I use traktor, because it shows more tags than iTunes. After editing in Traktor, I reimport my iTunes collection in iTunes, to make sure iTunes recognizes the changes made in Traktor.

    In your case, I would create an extra iTunes library on the external HDD. Pressing "alt" when opening iTunes allows you to create a new library or to choose another iTunes library. So you could use one library on both computers with iTunes and Traktor. But mind, you will loose one usb slot!

    MacBookPro 11,1 | i5 2,4GHz | 16 GB RAM | 256 GB SSD
    MacOSX 10.14.x | TraktorPro 3.x | VCI-100 SE FW 1.4

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013


    Thanks a lot for the advice c0nsul! After doing some more research I've found some more answers to my own questions as well. I'm going to edit the ID3 tags first with mp3tag, a program that can edit everything very conveniently.

    I'm pretty sure I'm following your advice, so I well set up a new iTunes library on my External HDD, and use the option to copy everything to iTunes so that there will be one folder on my External HDD with all correct iTunes settings and playlists. I only have two questions left:

    1. Is it bad to use an external HDD for DJing, or do a lot of DJs use one? Is it less fast / more prone to failure, or doesn't it matter?

    2. If I let iTunes copy all songs into its own library (on my external HDD), is it easy to copy the whole folder alongside with all iTune's settings and playlists to different computers?

    Thanks again for the input c0nsul!

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