Windows – How to manage multiple parallel music libraries

foobar2000itunesmusicwindows media player

I have a main music library containing ripped lossless files (in WMAL for now) and original downloaded MP3s, AACs, etc. I also have a couple parallel libraries that contain the exact same set of music, but in a different format.

For example, I have the following libraries:

Full\: lossless, original lossy downloads
Mobile\: lossless transcoded to HE-AAC, lossy copied over without transcoding
MP3\: lossless transcoded to MP3, lossy MP3s copied over, others ignored

This is all a bit clumsy to manage for me. I have each library in a separate folder on my media drive, and I manage the Full\ library with WMP (which gets me playback, automatic tagging, album art, folder renaming, etc.). I manage Mobile\ with iTunes so it can sync with my iPod, though any iTunes Store downloads go into Mobile\ instead of Full\ where they belong. And I haven't started the MP3 library yet.

Whenever I rip a new CD or something, I'll point foobar2000 at Full\ and transcode it all at once to Mobile\ and MP3\.

There have to be other people doing this; how do you manage it all in a nice way?

Note that I'm on WinXP.

Best Answer

If you could have a Linux fileserver, you could put the FLAC files there and share the filesystem over MP3FS, it would transcode the files into MP3 on-the-fly when needed and there wouldn't be any need to store files multiple times.

Unfortunately I haven't seen a similar thing for Windows. My solution there would be to write a simple script that monitors the FLAC-folder and would detect new files and transcode them to MP3 every night or something of that sorts. Not as handy.

Related Question