Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rebuilding the Library

Recently I opted to purchase a new iPod in anticipation for a trip. Originally I intended to take the old iPod (3rd generation) in for a battery replacement. I kept pushing it off until I later figure that the cost may not be worth it. So currently I am a proud owner of an iPod Classic, 80GB in capacity size. The choice in size is obvious as there is absolutely no way I am able to fill it entirely, especially with 320kbit/s mp3s. Besides, the smaller size is actually better as it's a bit lighter and the iPod itself is slimmer by a good margin than the 3rd generation.

Expecting that I would have brought the old iPod in for a battery replacement, I backed up the files and had it stored away. This would make it easy for me to copy the files back and rebuild the iPod's internal library, theoretically speaking. That never came to be. Instead, I found myself having to sort through several files, many of which are encoded into 4 letter filenames. This caused so much pain and confusion for me, since I have no idea what audio track is what. The only way to determine this is to add it into a mp3 player and let it fetch the ID3 metadata information from the file itself. Even then it's troublesome having to go through all these 4-letter files. Using whatever tools I have at hand, I started from the very top, the letter A, and worked my way down one letter at a time. Flushing them out is easy, as Windows' search function provided me a simple way to do a limited search within the backup.

After several days of loading a file up on foobar, moving the file over, and renaming them appropriately, I made it to the end. The result is the reconstruction of my Final Fantasy IX Original Soundtrack, Final Fantasy VII Advant Children Soundtrack, 3 Trans-Siberian Orchestra albums, deleting several files of which an original copy already exists, a new set of ID3 tags for the Indigo's album Blue, and some loose files that were hand selected for listening purposes.

The library is only partially rebuilt, as there are still loose files and songs that I haven't dragged out of its folder structure. This also includes some of my purchased freebies that I have collected over the years. Eventually the new library will feature some new tunes as well as some old ones put back in. I need to seek out my old Bubblegum Crisis Vocal Collection that is perhaps buried in that backup. And then there's the Final Fantasy IV Original Soundtrack that is waiting to be transferred to the iPod. All that means is I still have a long while to go before the new iPod is brought back to "normal."

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