Miracle Cure

December 14th, 2006  |  Published in etc  |  1 Comment

I’m going to avoid all the hairy details and leave it at:

Close brush with external hard drive catastrophe nearly took out all my music and left me marked with the pain of losing all the metadata: my play lists (no big deal) and ratings (much bigger deal thanks to how I’ve got my iPod syncing organized to accommodate its smallish capacity) were blown away.

iPodRip saved me as much as I could be saved at this point.

It lets you get music off an iPod instead of just putting it on, which is fine. I didn’t so much want my music off the iPod as I did all the metadata still attached to the songs in my collection that are on my iPod. iPodRip includes a “sync metadata” tool which does what it says. So the blank slate that was my collection on the Mac was able to refresh its metadata from that on the iPod, which I had assiduously not synced until I could find something to help me do what iPodRip just did.

I didn’t, because my iPod doesn’t hold everything I’ve got, get all my ratings back, but I did get enough to make it much easier to clean the remainder up. And I got back all the ratings that matter, since my rating system is a kludged up tagging system:

No stars: Doesn’t get synced, novelty songs, crap I don’t know how it got there

✩ : Great but albumless single

✩✩ : Inferior track on an inferior album/collection

✩✩✩ : Superior track on an inferior album/collection

✩✩✩✩ : Inferior track on a superior album/collection

✩✩✩✩✩ : Superior track on a superior album/collection

I like to keep albums together, but I know someday my musical collection will exceed my iPod’s capacity by a wildly disproportionate amount. So when that day comes, the two stars will be first to get dropped from the sync. Then the four stars go, theoretically leaving me with the best tracks of all the albums I’ve got. Ones and fives will be the last to go. I am resigned to the potential for overlap between 3s and 4s. I’m just doing what I can to keep my aging iPod viable for as long as possible and guarantee myself a pleasant if imperfect mix of music for most circumstances, taxonomical niceties be damned. There are some Shonen Knife tracks that are infinitely less dispensable than, God help me, “True Love, Pt. 2.” I will strip to the waist and battle the man who comes to enforce “album integrity” or “artist’s intent” on my iPod.

Oh, there’s also “checked” and “unchecked,” which is how I keep a lot of things I like around the house or office but not on the road or street off the iPod.

Anyhow: iPodRip. That’s an unheard of second link in the same entry to a product I appreciate. Shareware, $15, limited to 10 uses unless you pay. I only needed one, but it earned a customer.


  1. tj says:

    June 13th, 2007 at 7:47 pm (#)

    see…i even know about backiing up the xml file, but i was hit by this same situation hard.

    ipodrip is a wonderful thing.

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