Switching from ITunes to Amarok: Tips and Tricks
First, this post will be updated VERY OFTEN, so, please visit it every once in a while.
The purpose of this post is helping everyone switching from the so great Apple’s ITunes to a free choice, Amarok for Linux. Let’s point out that I’m using Amarok on Ubuntu, under GNOME, not under KDE, with no problem at all, with a great speed and with no apparent bugs (For as much as I’ve able to see), so, feel free to use this wonderful player under any Linux platform.
The Amarok version I’m using is 1.4.5 Fast Forward, under Ubuntu Feisty Fawn! (The Ubuntu version doesn’t mutter much if the Amarok version is the one I’m referring to.)
Capter 1: Sound gain normalized automatically
In ITunes there’s a very useful option that analyzes all of the sound tracks in your library to normalize them on the same perceived sound level. That’s because, from an Album to another and depending also on the quality and native volume of every audio track you are listening, it may be necessary to readjust the volume on every track you listen to. One is louder than another, so, the automated volume adjustment is absolutely necessary, I cannot live without it.
Well, don’t think that in Amarok you’re alone! You’ve got this option too, but you’ve got to install an extra script before (It should be available boundled into amarok IMHO). To do it, Open:
Tools –> Script Manager
Click on Get More Scripts and look for Amork Replay Gain. Click on it and Install it. Close the Get More Scripts window and, in the Script Manager, click on amarok_replaygain.py and then on the button Run. Very well! From this moment, the Volume of every Sound Track you’ll listen to will be automatically normalized, so that you’ll have the impression that every track is loud as the other ones!
This is the hottest and most useful amarok script I’ve ever seen around. I dunno how would I be able to use Amarok without it, really. Thanks so much to the authors!
UPDATE: To have replaygain do the big work once for all, right click on a random file in your playlist and click over the Apply Replaygain Tags –> To entire Collection using Album Tags. The Replaygain process will be much more smoother and quicker from now on :)
Chapter 2: Exporting ITunes Library and Playlist
So you’re switching to Amarok but are used to your Itunes Library and Playlist… how to solve this problem? Do you have to build again all of your playlists? Not at all. there’s a tool to do this: itunes2m3u. I’m hosting this tool, so, download it clicking here.
We’ll need this file in a second moment. For now, go into the dir where Itunes stores your Library. in OSX, usually, this dir is into:
your shortname --> Music --> ITunes
The shortname is your username, the one you use to log in. Myne, for example, is darkmaster. If you open Finder you’ll immediatly notice your shortname directory.
Into this folder, you’ll find a file called:
ITunes Music Library.xml
You’ll also find a dir called:
To migrate that folder into a Linux installation, you can just create a new dir into your home called music and copy into that all the music contained intothe ITunes Music dir. For example, let’s assume that yor homedir in Linux is called userhome (That’s only an example). In this case, in Linux, after the copy process, you’ll have this dir:
and into this folder there will be the entire ITunes Music Library of your previous Mac OSX installation. Now create a separate folder in your home, call it playlists. Copy paste into this dir the “ITunes Music Library.xml” file. Untar the downloaded itunes2m3u application into this playlists dir too. Now, open with a text editor the file “ITunes Music Library.xml”
You’ll have to find a line where a random song location is stored. Usually this line appears like something of that kind:
you have to replace this line, each time it appears, in the entire document, with another line. To do this, every Text editor has an automated function. For example, in GEdit (Gnome’s standard Text editor), you’ll have to go to in the menù:
find –> replace
In the find box insert this line:
Where you’ll replace usershortname with the real shortname of the OSX installation. In replace with you’ll insert:
Than you’ll click on the Replace button and after several seconds, the replacing process will be completed.
What have we done here? Simply, we specified to the xml file that our Music library files are not anymore in the old OSX dir but in the new Linux one we previously prepared.
Now, save this modified xml file with a simpler name, something without spaces or caps like:
This file has to be in the same dir where the itunes2m3u.py file is stored. Now open up a terminal. First, let’s enter into the dir where our application and xml file are stored:
And now let’s use the tool to extract from the xml file all of our playlist in a format that Amarok will be able to read (m3u):
Wait for the completion of the process. Now, into the playlists dir, you’ll have a number of .m3u playlists! Open Amarok, click on the Playlists button, right click on the Playlists red folder that appears and select Import Playlist. Choose all of your new .m3u files and enjoy!
Remember that for amarok to continue working you’ll have to leave the .m3u files where they are. The same must be done for your music library. Moving any file will result in amork being unable to play the songs!
Capter 3: Importing Ratings from your old ITunes Library
So we’ve already seen how to locate the ITunes .xml library file. Now let’s see how can we import not only the playlist but the ratings of our songs too into the fantastic Amarok.
Let’s point your web browser to THIS link. You can directly download the script from here: Download the script or from the page of the author. In that page there are also the instructions on how to use it. I don’t know why, but some of those instructions are not exact, so, basically, here are the corrected by me instructions:
- Download the file above
- Open Amarok and select Tools –> Script Manager from the menu.
- Choose Install script.
- Select the newly downloaded file (You don’t even have to extract the archive)
- Run the newly installed script (As you can see from the screenshot, find the script into the Score folder)
- Select the iTunes Library XML File (this file has to be exported in iTunes)
- Depending on the size of your library, get a cup of your favorite beverage
- If your library is big, why not go for lunch?
- Still here? Maybe you can count with the progress meter? (Good night)
Should it happen that ratings are only applied to some songs, try the following:
- Make sure, all your music is in the Amarok collection. You can check this by clicking the “Collection” tab. Ratings can only be applied to music in your collection.
- If the ratings are still not applied, select all music (Ctrl+A) and apply 1 star to all songs. Then set it back to 0 stars. Restart the script.
Is it all OK? It should be, worked for me :) So, have a nice import!