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  • Compare music files of different formats

    How can I compare files of different types (formats)?

    I have a large music collection in lossless (wma) and mp3 formats. I use lossless to play at home, and mp3 to carry around on an iPod. I try to keep a complete set of files on my PC, my laptop and an offsite USB HDD. Synchronizing files of the same type is straightforward (though not without issue as I have found on many occasions).

    How can I compare and make sure that my complete music collection in wma files is matched by a complete set of MP3's? For each format of music I have an identical folder structure (e.g. "WMA\Album Artist\Album\Song Title", then separately "MP3\Album Artist\Album\Song Title"), so I am really looking to do a folder compare, but making sure that "\xx\yyy\abc123.wma" = "\xx\yyy\abc123.mp3".

    Apologies if this is straightforward to many of you, but I have searched in vain for a simple, easily repeatable way to do this. I feel that BC is the best tool to do this, but I'm not sure how.

  • #2
    Hello,

    Are all of your files in matching folder structures (xx\yyy\) on both sides? If so, this will be fairly straight forward to setup. In BC3 Pro, we offer a feature called Alignment Overrides. Launch your Folder Compare session, and then go to the Session menu -> Session Settings dialog. In the Misc tab, you can create a New alignment override. In this example, you could define it as:
    *.wma = *.mp3

    With this, files that are wma on the left, with the same name as a file with .mp3 on the right, will align.

    Alignment Overrides must explicitly define the different text (wma and mp3), and can use masking characters for the equal text (filename = filename).

    Does this help with your current comparison? If you are currently using Std edition, you can revert to trial mode and test out Pro features by following this guide:
    http://www.scootersoftware.com/suppo...?zz=kb_evalpro
    Aaron P Scooter Software

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    • #3
      Aaron,

      Sincere thanks for the quick reply.

      Yes, I am using matching folder structures; so it seems that you may have provided a solution to my problem. I will spend some time today to try it out and will revert.

      As a thought: all media today comes in varying formats; video, music, photos (even pdf's have various degrees of compression). As well as music, I have a bunch of 'the same' photos in RAW and jpeg formats. A program which allowed synchronization across media formats could be a real boon. Call that a business opportunity, not a feature request!

      Regards,

      Bob

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      • #4
        It works, but ....

        Aaron,

        Many thanks for your very prompt reply. I'm delighted to say that your solution works and I can now confidently ensure I have a full set of MP3 files which match my other formats (I use wma and FLAC).

        The downside is that it works too well! The compare has revealed a significant number of discrepancies across the file names which I am ploughing through to rectify. Most discrepancies are not too significant, being slight differences in non alpha-numeric characters, but they are significant enough to cause problems with syncing (characteristic of using different ripping/transcoding software across my various files). Anyway, I am delighted that BC3 can work for me in this regard.

        Have a great day.

        Regards,

        Bob

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        • #5
          Thanks for the feedback. We're always interested in hearing real world examples of how our software is being used.

          If you have any specific names you found troublesome to compare, feel free to post a couple of examples here in the forum or email us at support@scootersoftware.com (if you email us, please include a link back to this forum post.)
          Aaron P Scooter Software

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          • #6
            Update

            Aaron,
            For the 10,000 files or so that I have in each format, I found that a combination of BC3 and 'MP3tag' allowed me to clean up all of my files so that they are consistent in each format (and as a complete set, consistent across three locations). A little bit pedantic for some people, but I am happy that now my: wma's = mp3's.
            Regards,
            Bob

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            • #7
              I've been using BC adn Mp3tag for this kind of task for many years. But (through no fault of eitehr prorgam) it suffers the problem that adjusting the filenames breaks playlist references. This adjustment requirement largely stems from naming the files using the usual metadata - artist, album etc. - containing variying substitutions for disallowed chars, accented characters that disturb some programs, etc. My solution is to name the files after invariant attributes - album GTIN (from UPC/EAN barcode), disc number and track number. e.g. C:\My Music\08427328140201-1-16.wma or, for easier browsing on disc, C:\My Music\08427328140201\1\16.wma . This lets BC be much more effective in managing the libraries.

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