I, like many, use iTunes to organize my music.

What I like:

  • It’s one place I can go to deal with my collection and sync up devices.

  • It keeps the music files organized on disk.

  • It has a passable metadata editing interface.

  • It has a programming interface that lets me write scripts to help automate tasks in music management.

What I don’t like:

  • It is slower than any other program I use. Startup/shutdown is ridiculous. Switching views, especially if it’s to something requiring network activity (like the iTunes store) is laughable.

  • It locks up whenever it has to do a network I/O call. I keep all of my music on a shared network drive. If I copy a new file into the library, the UI literally locks up during the whole file copy operation. This gets really bad if it’s downloading podcasts - every podcast it saves locks up the UI unexpectedly as it writes the file to the network share.

  • It tries to do too much. I don’t need an integrated store and an app management system and and and and. I want it to manage my music. I want it to sync my music to my devices. That’s it. Do your thing and do it well. Instead, it does 1000 things and it half-asses every one.

I’ve considered alternatives like MediaMonkey but I just haven’t bitten the bullet yet. I have a few (very few) iTunes DRM-wrapped tracks and videos and without iTunes, I’m not sure if that’d work too well.

Windows Media Center Integration#

At one point, before getting Asset UPnP, I tried integrating iTunes music directly into Windows Media Center. You can read my notes and rough plan on the Windows Media Center page, but I never did get it working.

Advanced Searching#

Sometimes while working with my collection I find I need to do some searching to locate tracks in my library that meet a certain criteria (like the ones that don’t have artwork or maybe a regex match on an artist name). The smart playlists work well much of the time, but for when I need a more powerful approach, I wrote this script to help me out.

You need to know about the iTunes COM SDK to know what fields are available to search over, so, YMMV with this.

/* jshint eqnull:true */
// ComplexSearchTemplate.js
// A template for doing a search over tracks
// using some complex logic. Output is in tab-delimited format.
// Run cscript.exe //U to get Unicode output in Windows.

// Return true to include the track in the output;
// false to skip the track.
function predicate(track) {
  if (track.URL != null || track.Podcast || track.Location == null) {
    // Filter out of non-music.
    return false;

  // Do the search here and return true if the track matches the criteria.
  return true;

// Get the set of all tracks from the library.
var iTunesApp = WScript.CreateObject("iTunes.Application");
var allTracks = iTunesApp.LibraryPlaylist.Tracks;
if (allTracks === null) {
  WScript.Echo("Unable to get list of library tracks!");

// Process the tracks.
var numTracks = allTracks.Count;
for (var i = 1; i <= numTracks; i++) {
  var currentTrack = allTracks.Item(i);
  if (!predicate(currentTrack)) {

  try {
    WScript.Echo(currentTrack.Location + "\t" + currentTrack.Artist + "\t" + currentTrack.AlbumArtist + "\t" + currentTrack.Album + "\t" + currentTrack.Name);
  } catch (ex) {
    WScript.Echo("Error processing " + currentTrack.Artist + " - " + currentTrack.Name + ": " + ex.message);