Last July I posted this article about iTunes Library Updater (iTLU). iTLU solves an annoying (and major) problem with iTunes: when you first install iTunes, the program scans your computer for music. After that, the only way to add music to your iTunes library is to either rip a CD using iTunes or buy music from the iTunes online store. If you prefer to rip your music using some other program, or if you download music from any other source (legal or not), there’s simply no way to add it to your iTunes library. So if you were to buy some music from Amazon’s new online store, you won’t be able to add it to your library… which means that you can’t put it on your iPod. And that’s where iTLU comes in. You just tell it which folders to scan, and it’ll add any music it finds there to your iTunes library.
I’ve used the program for over six months now, and I’ve found it invaluable. It “just works”. And that’s great. But there’s one nifty feature I didn’t mention in my original post that I thought you might want to be aware of: profiles. When you open iTLU, you’re presented with this window:
You then click the small button next to “Locations” to add folders for iTLU to look in. You choose which file types to look for in the “Extensions” box. You then choose which options iTLU should use (“Add new music”, “Clean orphan entries”). When everything’s ready, you click the “Start” button. Here’s what my iTLU window looks like just before I’d click the “Start” button:
It’s not that difficult to get everything ready to go on my computer, but it does take 11 mouse clicks. You see that button named “Save profile”? This is the nifty feature I wanted to tell you about. “Save profile” will save every setting you’ve chosen in the iTLU window. So the next time you open iTLU, you’d only need to click “Open profile” > [choose profile file] > Start. That’s 3 mouse clicks versus 11 clicks, and that’s pretty neat.
What’s even cooler is that you can use the console version of iTLU (ITLUconsole.exe) to load the saved profile and run iTLU from the command-line. Which means that you can have iTLU update your iTunes library with a single click via batch file, or even have Windows Scheduler run the task automatically! The command-line syntax couldn’t be easier:
[path to ITLUconsole.exe] /p:[path to profile settings file]
What’s even cooler is that the profile settings files themselves are simple XML files, so if you’re comfortable with editing XML, you can easily create custom settings files for different situations. For example, iTLU needs to open iTunes itself to update the library. I would normally have iTunes open anyway when I update my library, so the “Close iTunes” setting in my default profile is “false”. However, if I want to have iTLU update iTunes automatically via scheduled task, I wouldn’t want iTunes left open. So I opened the profile settings file with my favorite text editor and changed the “<closeiTunes>” setting to TRUE, and then saved the settings file with a new name. Cool, eh?