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Essay:A Quick Way to Generate Tracklistings for Mixes and Compilations, Using Microsoft Excel and Word

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I know one of the weirder things with Your Subculture Soundtrack is the way we do song links, with the "Title:Artist|Title" format -- it ends up being pretty elegant in the linking stuff up side, but it IS a pain to enter in, and I know that. However -- there's actually an easy way to get around doing this, so you don't have to type ":David Bowie|" eighty billion times. And this works for basically any CD, be it a mix, compilation, soundtrack or even just a plain garden-variety album.

First, you'll want to put the disc in your player and let it come up in the Gracenote CDDB (for a mix, you may want to refer to here -- but if it's a mix, you don't even necessarily need to do this step -- as long as your player (I prefer iTunes, but basically anything that lists the tracklisting in a table-format should work OK, like MusicMatch, for example). Basically, what you want is the tracklisting displayed as:

Title Artist [any other information, time, album, whatever)

Next, once you've got that information up, select all the tracks, and hit "Copy" to copy them to the clipboard.

Open up a blank workbook in Excel, and paste them in a few columns over. I usually start at the D column, but wherever you prefer is fine.

For a disc with various artists, the first step is to type in cell A1: "#[[". Click the lower right hand corner of that cel, and drag down to the bottom of the tracklist. What this should do is copy "#[[" into all the cells below it. Next, select the column with the artist names and copy paste that into the B column. Next, in C1, type "]] - [[", and do the dragging thing you did in A1. The next column over, D, should have the song titles. In E1, type ":" and drag down like before. The F column should have the artist names, so in G1, type "|", and drag it down. Next, select the titles column, D, and copy paste that into H. Finally, in I1, type "]]" and drag down like before.

Now, what you have should look something like this:

#[[	April March	]] - [[	Chick Habit	:	April March	|	Chick Habit	]]
#[[	Calexico	]] - [[	Alone Again Or	:	Calexico	|	Alone Again Or	]]

Select the whole shootin' match, and copy it. Open up a blank MS Word document, and paste it in. You should have it drawn as a table. Select anywhere within the table, go up to the "Tools" menu, and then to the "Convert" submenu. Choose "Table To Text", and you should have a bunch of colums that are all separated by tabs. Next, select all (Control-A/Open-Apple-A usually does that), and do a find/replace (either Control-H or Open-Apple-Shift-H) -- when it asks you what to find, type "^t", which is the tab control character, and leave the replace box blank. Hit "Replace All", and you should have something that looks like what you'll need!

If your tracklisting is all jumbled up with lowercase and upper case, with everything still selected, you may want to go to the Format Menu, choose "Change Case" and select "Title Case" -- you may need to fix some things after this, if you have any words that should be all upper case or all lower case, but for the most part, that'll do well by you.

Once you're satisfied with how it looks, copy everything in the word document, and paste it over here in your edit box, and hit Preview just to make sure it looks OK. If it does, hit save, and you're good to go!

(If you're doing this for a normal album, it's quite a bit more simple -- you don't have to worry about the B & C columns -- you can just start with the A column being full of "#[[".)

If anyone else has any techniques for making entry easier, feel free to add them to this page! - Rev. Syung Myung Me

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