Mac Itunes File Organization?

I'm a newbie to Itunes on Mac. I just got my mini two nights ago and I'm very happy with it. I've got a lot of CD's to rip and I'm looking for advice on how to organize the files. What are the pros and cons of letting Itunes organize the files vs. trying to organize them myself.

I've got an external hard drive with over 50 CD's worth of .wav files that I ripped on a PC with audiograbber and EAC. The songs are organized on the hard drive by artist, then by album, then by song title. Itunes will play these files fine but the Itunes library organization treats the artist and song title as one title, with nothing in the other fields. I'm willing to re-rip these CD's, if necessary, but I'm looking to set up a good strategy first.

I'm willing to stick with .wav files as hard drive space is cheap and getting cheaper. Will there be any problems loading the .wav files onto an Ipod?

Any advice from the other Itunes users out there before I get started?
Don't know anything about the .wav files, I'm Mac only. But just start ripping your music in iTunes, after it's ripped you can organize it at the click of a button, by artist, album, song title, genre, date ripped, etc. You can change how it's organized at any time.

I'm not much further along than you are but I'll try to give you some info. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong)

I understand that when a WAV file is moved from one directory to another none of the trac info goes with it. So I don't understand why you are getting even partial trac info, unless you are using WavPac and not just WAV.

In any case, as I understand it, WAV can be put onto an Ipod. But again I don't think the trac info would be transferred along with the song file--even if you type it in to the Itunes library. But I'm not certain.

If you still have your PC you probably have some conversion options that I don't know about.

But 50 CDs is really not very many. I would use Itunes to rip a few of them to your MacMini in AIFF format (same as WAV but with TAGs). Once you have a few CDs ripped to AIFF experiment with playing the tracks in other formats and with downloading various formats to the Ipod. Then decide which you prefer.

You just encountered the biggest downside of WAV - there is no "meta data" included in the files, i.e. no artist or song information. What does that mean for files stored on external hard drives:

- If you WAV on an external hard drive and you import these, none of the info will be displayed in iTunes (except for the filename). Of course you can reenter all that info into iTunes, but if for some reason you would like to use that hard drive on a different computer or system, or if you loose your library, all that info is gone.

- If you use apple lossless files, all the info is stored with the file, that is you import it into any itunes on any computer and all info will show.

Given that both are lossless, there really is no question which one I would use. And if you worried you can always convert the files (that you want to listen to) to WAV before a critical listening session.

AIFF does NOT have tags either, only Lossless, FLAC, AAC, MP3 do.
I agree with all above except I do believe if you use AIFF it will have tags.

Since iTunes and Apple Lossless are the native formats for the Mac I suggest those. Same sound. less space. As stated you can always convert back to wav if you want.
I've ripped a few albums to AIFF lately. Tags show up on the Library and playlist pages, and in the Itunes XML file. Since there is XML I assume the tags are portable. But haven't downloaded anything to my MP3 player yet.

BTW In the last two weeks I've tried WAV, FLAC, AIFF, and Apple Lossless using EAC, Foobar2000 and Itunes. Due to allergies I'm having some intermittent partial hearing loss, but presently I can't hear any difference between any of these combinations of formats, rippers and players. And according to what I've read, all these formats convert back and forth with no loss of data--WAV=AIFF=FLAC=Apple Lossless in terms of PCM.

I'm under the impression that there is not a single best option and lots of choices. That's good.

Happy Ripping and Listening

Thanks everyone for the input. I'll start ripping in either Apple Lossless or AIFF. Are both formats equally compatible with Airport Express AirTunes and Ipod?
To correct my earlier post: I guess itunes CAN attach tags to AIFF files. There is thread on the slim devices forum:

AIFF/WAV & ID tags