Add TuneSpan option to limit total filename length

Bert Leithold shared this idea 6 years ago

I've been happily running TuneSpan for years -- 43K items and 8TB of music, movies, TV shows, etc under it's control and growing all the time. I have a suggestion that would make TuneSpan a lot easier for those of us that are moving our spanned media to NAS, and that is, to add an option within TuneSpan that will optionally limit the total filename length of the spanned track to a user-specified number, regardless of how we specify the media's naming convention.

Here's the issue. I've had most of my spanned media running on a direct-attached Drobo with my Mac. All works fine as it's 100% under macOS control. I have just set up a new Synology NAS, and am in process of "re-spanning" my Drobo-based media to a share on the NAS. Since my model NAS supports it, I additionally decided to turn on hardware encryption of all the data... but I've finally figured-out that there is the gotcha. While macOS supports up to IIRC 255 characters in a filename, as does the default share setup in the Synology NAS, when hardware encryption is turned-on for a share, filenames become limited to a maximum of 140 characters.

Most of my files (with shorter filenames) when manually copied go over to the NAS via macOS "copy" just fine, but if there is one that is longer than 140, the copy blows-up with an odd "permissions" error and you don't quite know what is going on. A similar situation happens with the latest version of TuneSpan, except when TuneSpan encounters a file that has a naming convention that exceeds that 140 limit, while the span continues, the errant media is moved into the "completed" column and does not move over to the NAS as I'd expect. TuneSpan is a lot more user-friendly (thank-you), but I suspect is still encountering the underlying restriction of the NAS share.

  1. I could change the way media naming is accomplished by TuneSpan during the span, but I have found that that some of my tagged music track titles and artists, even some purchased from iTunes directly, exceed 140 characters -- so there is no way I can really guarantee the length will work by only say having TuneSpan organize by track title. If Tunespan would just clip off the length of the field to my user-specified limit, everything would be good. (In my research, it appears that different mfgr NAS have varying length limits on filenames, especially when encryption or varying file structures are used on the NAS, hence why I suggest this be a user-specified number that is the aggregate of filename+extension TuneSpan creates upon the span.)
  2. I could turn off hardware encryption in the NAS, but that's sort of a shame to not make use of the capability... not that my iTunes media itself is of a secret nature, but simply that if some thief were to ever physically steal my NAS, I'd have the bit of satisfaction knowing there is no way they'd get to my media collection with a random 40 char encryption key I have applied to it. ;)
  3. I am left now with the likelihood of manually clipping the title/artist tagging on the few dozen errant music, podcasts, etc so they'll move over to the NAS, and likely have to keep doing the same upon occasion, as TuneSpan encounters new too-long-for-the-NAS tagging.

It's going to take another couple of days re-spanning the rest of my media over to the NAS, so time will tell if I go with option 2 or 3 for now ...but I thought I'd throw out the idea of this little improvement to an otherwise STELLAR application I've become so reliant upon. I'm sure other users of TuneSpan that begin using NAS may well run into similar challenges with the all the possibilities that exist.

THANK YOU for the consideration and for a GREAT product. Bert

Replies (2)


Thanks for getting in touch. I'm very sorry for my delayed reply.

So glad to hear that TuneSpan has been working for you!

I've added this suggestion to my list of things to work on for the next update. I know it's been quite a while now since I've updated TuneSpan but I'm getting back into finally doing some stuff I've had half done for ages as well as fixing some issues that have come up on macOS Mojave.

If you haven't already trimmed track names manually, I actually have an AppleScript for iTunes to help trim track metadata which will result in shorter folder and filenames.

Honestly, I can't remember the exact situation I wrote this for in the past but I think it was for a user running into a similar situation.

The script will trim Name, Artist, Album Artist, Album, Composer, and Show tags down to 130 characters. Whatever got trimmed off gets added into the tracks Comments field like "Name Continued: ..."

I've attached the script for you to use. This is a "use at your own risk" kinda thing though. Make sure it works the way you want on just one or two tracks before going crazy with it :-)

To run this script from within iTunes, add it to the "~/Library/iTunes/Scripts/" folder.


Thanks for the response and script. I already manually trimmed what I needed to several weeks ago, so it’s now a bit easier watching and dealing with just a small number of new items that get spanned from time to time. The automated TuneSpan functionality would still be welcomed at some point (I’m spoiled with my near total trust in how robust it is — no pressure! AH HA), and I look forward to any other new goodies you dream up for the next release one day.

Thx again for a stellar tool that I’ve become totally reliant on... just used it again this morning to move a new album and couple of movies. Purchased this past week.


Just received TuneSpan 1.4 via the App Store, and I see you added an option for my suggestion as well as a number of other new things. My dependence upon TuneSpan continues to grow with more than 35K tracks/movies/tv shows/podcasts in a 9.7TB external NAS media library.

THANK YOU, and I look forward to exploring all that's new with your latest TuneSpan release.


Thanks again Bert for this idea!

As he pointed out, this feature has been added to the Advanced Preferences as of TuneSpan 1.4 :-)

You can find it here:

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