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How do I stop i-tunes from changing the genres for my songs without my consent?

5767 Views 66 Replies Latest reply: Mar 3, 2014 7:20 PM by dodger bob RSS
  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,910 points)

    Hmm, perhaps is a new "feature" after all. I'm just testing some of my purchases. I bought the the album Blues Jam In Chicago, Vol. 1 by Fleetwood Mac recently. It's listed in my library as Pop which I reckon I would have corrected to Blues. I've just done so. We shall see if it sticks...



  • Tooltomus Calculating status...

    I spent about two hours on the phone with Apple, and apparently this is the new normal.

    Any song that is purchased from iTunes, will default back to the original genre that it was listed as when purchased. If you do change it in your library, it WILL default back the next time you log in to the iTunes store.

    If enough people complain, maybe they will revert back to the old way.

  • joefromnc Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)

    Well that really stinks... good thing that the vast majority of my music is CD imports, and what I have purchased digitally has been mainly from Amazon!  I would kill somebody if the last 7 years of buiding this library exactly the way I wanted it was screwed up without warning (or even WITH warning) by some knucklehead decision by Apple.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,910 points)

    I can see why the genre would revert if you redownloaded the track but I can't see the point of "updating" data a user has edited. I've tried signing in and out of the store, opening and closing iTunes and renabling the listing of Cloud purchases. Hasn't changed yet... If it does I'll certainly file a bug report as well as submitting feedback.



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,910 points)

    MIght not be too late to restore some of the information. First thing to do is turn off Keep Organized. That way iTunes won't rename tracks when it gets different data. You can restore your last library file from the previous iTunes Libraries folder which would recover play counts but if metadata has been changed in the files then iTunes will reveal over time. If iTunes has moved files around some may no longer be where the old library expects to find them. I have a script called FindTracks at that can often repair broken links, but then that will bring back the corrupt metadata.



  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (73,385 points)

    CharmCityCrab wrote:


    Apple censored a thread about them changing album titles and clearing playcounts.  They're trying to cover this up.

    Wait, let me get my tin foil hat on...


    More than likely the thread ended up a big rant.


    Any chance you have fired up Windows Media player lately?

    In the past, it has changed ID3 tags/music info.

    iTunes does not update song info until the song is actually played (or get info) so it looks like iTunes is doing it when WMP had already changed the data.


    This is what used to cause the problem.

    In WMP 12, Windows 7

    Ogganize > Options > Library.

    Uncheck everything.


    If it has already changed the info, you will have to change it back.,

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,910 points)

    This is my standard approach to restoring an earlier database...


    Empty/corrupt library after upgrade/crash

    In the Previous iTunes Libraries folder should be a number of dated iTunes Library files. Take the most recent of these and copy it into the iTunes folder. Rename iTunes Library.itl as iTunes Library (Corrupt).itl and then rename the restored file as iTunes Library.itl. Start iTunes. Should all be good, bar any recent additions to or deletions from your library.




    See iTunes Folder Watch for a tool to catch up with any change in the media folder since the backup file was created.


    When you get it all working make a backup!





    Windows Media Player has been known to start up in the background triggered by a control on a web page. Unlike iTunes, WMP comes with features that attempt to identify your songs and amend the metadata based the All Music Group database. Those features are turned on by default, you have to actively turn them off. WMP is looking more & more like the culprit. Back in XP it wouldn't ever touch AAC files, but assuming you have Windows 7 there is no reason they would neccessarily be immune. 


    That fact that you don't let iTunes organize the files gives some more hope. If the files are in a standard <Artist>/<Album>/## <Name> format my script TagFromFilename might be of some use.



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,910 points)

    I'm not partisan, I don't own a Mac. When I first started having issues with iTunes organization I came here looking for answers. Not finding them I started working things out for myself and stuck around to share what I'd learned. It's not that I want to blame Microsoft in particular but I've been helping out here for around 5 years, Chris 7, and it would seem that we both agree on the basis of experience that it is the most likely culprit. If you are certain it can be ruled out then we can move on. I'm interested in trying to understand the issue and, if at all possible, help you and anyone else affected find a resolution.


    It is unfortunate that you don't, I assume, have a complete backup of your library from a point before things went wrong that you could restore. I strongly urge you to make one now.


    I would take the report that "Apple has apparently confirmed this issue on the phone to someone who posted here, and said it is a new feature." with a dose of skepticism. There is a huge user base for iTunes out there and while something is obviously going wrong for you I'm fairly sure that if were being repeated for all other users we'd be hearing much more about it. In contrast the missing display duplicates feature has been widely reported and smaller numbers of users have complained of not being able to change the media kind to podcast. Both issues were addressed in the recent update.


    My admittedly small but concrete experiment has yet to yield a confirming result. If it does you'll be the second to know.


    While I'm scratching my head trying to make sense of things I recall another potential issue regarding genres. The ID3 tagging scheme includes some predefined genres such as Rock, Pop, Blues etc. which are stored not as text but as a numeric value. When the tag is read the value is converted via a lookup table into the correct localized genre. A while back one build started listing the numbers instead of the text for certain genres. Some form of corruption of this mechanism could, perhaps, explain that part of your problem. If there is a pattern of genre A has become B, C has become D and E has been left alone that would lend weight to the idea.


    It's possible to alter most values in iTunes via script. I recently wrote a script called SyncStats to help another user recover play stats from a manually managed iPod into her iTunes library. If the correct data still exists somewhere then we might be able to find a way to restore it into your library. If iTunes isn't managing the file & folder names then, on the basis on my experience, there shouldn't be any good reason why temporarily reverting to the pre-upgrade database (which will be upgraded again) to have a look around, then restoring today's, would cause any problems. If all is backed up you should have nothing to lose.



  • Tooltomus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    First of all, I am the one who posted that comment about talking to an Apple representative who confirmed this.


    In the upgrade to iTunes 11, Apple has added many new genres and sub-genres of music. This resulted in some existing previously purchased songs to be converted over to the new genre or sub-genre when connecting to the iTunes store.


    Turingtest2 is correct by saying to turn off "Keep Organized" that seems to have stopped my genres and song names from changing now. Thank you.


    But the playcounts HAVE reverted to zero on any song I have that had a name change or genre change.

    That *****, but I can live with it.


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