2 Replies Latest reply: Sep 4, 2007 9:47 AM by jere7my
derato Level 1 (15 points)
I still can't quite wrap my head on how iTunes handles sorting and how I want it to sort.

For example, the Back to the Future soundrack. Many tracks with various artists. I use the 3 column view of genre/artist/album exclusively, and I'd like to keep it uncluttered as possible. I'd rather not have many artists with just one song, but I still think it is important that the single artist be listed. What I want is for the whole album to be sorted under "Back to the Future" as artist in the 3 column view, but if I did a search for Huey Lewis, Power of Love would come up.

I guess I don't understand how to use Artist, Album Artist, and the sort fields to my advantage when importing. Any thoughts I would appreciate.

iMac G5 1.8, Mac OS X (10.4.10), iTunes 7.3.2
  • SeaBeast Level 4 (2,870 points)
    first; "album artist" is a field that have been added to iTunes along with the "album view" feature in order to keep togheter album that has various artist performing songs. the following article explain this in the second section; http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=304389

    to be more specific about your question, there is not much value (for my point of view) in placing "Back to the Futur" under artist field since you can already browse by album. given say this, I understand that you don't like having mulitple artists showing in your browser for which you have only a few songs. still, it's the artist performing your song and iTunes is builted around this fact.

    when you have several artist performing on the same album, this is called a "compilation". iTunes can handle them in severals way when you activate the compilation checkbox in the songs Info. the following article will then be of interest to you since it gives various ways of using this option for your needs;

    hope this help!
  • jere7my Level 4 (1,810 points)
    Here's my solution, which sounds like it would accomplish what you want:

    First, sort on the "Album by Artist" or "Album by Year" column. (Click on the Album column header until one of them is displayed.) This will sort your library first by Album Artist if it exists, and by Artist if it doesn't, and then by Album (or chronologically if "Album by Year").

    Then enter "Various Artists" in the Album Artist field of your soundtracks and the name of the soundtrack in the Sort Album Artist field — leave your individual Artist names alone. This will cause the album to be sorted as a unit, alphabetized by the name of the movie — +O Brother Where Art Thou+ will be with the O's, for instance — but the individual artists will still be listed: Alison Krauss will still be listed as Artist for her tracks. If you switch to sorting on the Artist column she will appear under "A" (or "K" if you've set up last-name alphabetization). Under Cover Flow view, the text will read, "O Brother Where Art Thou — Various Artists".

    If you check the "Compilation" box for these tracks, and "Group compilations when browsing" in the preferences, they will not be sorted to the end of your library with your other compilations. A compilation with a single Album Artist will be sorted by that field (or the associated Sort field) in the midst of your library. However, if your album is a compilation, the individual artists won't show up in the Artist pane of the Browser unless you have other, individual work by them.