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MartynHoll Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have imported an album into I-tunes which I will sync with my Ipod Touch. The only problem being, is that when I view the album in the music library, all the songs are separate songs and not all stored under the album. I have imported other albums and they are fine. Any ideas? (The album is made up of 4 CDs, I don't know if this affecting it?)
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,455 points)
    *HowTo: Grouping Tracks Into Albums*
    Excuse the long post, but hopefully covering all the bases (that I can think of) will help you fix the other issues you are likely to run into as you try to organise your iTunes library.

    *Use an album friendly view*
    iTunes will let you sort music on many columns, some of which are unlikely to group albums together or put the tracks in their normal order. The most useful order for editing the library is probably *Album by Artist*. If you're not already there, select the list view and click on the column heading for Album until it reads Album by Artist.

    *One cover, too many tracks*
    The iPod (and iTunes to a lesser extent) conflates two or more albums with the same title, most obviously with *Greatest Hits*. On the iPod this can result in one album acting as a combination of two or more. Selecting any cover gives all the tracks of all albums with the same title. The workaround for this "Greatest Hits" bug is to give each album a unique title - I tend to go for *Album - Album Artist* as this reads clearly in the iTunes browser. Alternatively you could use the wording as it appears on the cover or append different numbers of spaces for each different album. Somewhat oddly, setting different values for Sort Album doesn't work.

    *Missing Artist or Album not with others by same artist*
    iTunes relies on the Gracenote CDDB database when identifying CD's. This often marks collections or anthologies of an artist's work as a compilation. In iTunes, however, the compilation flag has the logical function of grouping together tracks with the same album name, but different artists on each track, e.g. "Now That's What I Call Metal 666!". These compilations are then all grouped together at the end of cover flow. Most of us however, would expect "Greatest Hits" albums to be listed with the other albums by the same album artist. For albums which are essentially by a single album artist or group it is best to set the appropriate value for the album artist and clear the compilation flag.

    *One album, too many covers*
    For true compilations, where each track is by a different artist, the answer is to set the compilation flag to true and enable the iTunes preference to *Group compilations when browsing*. If the album is not a compilation however, any tracks which list guest artists may be treated as separate items. Filling in the Album Artist field is enough to link things in iTunes. Sadly, however, the iPod ignores the Album Artist field when grouping albums so this is only a partial solution. You can simply mark the entire album as a compilation which seems to be the way iTMS handles it, however that's not an ideal fix. Short of waiting for Apple to address this issue (and as far as I can tell it goes back to the 1st gen. of iPods) we need a workaround. What I do is to put any additional artist info. in square brackets after the song name. E.g. *Track \[Feat. Guest\]* and then set *Artist=Album Artist* for each track. For anthologies where the Album Artist is credited as part of another group, e.g. for Cream tracks on an Eric Clapton anthology, I use *Track \[As Group\]*. For a track where the main Album Artist doesn't receive a credit, e.g. the first track of the Slim Shady LP credited to Jeff Bass, I just set the track name to *Track \[Guest\]* while still setting the artist to the album artist. N.b. I use square brackets to indicate that this is information about the track as distinct from the song title and also use this style for Mix/Live/Bonus info.

    Addendum: I don't own an iPhone or iPod Touch to check but I'm told that with the V3.x firmware these now group tracks on the value of Album Artist in a logical fashion.

    *One album, still too many covers*
    iTunes may split albums into two or more sections if some tracks from the album have different values for Artist, Album Artist, Album, No. of Discs or Part of a Compilation. Tiny differences such as trailing spaces, accented characters or variants of symbols can sometimes be quite hard to spot. The iPod is also more sensitive to case variations and may split or reorder an album that looks okay in iTunes. Normally overtyping the desired value for each shared field will complete the grouping of the album into one entity. Occasionally, however, this method seems to fail. When this happens I've found that you can force every field to update properly by adding some extra text - e.g. a trailing X, which once applied seems to complete the joining of the tracks into one album. Once this has happened the extra data can be removed and the album should remain properly grouped.

    *Tried that, there are STILL too many covers!*
    The Sort Artist, Sort Album & Sort Album Artist fields can be used to override the normal sort order. For example iTunes automatically drops leading articles (a/an/the) so "The Beatles" are arranged under "B" instead of "T". Occasionally different tracks from the same album can have different values in these sort fields which can also break up the grouping. Making the sort columns visible in iTunes can help with spotting & correcting such problems.

    *One cover for multi-disc album*
    Multi-disc albums are often listed as *Album (CD1)* for CD 1, *Album (CD2)* for CD 2 etc. To display these properly using just one cover, each disc should have the correct *Disc X of Y* values set, and then the entire album should be given the single title Album. Being somewhat obsessive I also renumber the tracks sequentially, working backwards from the last track (so that no two tracks ever have the same number) until I reach disc 1. BTW You can still give the individual discs different artwork should it be relevant so that the correct artwork will be displayed as the album progresses.

    *Tracks out of sequence*
    Check that all tracks have the same/correct disc no. For a single disc album this should be either blank (my preference) or 1 of 1. iTunes will sort tracks with a disc no. of 1 before those that are blank. Just for fun the iPod sorts them the other way around. In addition ensure that the Artist, Album Artist, Album, Sort Artist, Sort Album Artist & Sort Album fields are consistent across all tracks.

    *One artist, many names*
    With some artists, particularly classical composers, you should be aware of alternative representations of their names. E.g. 2Pac vs. Tupac. The menus will work best if for each artist you standardise on just one form of their name. E.g. make a choice between Mozart, W.A. Mozart or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and then apply it consistently. For classical music I tend also to use the Composer as the Artist & Album Artist and either discard the performer details or place these into the Comments field. The Sort Artist/Sort Album Artist fields can group alternate forms in iTunes but these will break up again on the iPod. It is best therefore to use Artist & Album Artist consistently so the name is shown the way that you want and Sort Artist & Sort Album Artist to control where it is displayed.

    Addendum: Again I don't own an iPhone or iPod Touch to check but I'm told that with in the V3.x firmware the system fails to pick up on the Sort Album Artist value and sorts albums in Cover Flow by Album Artist instead.

    tt2
  • shaker Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Many thanks for your suggestion. I think I have figured it out now!!!
  • Easybourne Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)
    You post was very well written will be useful for those - like myself - who are getting gradually more obsessive about tagging their iTunes library.

    However, may I just just run a suggestion by you with regards to the perennial problem of tagging classical music?

    I believe I have found the solution that presents all of the info in a clear way.

    First of all, a lot of people suggest Using the Composer's name in the Artist Field and then relegating the artist (performer/orchestra/conductor) to the comments field. This approach works if you only have a small amount of classical music in your library. But what if you have more than one recording of the same piece by different artists? Then it gets interesting.

    The secret to this problem is quite simple. Follow the same rules that are used on posters for performances of classical music. When a concert with a mixed repertoire is advertised, you'll see that the composer's name is listed before the name of the piece. So, Composers name goes before name of piece, thus: *Mahler, Gustav: Symphony No. 10: 1. Adagio*

    I will use the 'Grouping' field to further differentiate different parts of the programme or repertoire.

    Also, I set myself punctuation rules when listing the artist as it quickly gets complicated.

    I normally use this scheme:
    *Philharmonia Orchestra/Benjamin Zander* which is Orchestra/Conductor (in my scheme the / signifies 'conducted by'). If there are soloists or 'named' performers, I usually add them at the beginning and separate them with semi-colons thus: *Joe Bloggs; Suzy Quatro; Royal Philharmic Orchestra/Simon Rattle*

    I think the advantage of this system is that all pertinent information is presented without having to 'get info'.

    What do you think?

    Message was edited by: Easybourne
  • pnosko Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yes, the reply was well written. But why not just give credit and post the link instead of a copy & paste?

    http://samsoft.org.uk/iTunes/grouping.asp

    Here is the best solution I've found so far. You don't have to "step on" any data like the Artists (as imported) to do it.

    1) Select all tracks
    2) Do a Get Info
    3) Select Options in the menu bar
    4) Check +Part of a compilation+ and set to Yes.

    Thanks to http://sonicchicken.net/blog/wordpress/20060122/itunes-grouping/ for this tip.
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,455 points)
    Hi Easybourne,

    It's a nice scheme, though for myself, with a small classical component to my library, I'm still more interested in the keeping different works by the same composer side by side in cover flow or the artists menu. In another thread on classical music I've also suggested that when there is a lot of detail you want to record it is possible to put this in the lyrics tab. This has the advandtage of making the information accessible on an iPod and also gets around iTunes limit of 255 characters for comments.

    tt2
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,455 points)
    pnosko wrote:
    Yes, the reply was well written. But why not just give credit and post the link instead of a copy & paste?

    http://samsoft.org.uk/iTunes/grouping.asp

    Because that's my website. I often post a link to a previous version of the post within these forums so I'm guessing this time I made a minor tweak to it and wanted to post it live.
    Here is the best solution I've found so far. You don't have to "step on" any data like the Artists (as imported) to do it.

    1) Select all tracks
    2) Do a Get Info
    3) Select Options in the menu bar
    4) Check +Part of a compilation+ and set to Yes.

    Thanks to http://sonicchicken.net/blog/wordpress/20060122/itunes-grouping/ for this tip.

    Reasons for not using this approach are given in my post. E.g. the latest Eminem album is not a compilation but has tracks with credits to different artists. Either I use my workarounds, let the iPod treat it as three albums, or treat it as a compilation, organising it away from other Eminem albums. I choose option 1.

    tt2
  • nthomas08 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I found that you can click part of the compilation to "Yes" and it groups the album together, then you can go back and set compilation back to "No" and it stays together. Must be a glitch in the system or something.
  • Katrina S. Level 7 Level 7 (24,090 points)
    I've done the turning off yes/no for compilations, too. You're right, some kind of glitch, and it fixes by turning it off and on.
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,455 points)
    It might be a similar effect to the fix I mention using trailing X's. Sometimes iTunes just refuses to merge tracks with exactly the same info until you change something. Then you obviously need to change it back to what you wanted in the first place.

    tt2
  • gidiav__ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    My problem/question is a variant of the cases you describe.

    This is about assigning different artwork (cover images) to different songs in the same album.

    I have imported a box-set of 5 CD's, and marked it all as one album. But I have assigned different images to the various tracks (based on the original LP's they belong to). In "Album by Year" the whole box-set is grouped together (ok). If I add the "Artwork" column, it shows the cover of the first track of the first CD (acceptable). In the little box down on the left, "Selected Item" shows the correct cover of the selected songs, which is also correct. So far so good.

    Now, I pull out the 10 tracks that used to belong to LP-A and create a playlist for them. When I look at this playlist, iTunes behaves a little strangely: In cover-flow and in the "artwork" column, I still see the cover of that first track from the first CD -- even though it's not in this playlist at all!
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (55,455 points)
    I'm afraid that's just the way it works... When generating the cover flow, grid or list images it always uses the image of the first availble track of the album in the library as a whole. The artwork box set to Now Playing or Selected Item should show the correct image.

    tt2
  • gidiav__ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the quick response.
  • bubbabrent Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Excellent thread. The links helped me out. I am on 9.0.2. Had to tweek it a little differently to get all the tracks under one cover. Note that the compilation option for 9.0.2 is under the Options tab. The 4th option down is compilation. Make sure and tick the box and select Yes. Just doing this did not work for me. I then had to go to the Info tab and list the tracks 1 - xx and tick the boxes there as well. This then fixed the issue. I still had one album that would not go under one cover. Tried making sure the name, genre, rating, and tracks were all the same. Still didnt work. I'll live with it for now. Project for another day.
  • Tracy Reynolds Level 3 Level 3 (545 points)
    gidiav__ wrote:
    My problem/question is a variant of the cases you describe.

    This is about assigning different artwork (cover images) to different songs in the same album.

    I have imported a box-set of 5 CD's, and marked it all as one album. But I have assigned different images to the various tracks (based on the original LP's they belong to). In "Album by Year" the whole box-set is grouped together (ok). If I add the "Artwork" column, it shows the cover of the first track of the first CD (acceptable). In the little box down on the left, "Selected Item" shows the correct cover of the selected songs, which is also correct. So far so good.

    Now, I pull out the 10 tracks that used to belong to LP-A and create a playlist for them. When I look at this playlist, iTunes behaves a little strangely: In cover-flow and in the "artwork" column, I still see the cover of that first track from the first CD -- even though it's not in this playlist at all!


    Try this: On each song do Get Info and choose Artwork. Delete the artwork you don't want. From your description of what you did it sounds like each song has two album covers associated with it.

    Tracy
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