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I'm a new iPod user, and having tried and failed with some of the third-party uploaders, I think I'm stuck with iTunes. However, I find the user interface intensely frustrating.

For compilation albums (and the like), each track has the same album name but a different artist name. However, I'd like iTunes to group these as a single item in the grid display. (Ideally I'd like a list display listing albums rather than songs, but that seems to be an impossibility.)

Is it possible to do this at all? I'd really rather not have iTunes mess with the files in order to do it, either.

(I should have mentioned before, by the way - this is on Windows Vista.)

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use iTunes Album Browser (iTAB) –  joe Sep 25 '09 at 10:13

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Try this (i have done this using a High Fidelity Album)

  • Once you select the album you want to modify, choose File > Get Info, or use the Command-I keyboard shortcut.
  • When you select more than one song to edit - in this case by selecting an entire album - iTunes checks to see if you really want to edit the settings for multiple tracks. Click the Yes button to dismiss the dialog window that says Are you sure you want to edit information for multiple items?

  • If you are tagging an album as a compilation, choose Yes from the Compilation pop-up menu. If you need to tag an album as gapless, choose Yes from the Gapless Album pop-up menu.

  • Click OK. iTunes will update the tracks in your selected album so they appear and play correctly. Now the songs in the High Fidelity sound track all appear together, just as they should.

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    When I finally found the Compilation option, that worked a treat - thanks. Now to apply it to all my compilations... –  Jon Skeet Sep 25 '09 at 11:16
        
    @Skeet anytime matey –  admintech Sep 25 '09 at 11:27

    According to the ID3 Specs, Album Artist is how they should be grouped. For most compilations you should have "Various Artists" as the album artist with the individual artists in the Artist field. Similarly, for long drum and bass mix CDs, the Album Artist will be "Dieselboy" whereas the Artist will be "J. Majk". ITunes will group things based on the Compilation field as well, but if you really want to be standardized and ever have to switch to another application to manage your library... I'd recommend using Album Artist properly.

    Also, in terms of "third party" managers, Winamp with mlipod works awesome, I thought I'd just throw that out there, in case you haven't tried that.

    References:

    • (1) I'm obsessive-compulsive about proper tagging, album art, and filenames/directory structures when it comes to my digital music library
    • (2) Here's a good blog post about organizing music and tagging properly: Building your digital music library
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    Some ideas, that you possibly already had:

    • sort your playlist by album

    • check the Compilation checkbox on song information form.

    • check whether Album Artist field (and other fields relevant for an album) is the same on all tracks of a same album.

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    Yes, I think having the Album Artist field set to Various Artists (or something similar) for all tracks in the compilation will help in this situation. –  Richard Sep 25 '09 at 11:17

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