iTunes is a database application that stores, sorts, and plays media, and like any database, the more organized it is, the more powerful it can be. Find out how to get your songs organized for more efficient playback in iTunes and on your iOS devices.
I'm sure we've all been there. We're rifling through our iTunes Library in Cover Flow view looking for the perfect album to jam out to while finally doing the dishes when we see the same album art show up for the same artist as if it's two different records. In other words, iTunes isn't showing some songs as being in the same album, though they should be.
This is especially frustrating when you're on your iPhone, iPod Touch, Nano, or Classic, or iPad, as flipping through your albums in Cover Flow view is a more common action. So what's the issue?
There are three things that you should check for:
The Album Name differs slightly. This is particularly possible if your main way of acquiring music is not via the iTunes Music Store or another online retailer or by ripping compact discs. Downloaded music can often have incomplete or funky information in the fields that iTunes reads.
Make sure there are no extra spaces, including a space before the Album Name, and that all the capitalization and spellings are exactly the same. To be sure, users can access the info pane in iTunes and copy/paste the Album Name to each song in the album or select each track in the album and edit them all with the Multiple Item Information pane (below).
The songs of an album have different artists. Many albums are compilations of performances by several artists. Sometimes iTunes will split the album up between the artists instead of linking them all together. To alleviate this problem, select each song in the album, access the Multiple Item Information pane in iTunes, and check the box for "Part of a Compilation." Choose "Yes" from the drop-down menu.
The Album Artist field is different. The Album Artist field is an optional field that allows you to organize an album that contains several contributing artists by the main artist's name. If you're unsure which artist you should put in this field, you can leave it blank and follow the compilation method above to keep all the songs in the same album.
Once you've made the changes to your iTunes Library, sync your Apple mobile device and the changes should show up, making your listening experience much more enjoyable. If you upkeep your iTunes Library often, tasks like this won't seem as daunting, and you'll have much more power when sorting and organizing your media.
How do you keep your iTunes Library in order? Let me know your methods in the comments!