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GGJstudios
Sep 9, 2008, 02:09 PM
I've searched both MR and the web and haven't found an answer (although I can't believe I'm the only one asking this question!):

In my iTunes library, I have many instances where I have several songs by the same artist, but not part of any album. In these cases, when looking at Album view, each song shows as a separate "Unknown Album". Is there an elegant way to combine all non-album-related songs by a single artist into just one Unknown Album? It sure would help when scrolling through albums. I hope this made sense. Example:
I want to go from this:
Unknown Album1: Artist A: Song A
Unknown Album2: Artist A: Song B
Unknown Album3: Artist A: Song C
to this:
Unknown Album1: Artist A: Song A
..................................... Song B
..................................... Song C



davidwes
Sep 13, 2008, 04:18 PM
I am really hating that too!

digitalprty
Sep 13, 2008, 04:37 PM
I've searched both MR and the web and haven't found an answer (although I can't believe I'm the only one asking this question!):

In my iTunes library, I have many instances where I have several songs by the same artist, but not part of any album. In these cases, when looking at Album view, each song shows as a separate "Unknown Album". Is there an elegant way to combine all non-album-related songs by a single artist into just one Unknown Album? It sure would help when scrolling through albums. I hope this made sense. Example:
I want to go from this:
Unknown Album1: Artist A: Song A
Unknown Album2: Artist A: Song B
Unknown Album3: Artist A: Song C
to this:
Unknown Album1: Artist A: Song A
..................................... Song B
..................................... Song C

I'm almost positive that everyone has come across this same situation. This is what I did:
I just put every song from a band which does not belong to a particular album into an album called "B-sides."

Ex.
Artist A: B-sides: Song A
Artist A: B-sides: Song B
Artist A: B-sides: Song C

I originally got this idea early on because the songs implied were actual b-sides that a certain band had. I just continued the process to other bands as well.
I even went a step further and found artwork related to the band so these songs are identifiable in cover flow.
Hope this helps.

GGJstudios
Sep 13, 2008, 08:54 PM
So you put all non-album-related songs into one album called "B-sides", regardless of artist? So the B-sides album contains songs from multiple artists?

digitalprty
Sep 13, 2008, 10:35 PM
You're right, by doing that, the "B-sides" folder would include all songs with that as an album name. I do have to admit though, I never browse by albums.
What you could do, however, is put the name of the artist immediately before the word "b-sides" as the album name. This would be fairly redundant due to the fact that the artist and the album would both have the artist's name, but if you were to browse by album, this could potentially be enough to solve your problem.

GGJstudios
Sep 14, 2008, 02:21 AM
That's not the solution I'm looking for. I don't want one huge catch-all album that has music from multiple artists and multiple genres in it. I just don't want 15 singles by one artist to be in 15 different albums called "Unknown Album". I want 15 singles by the same artist to be in ONE album called "Unknown Album". Also, any solution would have to be something automated, since it would take forever to do all this manually, given the size of my library.

bartelby
Sep 14, 2008, 02:23 AM
Just make up album titles for each artist.

sammich
Sep 14, 2008, 02:28 AM
Well you can just name the album with the same name as the artist?

Maybe a smart playlist what searches for an empty album field that just sorts by artist?

Have you tried this site? http://dougscripts.com/

GGJstudios
Sep 14, 2008, 02:29 AM
Have you tried this site? http://dougscripts.com/
Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.
Just make up album titles for each artist.
Did you read my post?
... any solution would have to be something automated, since it would take forever to do all this manually, given the size of my library.

bartelby
Sep 14, 2008, 02:32 AM
Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

Did you read my post?

Some things take time.

GGJstudios
Sep 14, 2008, 02:33 AM
Some things take time.
That's not a helpful or realistic suggestion with a library of almost 30,000 songs.

bartelby
Sep 14, 2008, 02:36 AM
That's not a helpful or realistic suggestion with a library of almost 30,000 songs.

So you have almost 30,000 songs all with "Unknown Album"?


I have 16,000 songs and one track with "Unknown Album"

GGJstudios
Sep 14, 2008, 02:40 AM
So you have almost 30,000 songs all with "Unknown Album"?
I have 16,000 songs and one track with "Unknown Album"
No, I have almost 30,000 songs in my library, over 6,000 of which are singles or otherwise not part of an album.

sammich
Sep 14, 2008, 02:41 AM
Maybe the OP suddenly realised how disorganised his library was. I am particularly pedantic/anal about keeping my library neatly tagged constantly.

If you can't find a script on that link I gave chances are you won't find a solution elsewhere. You might end up having to do it manually then.

jbernie
Sep 14, 2008, 02:46 AM
Ok assuming you have a group of say 30 songs by one artist that meet the criteria (maybe many times over). You should be able to do a sort by album name to group all the unknowns together. Then highlight all of them, right click > get info and then assign an album name to all tracks such as " B Sides" or "Random tracks" etc.

Then they get an album name and will be grouped together. Not sure how this rates on the elegant scale....

If you want to just group all the random unknown albums together in one big group, just repeat, it should keep the artist info etc, you are just adding an Album name which is not there in the first place. ie a compilation cd.

GGJstudios
Sep 14, 2008, 02:47 AM
Maybe the OP suddenly realised how disorganised his library was. ...
My library is extremely well organized, a task that has taken years to complete. When I used Windows Media Player, I didn't have this problem, since WMP doesn't assign an "Unknown Album" to single tracks. It just leaves the tracks unassociated with an album.

In iTunes, however, because of the cover flow, album views and grid views, iTunes automatically assigns a single track to an Unknown Album if the album info is not available. That's not so bad, but instead of grouping all the singles from the same artist under one "Unknown Album", it creates a separate "Unknown Album" for each single by the same artist.

sammich
Sep 14, 2008, 02:52 AM
My library is extremely well organized, a task that has taken years to complete. When I used Windows Media Player, I didn't have this problem, since WMP doesn't assign an "Unknown Album" to single tracks. It just leaves the tracks unassociated with an album.

In iTunes, however, because of the cover flow, album views and grid views, iTunes automatically assigns a single track to an Unknown Album if the album info is not available. That's not so bad, but instead of grouping all the singles from the same artist under one "Unknown Album", it creates a separate "Unknown Album" for each single by the same artist.

Yeah, that gets on my nerves as well. Which is why I've specifically created a Coverflow playlist. I took a little shortcut though: the single songs I have with no album I've just lumped together with the album 'Single'.

GGJstudios
Sep 14, 2008, 02:52 AM
Ok assuming you have a group of say 30 songs by one artist that meet the criteria ...
If you want to just group all the random unknown albums together in one big group, just repeat, it should keep the artist info etc, you are just adding an Album name which is not there in the first place. ie a compilation cd.
I really appreciate your suggestions, but here's the problem. First, if it were a case of 30 singles by one artist, that would be easier to deal with. In most cases, it's anywhere from 2 or 3 to maybe a dozen by an artist. That's a LOT of work to do that manually.

Also, the compilation idea doesn't work for a few reasons. For one, it would be one album with over 6,000 songs in it. Two, if I want to play all the singles by a given artist, I can't just play the "Singles Album" for that artist.... it would play over 6,000 songs by many artists. For sorting, playing, etc. it's preferable to not mix artists' singles in the same album. I'm just trying to find a way not to have over 6,000 "Unknown Albums" in my library.

sammich
Sep 14, 2008, 02:58 AM
(ignore my post above, i think I know what you're looking for now)

If you're willing to learn Applescript you could create a script that would fit your needs. It isn't all that difficult to learn, but in the few hours+ i has taken you to craft that script, you could've fixed your problem manually.

I think those are your only options, or finding a script someone has already made.

Good luck :)

jbernie
Sep 14, 2008, 07:27 AM
I really appreciate your suggestions, but here's the problem. First, if it were a case of 30 singles by one artist, that would be easier to deal with. In most cases, it's anywhere from 2 or 3 to maybe a dozen by an artist. That's a LOT of work to do that manually.

Also, the compilation idea doesn't work for a few reasons. For one, it would be one album with over 6,000 songs in it. Two, if I want to play all the singles by a given artist, I can't just play the "Singles Album" for that artist.... it would play over 6,000 songs by many artists. For sorting, playing, etc. it's preferable to not mix artists' singles in the same album. I'm just trying to find a way not to have over 6,000 "Unknown Albums" in my library.


Sometimes you just have to sit down and do manual labor. It won't be fun, but doing it manually, even just by starting with manually grouping the unknown albums into manually created albums for each artist will do a pretty significant clean up of your library. Stop trying to have everything packaged oh so pretty in one 5 second step.

Decide on a common name for the album: Extra Tracks

Select the "unknown albums" by Artist A, get group info, set Album name "extra tracks"

Select the "unknown albums" by Artist B, get group info, set Album name "extra tracks"

You don't end up with one big Album of 6000 tracks. You end up with lots of artists having an album with a common name, but they are not linked in anyway. iTunes would sort it so you go by Genre > Artist Name > Album name

Work on this for an hour or two and you might have lots of it cleaned up just by focusing on the Artists with the most tracks.

For the remaining Artists with only one or two tracks, do a grouping such as "Misc. A-K" and "Misc. L-Z" as a temp. grouping and then later on you can clean this up further.

bartelby
Sep 14, 2008, 07:29 AM
Sometimes you just have to sit down and do manual labor. It won't be fun, but doing it manually, even just by starting with manually grouping the unknown albums into manually created albums for each artist will do a pretty significant clean up of your library.

Apparently that not a realistic suggestion...:rolleyes:

i0Nic
Sep 14, 2008, 07:33 AM
Just put the album as 'Artist's B-Sides' where you substitute the artist for whatever band it is. This is an easy fix.

ergdegdeg
Sep 14, 2008, 07:35 AM
For me, setting an "Album Artist" for all songs from the same artist has helped. Thus all songs without an album by the same artist are put in the same "Unknown Album".

txr0ckabilly
Sep 14, 2008, 08:02 AM
or you can do what i did and just go through and delete any song that is not part of an album. i did this.

if it is not a complete album than it is not in my library. unless it was several singles by the same artist like you have. i did the afore mentioned technique of making up an album name and a cover: rarities, B-Sides, self titled, etc.

also went through and deleted all duplicates tracks/albums- that took a while. i've moved this library a few times over the years because of hard drive failures, hard drive capacities, and such. (i remember when i thought 20 g of storage was all i'd ever need)

also edited tags for the tracks with date released, notes, etc. amazon (cdnow.com) has been a lifesaver for this.

spelling corrections helped to. i also took any artist with "the" in their name and change them. ex. "The Cure" = "Cure, The" in the album artist field but left it as "the cure" in artist field. this helps because in my library folder it keeps everything alphabetical (not 60 folders in the "t" section just because they start with "the") and in itunes (which recognizes the name after "the" for alphabetizing) it still shows "the Cure" in the "c" section. (heh heh c-section)

my library has been whittled down to about 74 gigs of quality and organized albums. seems strange that i spend more time keeping my library organized but i can't seem to get motivated to clean off my desk or my office.

jsell002
Sep 22, 2008, 08:14 PM
I was having the same problem.

I believe that if you merely enter in the artist in the "Album Artist" field, it will then group them together.

GGJstudios
Sep 23, 2008, 02:13 AM
or you can do what i did and just go through and delete any song that is not part of an album. ...
What a ridiculous suggestion! Delete music just because it doesn't conform to a particular software program's idiosyncrasies? I'm not going to delete over 6,000 songs, many of which are rare and impossible to find, just because they're not part of an album. Many artists are "one-hit wonders", or only released several singles, but no albums. Many others have famous songs that were only released as singles and were never included on albums. So your idea is to delete everything that's not part of an album? :rolleyes: You can do what you want with your library, but I'm not destroying part of what took me years to accumulate, just because iTunes has a limitation!
I was having the same problem.
I believe that if you merely enter in the artist in the "Album Artist" field, it will then group them together.
For me, setting an "Album Artist" for all songs from the same artist has helped. Thus all songs without an album by the same artist are put in the same "Unknown Album".
The Album Artist field is populated in all my library. That doesn't correct the problem. iTunes still creates a separate "Unknown Album" for each song, not each artist.

diniscorreia
Sep 25, 2008, 07:51 PM
I think I found a fix.

Try editing the album field and add a single space on those tracks. After that edit the track info again and remove the space on the album field - these tracks will be groupped under a single 'Unknown Album'.

I guess this updates something on your library and/or id3 tags with iTunes 8-specific behaviour.
:)

Topher15
Sep 26, 2008, 12:10 AM
I just call them "Tracks" and put in a generic image for the artwork (such as the band logo or photo). Since I do not use album list view (I use artist list view) this isn't a problem. Under each artist on my iPod or in iTunes is an album called Tracks.

If you want to view by album why not use the album grid view? This still organises the album by artist so you do not get a single compilation album.

Also, the compilation idea doesn't work for a few reasons. For one, it would be one album with over 6,000 songs in it. Two, if I want to play all the singles by a given artist, I can't just play the "Singles Album" for that artist.... it would play over 6,000 songs by many artists. For sorting, playing, etc. it's preferable to not mix artists' singles in the same album. I'm just trying to find a way not to have over 6,000 "Unknown Albums" in my library.
If you view by artist then the album called Tracks (or whatever you call it) is split by artist.

If you insist on organising by album then just call it "[Artist] Tracks" (e.g. Oasis tracks, Coldplay tracks...) or something similar. I'm sure there would be a script to identify artists with unknown albums and then automatically call the album "artist name Singles/Tracks/Whatever."

Topher15
Sep 26, 2008, 12:14 AM
The Album Artist field is populated in all my library. That doesn't correct the problem. iTunes still creates a separate "Unknown Album" for each song, not each artist.
Then why no use Album Artist rather than just Album to organise the music.

So even though you have 6,000 tracks under "Unknown Album", they will instead by organised by album artist.

jowie
May 2, 2011, 08:40 AM
For me, setting an "Album Artist" for all songs from the same artist has helped. Thus all songs without an album by the same artist are put in the same "Unknown Album".
Wow... I didn't realise you could do that to group all "orphan" tracks together... Nice one! +1 :)

Rawkfist
May 2, 2011, 02:51 PM
Grouping by album artist is what I do with my orphans. I hate the "unknown album" tag so I name them "Compilation". Which is what it really is. So I now have several artists with compilation albums. Works for me.

I also just realized this thread was two and a half years old.