Combine "Unknown Album" songs by same artist

Discussion in 'iPod' started by GGJstudios, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #1
    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​
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    #2
    I am really hating that too!
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #3
    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.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    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?
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #5
    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.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #7
    Just make up album titles for each artist.
     
  8. macrumors 601

    sammich

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Sarcasmville.
    #8
    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/
     
  9. thread starter macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.
    Did you read my post?
     
  10. macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #10
    Some things take time.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    That's not a helpful or realistic suggestion with a library of almost 30,000 songs.
     
  12. macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #12
    So you have almost 30,000 songs all with "Unknown Album"?


    I have 16,000 songs and one track with "Unknown Album"
     
  13. thread starter macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    No, I have almost 30,000 songs in my library, over 6,000 of which are singles or otherwise not part of an album.
     
  14. macrumors 601

    sammich

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Sarcasmville.
    #14
    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.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #15
    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.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors 601

    sammich

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Sarcasmville.
    #17
    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'.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #18
    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.
     
  19. macrumors 601

    sammich

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Sarcasmville.
    #19
    (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 :)
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #20

    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.
     
  21. macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #21
    Apparently that not a realistic suggestion...:rolleyes:
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #22
    Just put the album as 'Artist's B-Sides' where you substitute the artist for whatever band it is. This is an easy fix.
     
  23. Moderator emeritus

    ergdegdeg

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Location:
    Nebraska
    #23
    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".
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Location:
    Southwest Louisiana
    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    #25
    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.
     

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