It's 2012. Why is iTunes metadata still so worthless?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by NMF, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. NMF
    macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    So today I decided to delete my entire iTunes library and re-rip the few CD's I have in Apple Lossless. I've basically fully migrated to Spotify, so my iTunes library will now simply serve as a dumping ground so I can get rid of all these old CD's.

    I just finished my 3rd disc. It's the soundtrack to the broadway musical West Side Story. Instead of giving me one nice little album, iTunes gave me this:


    How is this even possible? Haven't all the imbeciles in the iTunes division been fired by now? I just... HOW? Why?

    Didn't Apple return to form on the backs of the iPod and iTunes? How is this still so completely terrible?

    I just don't understand... :confused:
  2. macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2012
    Settle down. All you need to do is select the individual songs and in 'Get Info' tick the box that says 'Part of a compilation'.
  3. macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    Spotify's Mac app makes iTunes 11 look like the app Jesus himself would create. It's that bad.

    That being said tagging anomalies in iTunes are annoying. I've seen a few myself.
  4. NMF
    thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    Oh I see, so I need to manually go through each of the 19 tracks and check a box. So that iTunes knows it's an album. Even though I just ripped the full album from a disc and iTunes got all the metadata. That makes sense.

    Why on earth do I have to manually do that myself?

    Also, it's not a compilation. It's a single album on a single disc. A soundtrack.

    I'll remind you again that the year is 2012.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2012
    You can do it all in one fell swoop by SELECTING ALL THE TRACKS AT ONCE. No need to go on a rampage over a very easy fix, that would take you 15 seconds tops.
  6. NMF
    thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    Actually you can't, the option only presents itself if you select an individual song. Thanks for nothing though!

    My point still stands. I shouldn't have to do any of this. If iTunes know the album title and all the track names it should present it in one nice little album. There is no excuse for this type of BS to still be an issue.
  7. macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2012
    Actually, you can! Select "Songs," highlight all the songs, Control-Click and press get info.

    You can sit there and complain about how annoying iTunes is or you can calm down and use the software.
  8. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    And the problem may lie in Gracenote's DB and not iTunes'.
  9. NMF, Dec 3, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    I'm a clueless Mac user, I don't care who's database it is. I just want to rip a CD and have an album in my library when it's done. That's the type of functionality that people buy Macs for.

    Oh right, because I should know to do all that? Give me a break.

    Also that doesn't work.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Not sure what you're doing but yes it does.

    Select all of the albums, right click and select 'get info'. Select the 'options' tab and click the 'part of a compilation' tickbox. Problem solved.

    It's displaying the CD that way because it's sorting by artist rather than album. You just need to tell it to group them together. For some reason, the database info (not at Apple - it's held by Gracenote. Why not send Gracenote a note about this very issue?) doesn't have that option enabled by default.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2012
    After a certain point you'll spend more effort throwing a fit about the problem than you would have if you had just checked the tick box and gotten on with your life. That point was passed at the original post in this thread.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2012
    No. You screaming and ranting at everyone else, and you don't even say thank you after I saved you 20 minutes of time.
  13. macrumors 68030

    From A Buick 8

    Sep 16, 2010
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    It is frustrating, but easily fixed. The metadata works for 98% of the stuff most people add, but there are times when you have to step in and help it along. You see it most often when you have something like a soundtrack which has several artist on the same CD. You can also add the artwork to the CD the same by by selecting all of the songs and using get info.

    The option is here, where you select all of the songs.

    Attached Files:

  14. macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2012
    Just searched google for b!tchfit and ended up here.

    Album Artist = Various Artists

    Or "Cast of West Side Story" or whatever embarrassing showtunes stuff you've got there.

    Job done.

    No need to list it as a Compilation either.
  15. macrumors 68020

    Nov 3, 2008
    I agree with you which is what makes this thread so funny. Yes, there are solutions and yes most of them are easy BUT the point is that the problem shouldnt exist in the first place. People will deflect and shift blame to gracenote, the CD manufacturers, the end user and just about every single place possible EXCEPT Apple itself and thats just sad because it shouldnt require a flood of negative media stories to force people to accept that something Apple made isn't working.

    iTunes is by far Apples most popular applications ever and is still a valuable part of the entire Apple ecosystem so expecting things like album covers or correct metadata to be automatic isn't unreasonable. (Especially when the incorrect data/missing artwork is also what we get when we use iTunes Match to sync our music.)
  16. macrumors 68030


    Feb 20, 2004
    No. The things that Apple makes aren't perfect. That does indeed seem hard for people to accept. May have something to do with Apple advertising their products as 'magical'. :p
  17. macrumors 68030


    Jul 17, 2002
    Corvallis, OR
    So, Apple signs up to use the most complete CD metadata database that's out there, which is not 100% complete and perfect but it's better than anything else available, and when some flaw in the metadata coming from that DB comes out it is Apple's fault? They should, instead, pay to maintain their own metadata DB? And, gee, the last time Apple moved from the most complete version of something to an in-house solution, that made things so much better...

    Computers aren't perfect. Apple isn't perfect. Gracenote isn't perfect. The Internet isn't perfect. Take a little responsibility and use the tools to the best of their ability and fill in with your own brain when they fall a little short. Geez.
  18. macrumors G4

    Oct 14, 2005
    I guess you can take that issue up with Gracenote.
  19. macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2012
  20. macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2012
    I agree, Apple should do better....

    It is very frustrating to have to go back and tell iTunes that the album I just ripped is indeed 1 album. I understand the whole grace note DB stuff, but I think Apple could solve the problem by just adding some kind of check box when you rip the album to group them all together.

    I vote for a smarter iTunes!

    And yes, I know that I can edit the tracks after the fact to group them together, but isn't that why we use iTunes in the first manage our content?

    It's obvious that Apple can do better.
  21. macrumors G4

    Oct 14, 2005
    With CD sales lowering year after year after year, I'd be surprised if any media manager program is looking at improving the ripping/tagging experience.
  22. GGJstudios, Dec 4, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012

    macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That's not true. You can select any number of songs, Get Info, click Options and you'll see the selection for "Part of a compilation". There is no need to get emotional because you don't understand how the software works. Just take some time to learn how to use it and you'll be fine.

    There's another method that works quite well. iTunes uses 4 fields to determine which albums sort together:
    • Album
    • Album Artist
    • Sort Album
    • Sort Album Artist
    As long as all tracks have matching information in those tags, the album will sort together. So for albums with various artists, as in the case of a soundtrack, you can put the individual artist name in the Artist field, and put "Various Artists" in the Album Artist and Sort Album Artist fields. The album will sort together. If it doesn't work initially, remove the album from your library and re-add it.
  23. macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2011
    Dude, you have to be smarter than the materials you're working with. A soundtrack is sometimes a compilation of songs sung by different artists, as is the case here. If you want it to be a standalone album by a single artist then Get Info and make sure the artist column all reads the same. iTunes' tagging hasn't changed in years, it's consistent. This isn't iTunes' fault, the tags are the tags. If you want to see each artist's name as the artist it has to be a compilation to be lumped into one album.

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