4gen Album by Artist

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by ASchul89, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. ASchul89 macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2008
    I noticed that my albums are all by artist, and for things like musical soundtracks and classical compilations, this is very problematic. Can I change the settings to make it appear only by album? I've looked around and wasn't really able to find anything. Thanks!
  2. jon3543 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2010
    Apparently, it remains an impossibility. You can switch to the useless "Cover flow" mode, but you can't view a simple, browsable text list of "Album Artists". Instead, the Apple way is to make you sift through hundreds of "Artists" you never heard of. It really baffles me. iTunes supports an "Album Artist" view. Probably every PMP device made in the last 5 years supports it. Certainly the Zune does. But Apple continues to refuse to implement this.

    Browsing by "Composer" is equally useless, again due to the hundreds of "Composers" I never heard of and have no interest in seeing. I've never found "Genre" particularly useful before now, but it is a way to view (say) just "Classical" or "Soundtrack" albums.

    What Apple doesn't seem to get is that "Composer" and "Artist" aren't really useful for browsing. They exist for reference purposes and searching. It's stupid and unfriendly to implement them but not "Album Artist", which is useful for browsing. Please go to apple.com/feedback and submit a feature request. I did.
  3. pilotrtc macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2008
    Album by Artist can be changed

    I recently discovered that the "Album by Artist" header title in iTunes is clickable and toggles between 2 other options which escape me at the moment. That might solve your problem.
  4. jon3543 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2010
    Given that he posted in the iPod Touch forum, used "4gen" in the title, and didn't mention iTunes, I think it's pretty safe to conclude he wasn't asking about iTunes. :rolleyes: For completeness, I mentioned in my reply that iTunes supports the "Album Artist", but my main point was that the Touch does not.
  5. jon3543 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2010
    Hmmm. The Touch does support an "only by album" view. It's right there at the bottom as one of the default Browse Buttons. Again, what it does not support is a textual list "Album Artist" view, which I thought (still think) is what you were asking about. It does provide a variation on it in the visually slick but impractical, inefficient "Cover flow" mode.
  6. tablo13 macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2010
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    I used to be able to browse just the whole album without it separating artists. But seems like iPod touch doesn't. :(
    EDIT: nvm, it's only for some albums.
  7. jon3543 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2010
    If you select an item representing the whole album, e.g. an item from Albums view, you should see the whole album. Maybe some of your tracks have bad metadata?

    What's even more pitiful about the unusable "Artists" view is that it can lead you to partial album selections that cannot be used to get to the full album. For example, if artist "X" appears on a soundtrack album, and you click that album from X's album list, you're taken to a page where only X's tracks are shown from that album. Makes sense, but there's no way I can see to get to the full album from there. You have to start playing it first, and then you can get to the track list for the album. iTunes does the same thing, with "Go to current song" taking you to the full album, but only after you click on a different artist. On the Touch, long-pressing should bring up a context menu with the option to go to the full album, and in iTunes, right-clicking the album art should bring up a relevant context menu. In iTunes, it's really stupid. Right-clicking the art either does nothing, or if there are some songs selected, it brings up a context menu for the selection, even though you didn't click on the selection. Also, right-clicking items in the column browser never brings up any context menu.

    The iPod universe has some definite advantages over the Zune, enough to make me switch after all this time, but for a company that's perceived as cutting edge in interfaces, all I can say is that Apple would benefit greatly from a remedial course in basic UI design. This would include concepts like, context menus are to be pervasive, and right-clicking selects the item clicked upon and brings up a context menu for it; when you show a part of a whole, you provide a way to get to the whole thing; you show lists of items useful for browsing instead of lists useless for browsing; if you're going to take things like artists and composers seriously, right-clicking a song should provide a way to get to them in addition to viewing the song in the context of the album it appears on; and so on.
  8. ASchul89 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2008
    I know that view, but, for example, it break my Wicked soundtrack into many different ones based on the particular artist of each track. I just went through and made a common album artist for all of the problematic albums, which seems to be the only fix for now.

    Thank you all for your input!
  9. jon3543 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2010
    I think that's the best you can do. You still can't browse by "Album Artist", but as you say, using a common album artist is sufficient to keep your albums together in the album views. Mine stick together, but if I have any left with inconsistent or missing "Album Artist" fields, I don't know about it. :)

    FWIW, I've been using "Musical" for "Album Artist" for things like "Wicked", and "Soundtrack" for true movies and TV, and so forth, and that pretty much goes to waste on the Touch. Fortunately, even though I haven't been using "Genre", I've been keeping it consistent, so I still have some way to browse these things which have different "Artists" for just about every track. Of course, the explosion of artists still ruins the "Artists" view.

    For classical music, I use the composer name for album artist and the performer for artist, and the Touch manages to ruin that, too. For example, when viewing "Artists", instead of seeing "Schubert", I see "Smetana Quartet". You might say, "Why not browse by composer?" Well, iTunes tells me I have 3,147 composers! I've never heard of most of them. In contrast, I have 424 Album Artists, all of which I recognize. I have 866 Artists, half of which I don't know, and it substitutes "Smetana Quartet" for "Schubert" as previously mentioned. The only thing that really works for browsing is "Album Artist".

    I had it all figured out, I tell ya, and I just had to go and sell everything and switch to the Touch!
  10. pilotrtc macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2008
    Putting aside my attempt to help in some way, thank you for pointing out my blunder.

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