iTunes/iPod Song displays as Artist - Title?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by thUtmost, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. thUtmost macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2006
    Greetings all.
    I'm sorry to be yet another heathen Windows user posting annoying questions in your Mac forum, but I have spent > 100 hours searching for an answer to my problem, and there are some people on this forum who seem to know what they're about!

    My problem:
    Songs display in both iTunes and iPod as "Artist - Title".
    I find this very annoying, and would like to get songs displaying as "Title" only, just the way they USED to.

    My old PC is Windows 2000 (yes, yes, BOO HISS!) and was happily running iTunes 4.1.1 without a hitch.

    My new PC is running Win XP Pro (yes, I know not a Mac either...), and since I couldn't find the CD that came with my iPod (3rd gen 20G) I thought I'd just download the newest version of iTunes.
    That seemed to install without a hitch, to give me v6.0.1.

    All my mp3s are on a RAID "mirror" volume.
    I moved both the drives from the old PC into the new one, however, since the drive letter has changed from F: (old PC) to G: (new PC), all the references to the files in the iTunesDB would be wrong, so what I did was this:

    Export iTunesDb to XML on the old PC
    Copy the XML export across the network to the new PC.
    Open XML file in Wordpad and do a global replace of any reference to "\\localhost\F:\" to "\\localhost\G:\". (not sure if I have the correct syntax here since I'm at work, but I was very careful to get it right at home).
    Save XML, and import to iTunes 6.0.1 on new PC.
    It seemed to import all the files fine into iTunes 6.0.1, and the tracks were listed simply as "Title" just the way I want.

    So I ripped another couple of newly purchased CDs using EAC and LAME on the new PC, and then added the "root" folder of my mp3 collection to the iTunes library, just the same as I had done so many times in the past.
    When the screen refreshed I was horrified to find that EVERY track was listed as "Artist - Title" now, which I do NOT want.
    Sure enough, on updating the iPod, it has inherited the "Artist - Title" display from iTunes.

    I have tried:
    Restoring a ghost image of my new XP machine from prior to installing iTunes 6.0.1. I then used iTunes 4.7 from a friend's CD (came with 4th gen iPod)
    That gave the same results.

    I have tried numerous iTunes database backups / restores and deletes.

    I have confirmed the ID3 tags in my files are correct using: MP3TagStudio, Tag&Rename, MP3 ID3 Editor Plus, as well as checking the tag "Properties" using iTunes itself.
    My ID3 tags are fine. I don't have a single mp3 with a title field that contains "Artist - Title".

    Other programs such as Windows Media Player, MediaMonkey, JRiver Media Centre, MusikCube all display my mp3s correctly.

    I have tried other iPod tools such as Anapod Explorer, ephPod, vPod.
    They all seem to work(ie tracks are displayed as simple "Title") although it's all a bit messy and nothing like as simple as iTunes was to use.
    That's right, I'm a windows user who is NOT an iTunes basher :)

    I have spent far too long searching for info on the web and in forums such as this.
    Apologies for the long post, but I'm trying to give as much info as possible.
    Is anyone able to provide any useful info on this problem?
    I'm REALLY hoping it's just a simple configuration problem with iTunes...
    Or possibly there is a registry setting I can change?
  2. betbest1 macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2005
    Get Info on all the songs and click OK. That fixed this problem before, when someone else was having it (but didn't want it fixed).
  3. thUtmost thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2006
    Hi betbest1
    Thanks for your reply.
    The "get info" function only seems to fix the track display on an individual track-by-track basis.
    So I would have to do this for every single track in my library, and I'm afraid there are a few too many thousand for me to bother doing that!

    The other thing is that, even if I do use the "get info" function to fix CURRENT display of the tracks, will iTunes still alter display of my tracks to "Artist - Title" the NEXT time I import any new tracks to the library?
    I suspect so, but will confirm this tomorrow. I have to restore all my mp3s from backup, since:

    I have just tried to use the "Convert ID3 Tags" function to convert all the tracks to v2.3. A large number of the mp3s in my collection were already v2.3, but it was a bit of a mixture as I've been ripping for quite a few years now.

    The result of this operation is that now ALL the tags in ALL the tracks show the Name field as "Artist - Title", which is definitely NOT what I want.
    All tags were perfectly fine before this Convert Tags operation.
    Any other ideas?
  4. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    that really sounds like a bug in iTunes 6 to me, I've had many of my MP3s display as Artist - Title | Artist | Album ..., although it only happened once in a while, and not often enough or on the albums that I personally ripped for me to figure out when iTunes doesn't like the ID3 tags on the songs.

    Usually, a get info on all the songs, changing a field and then changing it back fixed it for me. (like, for example, if i selected all the Björk songs and added a space to her name and then saved it, the problem would go away...and then to make it neat, i'd change it back to björk without a space at the end)

    If you were a Mac user, i'd direct you to a few AppleScripts that might make your life easier, but I don't know of any Windows equivalents.

    Good luck :)

    and psst, (i'm not a fan of raid1) you might wanna check out raid5 - no mirroring, but parity, imho better performance, and even lets you have that extra 1/6 of total array size to store more stuff on :p
  5. thUtmost thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2006
    Hi janey
    Thanks for your reply.
    I really hope that it IS a bug with iTunes 6.
    However, I don't know that it is, since as I said in my first post I had EXACTLY the same thing happen with v4.7 which I borrowed from a friend.

    The process both you and betbest1 suggested (get info) does seem to work for me, but I need to test that fixed track titles STAY fixed after subsequent
    adds to my library of the root of my mp3 collection.
    I will test this tonight when I get home and restore my collection from backup, after the "Convert tags" function did exactly the opposite of what I want to achieve.

    I realise that the get info function can be done on an artist or album basis, which may slightly speed things up, but it will still take days of effort which I'm hoping to avoid.

    Re RAID1, well different strokes for different folks I guess.
    The RAID1 array is PURELY for backups of my carefully ripped mp3s, important docs and photos etc, it's not a "work" volume.
    I have another RAID0 array for speed :)
    I have found having completely independant arrays to be more flexible than the likes of RAID5, and my m/b supports up to 12 (!) drives, so why not eh? :D
    Anyone else have any other suggestions of things to try or ideas about what may be happening?
  6. thUtmost thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2006
    Well, I have done the following test:
    Restore Ghost image of WinXP, that has "iTunes Music Library.xml" looking perfect, such that iTunes 6.0.1 displays ALL tracks as "Title" only, which is what I want.

    Restored backup of all my mp3 files, and checked a random sample of ID3tags using different programs - all mp3s checked had only the track name in the "Title" field, which again, is what I want.

    Added the root folder of my mp3 collection to the iTunes library.
    As expected iTunes updated display of ALL tracks to be "Artist - Title" which I do NOT want.
    I confirmed that this is only a change in the iTunes library.
    I couldn't find a single mp3 file that had a tag changed to read "Artist - Title" so that's good.

    I did a "get info" function in iTunes on a few random tracks as suggested by others, to correct the Name display so that it reads only "Title" in iTunes.
    Ensured that this Name display stayed after restarting iTunes.

    Added the root folder of my mp3 collection to the iTunes library again.
    iTunes changed the display of the tracks I'd corrected (using "get info") back to the incorrect "Artist - Title"!

    This means that even if I laboriously correct the titles of every track in my collection, the next time I add new tracks to iTunes, I will be back to incorrect display.
    Also, I was incorrect in an earlier post where I said I would be able to correct multiple tracks by the same artist or same album, since the field that is stuffing up is UNIQUE to every track, so cannot be edited from the "get info" screen when selecting multiple tracks.

    This is a deal breaker for me.
    Currrently, iTunes is unusable for what I want to do :(
    It's impossible to use the iPod with track names starting with artist, and if I want to keep my correct display, then I won't be able to add any more music :(
    Can anyone out there please help me out?
    Surely there must be a simple, stupidly easy config of iTunes I don't know about??
    Fingers and everything else crossed...
  7. thUtmost thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2006
    Posting a workaround here in case anyone else has the same trouble as me.
    I found a visual basic script can be used to iterate through your iTunes library and make it "get info" on all tracks.

    It takes about 3mins to run through my library of 2500 tracks, and the good news is, I haven't had to run it again even after re-adding my folder of mp3s to iTunes :)

    Otto also has written another couple of scripts for iTunes type stuff and put a simple HTML "front end" onto them:
    These scripts are similar in aim to some that have been written using "Applescripts", except Otto's ones use VBscript for use on a PC.

    Apparently my problem is mainly caused by importing an entire folder structure which contains m3u playlist files. iTunes pulls the incorrect track name display from the m3u playlist (edit it using notepad to see what I mean), however if you do ANYTHING which makes it actually check the ID3 tags of your mp3s (like play them), it will display the correct title - at least until NEXT time you re-import your folder.

    Just in case anyone is under any illusions, this is all pertaining to iTunes on a PC...

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