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Managing Compilations and Various Artists

Discussion in 'General iTunes Usage' started by jonboy, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. jonboy

    jonboy New Member

    Hi, this is my first time posting here. I have been having an issue with sorting in my new ipod touch and haven't been able to find answers anywhere, so was hoping that someone here may know what to do. I apologize if this has been discussed here before; I searched the forum but did not see anything directly addressing this but am sorry if I missed it.

    I previously used an ipod classic, but switched to a touch recently (6th gen, 128gb). My issue is with where I can find albums that are labeled "compilation". It was my understanding that if something was checked as a compilation, it would not be listed under artists unless there were other albums by that artist already on the ipod. And if not, it was listed under the Compilations folder of the ipod. At least this is how it was with the ipod classic. So, for example, I have the album Gram Parsons anthology album Sacred Hearts And Fallen Angels. This has songs by five different artists (The International Submarine Band, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons, and Gram Parsons & The Fallen Angels). I have other albums by each of these artists, so under the Artists menu on my ipod classic, the albums from each artist was in their respective folder as well as Sacred Hearts And Fallen Angels, with just the songs by that artist. This allowed me to be able to play all my music by one artist, or if I wanted to listen to the entire compilation album, I could find it under either albums or compilations. Now, wit the ipod touch, it does not sort it this way. So what I am trying to solve is how do I get a compilation album to be listed with albums when sorting by Artists (assuming I have other albums by that artist) and to also be listed as one album when sorting by either Albums or Compilations.

    Also, I'm not sure how much this matters, but when using the ipod classic, I always had the album artist field blank, as that seemed to change the way certain albums were sorted. I am seeing online now that album artist may be playing a role into this situation, but I can't seem to find a way to get it to work. Any help with this would be hugely appreciated.
  2. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    Compilations - if you have set the Compilation tag - sort at the end of the Albums list, and the artist shows as Various Artists. This is the same as in iTunes. However, if you were to set Gram Parsons as the album artist, and not check the Compilation tag, that should sort as Gram Parsons.
  3. jonboy

    jonboy New Member

    Thanks for the reply. I have tried both setting as a compilation and as not. I did not have Various Artists as an artist either time, though.

    For your 2nd point, I tried that but then the album wasn't listed under anybody.

    Another thing I found, and I'm sure it's contributing somewhat, is changing the properties on the file itself on my computer and not just in iTunes.
  4. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    The Compilation tag is part of the ID3 specification, so it is saved with the file. It's normal that the files be modified. As to why they don't display correctly, I don't know. Try removing them from the iTunes library, then re-adding them. If that doesn't work, create a new library and see what happens when you add a few albums.
  5. jonboy

    jonboy New Member

    Thanks, I'll give that a try and see how it works.

    I guess what I'm wondering is, with the new ios (especially since I've been using the older ipod firmware up until a few months ago), is it possible to have compilations album listed under the various artists in artist view and also have them as an album in compilations view?
  6. Adrian J.

    Adrian J. New Member

    OK I've got a question along the same lines but more complex.

    iTunes 12.5 MacOS El Captain.

    Two albums, both are compilations of various artists of the songs of one artist, tribute albums. They are The Van Morrison Songbook and New Coat of Paint: Songs of Tom Waits.

    Both are tagged exactly the same way. "Album Artist" field filled in and "Album is a compilation ..." checked.

    So this is the issue. The Van Morrison tribute appears in the Artist : Compilations view and in the Artists : Van Morrison view. The Tom Waits tribute only appears in the Artists : Compilations view.

    I would prefer that they both either appeared in both views or only the Artist : Artist Name view. Is there anyone out there who knows how to sort this out? I can provide screen shots if necessary.

  7. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    If the compilation tag is checked, then the album should not appear under an artist's name. Screenshots?
  8. jonboy

    jonboy New Member

    I am having the same issue as @Adrian J. I've got screenshots to upload, but, stupid question, how do I do that? Only way I see to put in pictures is w/ a url, my pictures are on my computer.

  9. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    Put them on Dropbox, or some image hosting service. I know, it's a bit weird, but that's the way the forum software works.
  10. jonboy

    jonboy New Member

    Here's an example of what I am experiencing:

    I'm Not There, a soundtrack, has one song by the Black Keys on it. It shows up under Artists

    And Compilations

    This shows where it is selected as a compilation in iTunes:

    I should add that I don't have any other songs from that album on my ipod.
  11. jonboy

    jonboy New Member

    This is fine, as that is how I prefer it. The issue is that there seem to be inconsistencies with it.

    Here is another shot of my Artists view:


    Under Gram Parsons, I have both Sacred Hearts... and Sleepless Nights. I don't have these selected as compilations, because when I do that, it removes them from the Artist view. They are not listed in Compilations. What is weird here is that in Albums, Sacred Hearts appears 5 times because there are 5 different artists on there (all of whom I have other albums for), but Sleepless Nights appears only once, but there are 2 artists on that album.
  12. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    It's all very confusing. I'm not seeing things like that. Have you tried removing the music from your iTunes library, syncing, then re-adding it?
  13. jonboy

    jonboy New Member

    Yep, I tried that. I had to delete them from my ipod and itunes. I then went into the file itself and unchecked that it was a compilation. After reloading onto my ipod, it worked fine for the Black Keys. For the Gram Parsons and FBB albums, if I made any changes under "Get Info", I couldn't revert back and have to delete and start over. I'm not sure what's going on and why it works for some files and not others.
  14. Adrian J.

    Adrian J. New Member

    Kirk, thanks for getting back to me,

    I've had a really good look at this problem, and not withstanding a few issues with iTunes, I suppose what I was really asking was, is it possible to have a tribute album listed under the composers name? And the answer is, no.

    Within my library I have eight "tribute albums". That is, albums by various artists of the songs of a single artist. e.g. "Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation - The Songs of Vic Chestnut", where 14 different artists all cover a single Vic Chestnut track each.

    I imagined that by adding "Vic Chestnut" to the "album artist" field, it would display the album within the artist view. This is not the case. ... Well not all the time, and this is what was confusing me. Where this particular album was concerned two of the tracks, tracks 1 and 2, were within the Vic Chestnut artist view, but the rest were not. This "issue/bug" was also manifesting itself in the other eight "tribute albums" but in differing ways. Some were showing up in both "compilations" and in "artist" and some were (like the previous example) were partly showing up in both.

    To remedy the situation I have removed any data from the "album artist" field. This has rendered the albums only visible from within "compilations" and not "artist" view.

    Again I did imagine I would be able have music composed by one artist available to view within that artists list even if the music has been performed by different artists.

    It's worth noting at this stage that having the "composer" field filled in has no impact on where the album shows.

    So the question now is, what does the "album artist" field actually do? What is it's purpose?
  15. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    The Album Artist field is for when you have an album with multiple artists, but one main artist. For example, U2 has a record with a song with Luciano Pavarotti. The Artist field for that song contains both names, but if you have the Album Artist field set to U2, then the album only shows up in an Artist list as U2.

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