Accessing Composers View in iTunes 11.0.2 | iLounge Article


Accessing Composers View in iTunes 11.0.2

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Q: I was reading your brief story regarding the new iTunes download, so what the heck is “Composers View” in the new iTunes and where do I find it.

- Rock

A: The new Composers View feature in iTunes 11.0.2 is actually somewhat more minor than it sounds. What the update basically offers is the ability to see a list of music grouped by Composer, presented in the same way as the Artist listing was introduced in iTunes 11.

The key point is that iTunes 11.0.2 actually hides the new “Composers” view by default, so it won’t actually appear until you go into your iTunes Preferences and specifically enable it. The option for this can be found on the General page, as a new checkbox setting labelled “Show Composers.”

Once enabled, a new “Composers” heading appears in the top selection bar between “Artists” and “Genres” providing access to the new view. The layout of the Composers view is essentially identical to the Artists view; a list of Composers is displayed on the left-hand side of the screen, and selecting an individual composer entry will display a list of tracks by that composer, grouped by album.


This feature is of course only as useful as the metadata you have in your actual tracks, so if you don’t have any Composer information filled in, you probably won’t get much out of it. Tracks purchased from the iTunes Store often include this information, but you’re less likely to find it on tracks you’ve acquired from other sources.

Also note that the Composer and Groupings fields have been accessible in the iTunes Column Browser for a few years now, although these two are hidden by default and must be enabled from the View, Column Browser menu.


In iTunes 11, the Column Browser is available only when viewing the “Songs” listing, but can be another useful way to browse your music by Composer—particularly useful for those with large libraries of classical music.



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If you don’t mind using the Composer field for other purposes, this new feature might open up new ways to browse your library.

For example, you might have several albums of a key artist under different artist (band) names.  To get quick access to all such related music, you could populate Composer with the common thread, such as tagging albums by the Yardbirds, Blind Faith, Cream, Derek & The Dominos, and Eric Clapton with “Eric Clapton” as the Composer.

Another example might be to use the Composer for a sub-genre (e.g. “Rock” can be further subdivided into dozens of variations).

True, you can always use a smart playlist to accomplish things like this. But like many things, this provides a different angle to address a particular need.

Posted by rockmyplimsoul in Toronto on February 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM (CST)


Composer view… they need to open up the MP3 file’s composer tag so there are more slots and individual tags for every composer involved… so that I could, say, choose Dr.Dre as a composer (or, Robert Plant or Mozart whoever) and then see EVERY song he has appeared on, collaborated with other artists with, made a cameo appearance, etc…

Posted by Mike C in Toronto on February 22, 2013 at 2:51 PM (CST)


FINALLY! Something useful for Bollywood music lovers too. :) It would be nicer still if we could control the artwork/font size, but still a nice addition.

Unfortunately the issue I am having with incorrect thumbnails persists in this update. Anyone know how to refresh the thumbnails? For playlists, grid view, some of the thumbnail artwork is showing up wrong. Songs have been manually tagged with correct artwork but certain songs for some reason do not show the correct artwork. Incorrect thumbnails are also displaying when running a search. The correct thumbnail shows up in now playing window… I wish they had “set default grid artwork” for iTunes 11. It would solve my issues, I think (if it worked this time).

Posted by manchali in Toronto on February 22, 2013 at 9:27 PM (CST)


Apple still doesn’t get it. What I want is 1) to filter my library to show ONLY the classical genre and 2) sort that listing by composer. This new composer view shows composers for all genres. I don’t normally enter the composer for non-classical, but auto-importing frequently does, and often does so by first name, last, whereas my classical listings are last name, first (I scan for Mozart, not Wolfgang). So it gives me a mish-mash of various rock and pop artists mixed in with the classical composers. iTunes 10 had a Composers tab within the grid view layout, and I had my Classical smart playlist set to this format. It was nice. iTunes 11 has made things so unpleasant in so many ways.

Posted by Matt H. in Toronto on February 27, 2013 at 11:04 PM (CST)

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