Organizing tracks on the iPod | iLounge Article

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Organizing tracks on the iPod

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Q: I’ve noticed that there certain songs that I can find on the “All” songs list on my iPod but cannot find if I look under the specific artists. For example, if I go through Artists->Michael Jackson->All, the iPod will only list Billy Jeans under the album name. However, if I go to the list of all Songs, I can see the rest of the Michael Jackson songs. I’ve already made sure they were spelled the same for artists and that there are no extra spaces in the artist or album name in iTunes. Any other suggestions on how to fix this?

- Maling

A: Assuming that artist and album names are in fact spelled correctly and match up with each other, the other possibility is either that the tracks are marked as part of a compilation, or that they do not have any album name filled in.

When browsing through the music on your iPod by artist, tracks with no album listed will be omitted from the track listing for that artist. The iPod does not provide an entry in the album listing for blank album names, and these tracks therefore end up being inaccessible through the artist/album menus. The solution to this is as simple as adding an album name to these tracks in iTunes - even a tag like “Single” or “Unknown” will work if the album name is not specifically known.

Further, if any tracks are labeled as “Part of a Compilation” the iPod may group these tracks under their album name within the “Compilations” section in the music listing, depending upon whether the Compilations setting on the iPod is enabled (found in Settings, Compilations). The “Compilations” option is intended to group tracks together that may come from mix albums (ie, “Various Artists”) or have a number of “featured” artists (ie, “Michael Jackson with Paul McCartney”). Often this flag is set on tracks downloaded from the iTunes Store, even if all tracks are listed under the same artist.

Since both iTunes and the iPod have their own “Group Compilations when Browsing” option, it is possible for these tracks to appear as part of a compilation on the iPod, but still appear under their artist in iTunes itself.

Changing the “Compilation” flag is as simple as selecting the track in iTunes and choosing File, Get Info and UNchecking the box that says “Part of a compilation.”

Alternatively, you can do this for multiple tracks at once by selecting multiple tracks before choosing the File, Get Info option. You would be presented with a dialog box similar to the following, and can choose the drop-down menu beside “Compilation” to change the setting for all selected tracks at once:

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