Adding tracks to multiple albums

Q: Is it possible to create a new album with songs we already have? Let’s say I already have all the songs of Mariah Carey, and I want to make an album with tracklist exactly the same as in her Greatest Hits album. I don’t want to buy that Greatest Hits album again since I have all the songs already. I just want that album to appear in my library as if I bought it as a whole separately. Of course all the songs in it are songs that I bought before. Any ideas how I can do this?

– Lai

A: Unfortunately, iTunes does not allow you to list a single track as belonging to multiple albums, so the only way you can do this would be to make extra copies of the tracks and then change the “album” tag on those second copies to “Greatest Hits.” Of course, this will mean that you actually have two copies of the tracks, which will therefore take up twice the amount of space.

As an alternative, you could always simply make a “Mariah Carey: Greatest Hits” playlist and put all of the related tracks into that playlist. Although this won’t show up when browsing by album’s, it will have the desired effect of grouping all of those tracks together without creating duplicates in your library. Further, if you’re using a recent-model traditional iPod, you can create playlist folders which will be reflected on the iPod itself, which may assist in grouping these playlists more effectively.

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