Q: What is the proper separator to use in the Composer field for ID3v2 tags? My iPod seems to treat that field as a regular text box. When I choose a composer I would like to listen to all of their songs. For example… let’s say that Bono wrote some U2 songs by himself and some others with the rest of the band. If I select Bono from composers the iPod only plays songs that he wrote himself. I want to hear every song he wrote.
A: Unfortunately, there’s really not an easy way to deal with this in the artist or composer listings themselves, as iTunes and the iPod don’t recognize any specific separators for this data.
In fact, even the search feature on the newer model “enhanced” 5G iPods unfortunately does not include the “Composer” field within its search criteria.
The one piece of good news here, though, is that you can accomplish this by using Smart Playlists, although it requires a bit of advance planning in iTunes to decide what groupings you want before you sync. Since the criteria can be selected based on a value contained within a field, a Smart Playlist that simply chooses criteria such as Composer contains Bono should do the trick.
Additionally, other criteria can be specified to further expand or limit the selection, and the results can be grouped by artist, album, rating or whether or not they have been recently played.