Grouping albums with multiple artists

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Q: When adding an album which has been released by one artist but contains tracks by various other artists, iTunes displays individual tracks with the same artwork for what can be up to 30-40 times depending on how many CD’s are involved, how do i display or group these as one album ?

– Allan

A: There are a couple of different ways that this can be handled, depending on what you’re specifically trying to accomplish.

For the sake of iTunes itself and the Cover Flow and Artwork Grouping views, the simplest thing to do is to use the new “Album Artist” field that has now been added as of iTunes 7. iTunes will use the Album Artist field for grouping when it’s filled in, and this can be an appropriate way to list albums with secondary or “featured” artists, yet still keep them grouped together.

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To set this field for multiple tracks, simply choose the tracks you want to modify in iTunes, and select File, Get Info. Type in the name of the main album artist in the “Album Artist” field, and select OK.

Unfortunately, this will only work in iTunes for the Cover Flow and album grouping views. The artists themselves will still be listed individually in the browser view and on the iPod itself. If you want to also group the albums in these views, you will need to set the tracks as “Part of a Compilation” and enable the compilations feature on the iPod and in iTunes.

You can set any given track to being “Part of a Compilation” by going into the track properties and checking the appropriate box.

 

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As above, multiple tracks can be set simultaneously by selecting all of the tracks you want to modify, choosing File, Get Info and setting the “Compilation” option to Yes.

 

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Once the tracks have been set as part of a compilation, you can then enable the “Group Compilations when Browsing” feature in iTunes (under Preferences, General), at which point a “Compilations” option will appear in the artists column in the browser. Any albums containing tracks that are set as being part of a compilation will be listed under this artist heading, rather than by their specific artist name.

 

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Note that compilation grouping must also be enabled separately on the iPod if you want to use this feature. This can be found under the “Settings” menu on the iPod, and once enabled, a “Compilations” sub-menu will appear under the “Music” menu on the iPod. As in iTunes, selecting the “Compilations” menu on the iPod will list all albums with tracks that are tagged as being part of a compilation.