Q: I just downloaded iTunes 11. I wanted to join tracks to import an audiobook and I followed your instructions from a few days ago, yet I do not get the Join Tracks option. Any ideas? Thank you in advance.
A: As we discussed in an article earlier this week, iTunes 11 has not only hidden away the Join CD Tracks option on a separate “Options” menu on the CD import screen, but in fact omits the option completely even from that menu unless you’ve selected tracks on your CD that are eligible to be joined. In previous versions of iTunes, the option appeared on the now-defunct Advanced menu, and remained present but greyed out when no eligible tracks were selected for importing.
The key point here, however, is that for the Join CD Tracks option to become available, you must have selected two or more tracks on your CD that are eligible to be joined. This has not actually changed in iTunes 11, and what it means specifically is that the tracks must be contiguous and in the same order as on the CD. For example, you can join the first and second tracks on a CD, or the first, second, and third; however you cannot join only the first and the third.
However, there is one other important catch here: The track list must be sorted in the same order as they are stored on the CD. Even if you’re selecting all of the tracks together, if you’re sorting by another column the Join CD Tracks option will remain unavailable, and of course in iTunes 11, this will not simply be greyed out as it was in previous versions, but will be hidden from the menu entirely.
This is even the case if the tracks are sorted in reverse order. Despite the tracks being contiguous, they are not in the same order as on the CD, and iTunes cannot join tracks in reverse. In other words, you can join the first and second tracks, in that order, but not the second and the first.
The bottom line is always make sure that you’re sorting by the first column—track number—in ascending order, and that you have selected two or more contiguous tracks and the Join CD Tracks option should appear.
Note that you can even join multiple sets of contiguous tracks, however in order to do this, each group must be selected and joined individually, using the Join CD Tracks option separately for each one.