Moving tracks from iTunes “Compilations” folder to appropriate “artist” folders

Q: I noticed in the My Music folder of my Windows PC a folder iTunes created called “Compilations��?, comprised almost entirely of various greatest hits CDs. Most all of the artists included in this Compilations folder have separate folders outside of this Compilations folder. In an effort to keep all of an artist’s music together, I’d like to know if and how I can move music (individual files or complete folders) within the My Music folder without disrupting iTunes.

– John

A: Our basic guideline for manually working with iTunes’ underlying file structure is “don’t.” Because iTunes doesn’t “watch” folders for changes, any attempt to change the file structure that iTunes has designated for your library will cause iTunes to lose track of those songs, forcing you to re-add them to your library.

However, the specific thing you’re asking to do is extremely easy to do within iTunes itself.

iTunes places songs which have their “Part of a compilation” checkboxes enabled into a separate folder in the underlying music file structure. If you don’t like this organization method, all you have to do to revert it is to simply deselect the “Part of a compilation” checkbox for the affected tracks.

To do this globally, simply open your Music Library in iTunes, select “Select All” from iTunes “Edit” menu, and then choose “Get Info” from the “File” menu.

Then, check the box next to the “Part of a compilation” area, which should display “No” by default. Make sure you haven’t checked anything else, then click “OK.”

This will remove the compilation status from all of your tracks, and iTunes will proceed to reorganize its file structure (in the background), placing each artist’s tracks into their respective artist folders.