Properly Tagging Albums


Q: I have several songs from an artist, some of which have album information and some that do not. When I use the search feature on my 5G iPod to look up this artist, the songs without album information are not listed. However, if I search for these missing songs by their titles, they show up fine. Am i doing something wrong, or should i just fill in the blank “album” boxes?

– ac

A: Essentially, you do need to fill in the “Album” boxes for those tracks that do not have an entry in there, otherwise you will see exactly the behaviour you’re describing. Tracks without an Album Name will not be listed properly when searching or browsing your iPod by “Artist” unless you have no other albums by that particular artist (ie, where every track for that particular artist has a blank album name).

This behavior was changed in the January 2006 v1.1 firmware update for the 5G iPod, and is now how all current generation iPods function. Unfortunately, this can be confusing for users of earlier models.

The solution is to ensure that all of your tracks have something in the artist field. We personally use options such as “Single” or “Unknown” for those tracks that are often laying around that are not associated with a particular album, but of course you can use any word or description you like, as long as there is some text in that field.


Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.