iTunes is Getting Tuned Up

iTunes has a lot of problems, and I will be the first to complain about the bloated crapware it has become. I am not talking about the desktop iTunes yet, it has been ages since I tried it, but in the iOS version of iTunes, it also respects the “grouping” tag to display a multi-track piece together. For classical music it was a pain in the past. I recently revamped all my classical. One of the most common issues, more or less since the beginning, has been how to handle classical music. It may have something to do with the limited nature of MP3 tags, which were not designed for classical music. But it also is just that Apple never seemed to care that much about it, leading to a lot of hacks to easily browse your music by composer, for instance putting the composer in the Artist field. However, sometime recently Apple got their act together with classical music, and I’m not sure when. But man, is it way better, especially in the newest version of iTunes. For classical music buffs the new option for music files’ metadata to “show composer in all views.” That means that if you have a compilation album, for instance from Yo Yo Ma. Yo Yo Ma was a big conundrum because single-performer doing multiple composers made it a nightmare before to keep the album intact. Now you can keep it as a single album and it will show “By Ludwig van Beethoven” under the file, just like if you had a compilation album of pop songs by various artists and each individual artist would be displayed under each track. So if you have an album with 3 concertos, each by a different composer, and each with 3 movements, in the past you would need to put all that information in the title tag of each track, e.g. “Tchaikovsky – Concerto in E Major – I. Allegro.” Now, on the iOS version of iTunes, it will all be under a single album but will divide them by “grouping,” which is a very useful place to put the name of the piece of music as a whole. Now, I still put “Concerto in E. Major – I. Allegro” in the title because the desktop interface hasn’t caught up yet, but it may soon. On the whole this represents a major improvement – and bodes well for the ability of Apple to improve iTunes as a whole.

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