How to Add and Organize Albums in iTunes and the Apple Music App
When you purchase music from iTunes or rip a CD, the album will automatically show up in your music library, either in iTunes or the Music app on a Mac running Catalina. However, if you try to locate the album on your computer, you may sometimes find that it hasn’t been saved in the appropriate folder or the tracks are arranged in the wrong order.
You can correct all this, easily enough, if you move the music in question into the correct folder or change certain track data, like artist name. Whether you’re still using iTunes or have the new Music app, the process is similar. Let’s check out how this process works on iTunes, as well as in the Apple Music app.
Let’s say the album in question is a compilation with songs by different artists. If it’s a new addition to your library, you can easily find it in the Recently Added section. Otherwise, scroll down to the bottom of the music library to find it under the Compilations section. The artist’s name will be listed as Various Artists.
Maybe you’re okay with all of that, or maybe you’d rather organize and arrange the album under a less generic name and location.
First, let’s move the album itself out of the Compilations folder on your computer and into a more specific and suitable folder. In iTunes or the Music app, click on the album to reveal all the songs inside. Right-click on the first track and from the pop-up menu, click on Show in Windows Explorer in Windows or Show in Finder on the Mac.
In File Explorer or Finder, you’ll see the album listed in the Compilations folder if that’s how iTunes organized it.
If you’re using Windows, go to the Music folder under iTunes Media in File Explorer. Mac users should go to the Music folder under Media in Finder. Create a new folder with the name of the artist or artists that you want to use for the album. If the album is performed by different artists and not one main singer or group, you may want to include the name of the album itself in the folder.
For example, I downloaded an album of songs from the Guardians of the Galaxy films, all by various artists. So I simply created a new folder named Guardians of the Galaxy Artists.
From File Explorer or Finder, go back to the folder that contains the album and right-click on it. From the pop-up menu, click on Cut or Copy.
Move back to and open the new folder you created. Right-click in that folder and then click on Paste (or Paste Item on a Mac) from the pop-up menu.
Go back to iTunes or the Music app. Right-click on the album. From the pop-up menu, click on Delete from Library. You’re asked if you are sure you want to delete the selected songs from your library. Click on the Delete Songs button.
If you opted to copy the album rather than cut it, you’re then asked if you want to delete the selected songs or keep them. Click on the button to Delete Files in Windows or Move to Trash on the Mac.
In iTunes or the Music app, right-click on the file and then select Delete from Library again. This time, you’re asked if you want to hide these songs. Click on the button to Hide Songs. The album then disappears from iTunes or the Music app. But don’t worry, we’re going to bring it back from the new folder you created.
In iTunes, click File > Add Folder to Library. If you’re using the Music app in Catalina, click File > Import.
Find the folder you previously created to store your new album. Select it and click the Select Folder button in Windows or Open on Mac.
The album is added back into iTunes or the Music app, but it’s still appearing in the Compilations section with Various Artists as the artist name. You can fix that by scrolling to the album and right-clicking on it. From the pop-up menu, click Album Info in iTunes or Get Info in the Music app.
In the Details section, click in the field for Album Artist and change the artist name to the same name you previously used to create the new folder. You can change the artists of a compilation album to one name. For instance, I changed listed artists for the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 to say Guardians of the Galaxy Artists.
Next, turn off the checkmark that says “Album is a collection of songs by various artists” if it’s checked, then click OK.
The album should now appear alphabetically in your iTunes or Music app library based on the name of the artist. Scroll to the right spot in your library or type the name of the album in the search field. You should then find your album nestled in the right place organized by the artist name you created.
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