Hey, iTunes? Knock it off.
August 30, 2008 1:36 AM   Subscribe

iTunes has recently developed a new habit that makes me want to toss it out the window. When I play a song or go to "Get Info," iTunes adds to the "Album Artist," "Composer," and "Comment" fields, and changes my track numbers from "x of x" to just "x". I can't find any way to disable this. Do you folks know how?

Running the latest version of iTunes for Windows Vista. As I described above, whenever I do one of those two things (I guess whenever the track is in my system memory? Not sure, really), iTunes decides that I'd like it to add information to my ID3 tags. While that information may be useful to some people, I'm pretty anal about keeping my tags the way I like them, and this new trick it's learned makes me want to stop using it altogether (not really possible, since I use an iPhone and rely heavily on the "Keep my collection organized" features iTunes offers).

At first I thought maybe this was just while I was signed into the iTunes Store, so I logged out, but it does the same thing. I can't find anything in Preferences to turn this off, or anything that refers to it (the closest thing I've seen is on the CD burning preference page, maybe that's it?); as far as I can tell, I'm stuck with this unless Apple fixes it. Has anyone else encountered this issue, and if so, have you found a way to make it stop?
posted by phaded to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
edit/preferences/advanced "keep iTunes music folder organized" I believe does this.
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:34 AM on August 30, 2008

Response by poster: That setting renames the files themselves to Artist\Album\## Title.mp3 once you've added them to your library. Unless they've changed it, it does NOT add information to the tags themselves.
posted by phaded at 9:03 AM on August 30, 2008

Do you have any iTunes add-ons installed at all? Beacuse this is not expected behavior in iTunes -- it certainly does not add anything to comments, composer, etc. when playing tracks in the OS X version.

What kid of data is it adding?
posted by nathan_teske at 10:03 AM on August 30, 2008

Just a data point: it's not the expected behavior in a vanilla Vista iTunes installation either. Neither of the Vista machines in my household do this. Is it possibly some feature/plugin related to the iPhone vs the standard iTunes features?
posted by tyllwin at 10:38 AM on August 30, 2008

Response by poster: I use two add-ons: iSproggler, which is a last.fm client, and iTunesControl, which I use to display the name of the song/album artwork when a track starts playing. This happens even when they aren't running, though.

If I had to guess, I'd say iSproggler is doing it, but I can't find anything that says that it adds metadata on play. I posted this question in its forums here, so maybe I'll get something there.

Good to know that this isn't the expected behavior, though; with any luck, it can be fixed, even if I have to resort to an un/reinstall.
posted by phaded at 1:22 PM on August 30, 2008

Again, what kind of data is it adding?
posted by neustile at 2:32 PM on August 30, 2008

I'd move iSproggler further down the suspect list -- as far as I can see -- and I used it up until a couple of months ago, when I got tired of every single iTunes update breaking it -- iSproggler doesn't have any such capability, and really just sends reports. Can you tell anything about when the corruption happens, i.e. does it really happen when the track is played in iTunes, or is that just when you notice it , and it might have happened when you synced with the phone, or at some other time?
posted by tyllwin at 3:05 PM on August 30, 2008

Response by poster: neustile: "Again, what kind of data is it adding?"

As I'd mentioned earlier, it fills in the "Album Artist" and "Composer" fields, and changes my track numbers from, as an example, "3 of 9" to just "3". I thought it did so when I played the song, but now it appears as though it's only doing so when I go to "Get Info" and not when I play it.

Looking at the files that this is happening to in an external program (Tag&Rename), it looks as though all that information was already present, even though I always strip it out, and maybe it's just changing the display to reflect this. If that's the case, I guess I'll be hunting for a new tag editor while I fix all the files this has happened to.

Bizarre, either way.
posted by phaded at 4:22 PM on August 31, 2008

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