iTunes' Ugly Stepchild lost folder issue
December 30, 2012 7:49 AM   Subscribe

I have an album by The Cult called "Electric" that was in Unknown folder in iTunes. I moved it to the proper music group folder in iTunes "The Cult" where all their other albums are. BUT when I open iTunes, it won't show up with the search of The Cult or under their name. I can find particular tracks in iTunes, go an hit Play and it then asks for me to locate that song. There are other screw things going on (like some albums thrown into compilations, but I can probably fix that) but this is the most frustrating. Any ideas? Do I have to go buy Tune Up or some other application? (I am running the newest iTunes on an iMac w/ Snow Leopard)
posted by snap_dragon to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There's a checkbox in preferences to "keep folders organized" which basically tells iTunes to sort the folders in your file system by the band/album hierarchy present in the metadata. With that on, you can change the name of an album manually in iTunes, and they'll get moved to a new directory with that name in the filesystem.

To fix the prob. with that particular album, you should be able to delete the references from iTunes, then drop the files back onto the iTunes window from the Finder.

Moving stuff around in the Finder will always break the iTunes database. I wish it were smart enough to search for files, but it isn't.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:00 AM on December 30, 2012

To fix the compilations problem, after you turn on iTunes file organizing in prefs, select the songs errantly in the compilations folder in iTunes, type command+i then uncheck the "part of a compilation" checkbox in the file info dialog. You can select multiple songs and apply the change all at once if you like.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:06 AM on December 30, 2012

Response by poster: "Keep folders organized" was checked. Still happening. Maybe I am misunderstanding, though. I cannot get the album to come up in iTunes no matter if I delete from iTunes folder in drive and drag a copy of it from my desktop back into iTunes.
posted by snap_dragon at 8:09 AM on December 30, 2012

Sounds like something is broken - did the files work previously? It could be a corrupt itunes database, or a permissions problem, or corrupt files, or they're in a format iTunes doesn't recognize, like flac or ogg?
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:15 AM on December 30, 2012

Response by poster: ok, I fixed it, but there were a ton of off shot songs of wtf in Unknown. Hot damn where in the hell did they come from...Anyway...Does anybody know if Tune Up will do maintenance like this to sort all this junk out?
posted by snap_dragon at 8:16 AM on December 30, 2012

Response by poster: @Devils Rancher - all are mp3 but I have no idea if their are other issues at play. Weird.
posted by snap_dragon at 8:17 AM on December 30, 2012

What you should do, since "keep folders organized" is checked, is correct the song information in iTunes (press cmd+i when you are selecting a song to edit ALL the song info, not just what you see in the browser). iTunes will then move the file to the correct folder.

Protip: make sure you use the iTunes dropdowns to select matching information whenever possible. Otherwise, you may find you have half your songs in a folder for "The cult" and half in a folder for "The Cult"; I find that annoying not because of perfectionist tendencies, but also because it breaks the process of trying to shuffle a single artist's discography on my iphone.
posted by lesli212 at 8:20 AM on December 30, 2012

If it's a TON of songs, tuneup is worth it. Otherwise, just fix, say, 10 songs a day and you'll be done in no time.
posted by lesli212 at 8:22 AM on December 30, 2012

You may also have issues with the "Album Artist" info. You can view it by right clicking the column headers. Typically, you want it to just match the "Artist" field exactly, but for compilations or soundtracks you can use that field to group by album, if you like.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:27 AM on December 30, 2012

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