Tagging individual musicians
August 19, 2007 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Can I use iTunes to tag the specific musicians playing on a track?

For instance, I'd like to be able to type "Herbie Hancock" in the iTunes search field and find all the tracks on which he played the keyboard, even if the Artist and Composer were other people. Is this possible?
Adding the musicians' names into the Comments field doesn't help. The names still don't show up in a search.
I tried an app called MP3 Rage, and its ID3 editor has a field called "People". Is this what I'm looking for?
Unfortunately, iTunes apparently ignores this field.
posted by Silky Slim to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
To piggyback onto this question: I'd like to do something like this as well. If possible, I'd prefer not to manually input all the data. Is there a FreeDB/CDDB/GraceNote kinda thing with this information?
posted by box at 8:51 AM on August 19, 2007

What search are you using? The search in iTunes searches through my comments instantly.
posted by colecovizion at 9:00 AM on August 19, 2007

Ditto me; maybe your search is set for something specific like "song" or "artist." Change your search field to "all" - that should work.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 9:05 AM on August 19, 2007

I've used tools that use GraceNote to automatically tag MP3s, but they do make mistakes, so don't blindly rely on them. But I'd say they're about 80% reliable, which isn't too bad if you have tons of music to tag.
posted by mpls2 at 9:06 AM on August 19, 2007

colecovizion, dee xtrovert... how weird! mine doesn't do that.
it's set to "all". i just tested it and it most certainly doesn't look through my comments!
i'm using itunes 7.3.2 on an up to date mac... what are you using?
posted by Silky Slim at 9:11 AM on August 19, 2007

it does search the "composer" field but not the "comments" field.
posted by Silky Slim at 9:22 AM on August 19, 2007

7.3.2 Mac. I just did a test and it worked like a charm.
posted by colecovizion at 9:41 AM on August 19, 2007

The guys at Music Brainz are starting to capture such extended information (for example, see the relationships page for Herbie Hancock).

They've got a good program for tagging your mp3s which is pretty accurate IME, but I don't think they pull down any of this extended relationship info and embed it in the mp3s just yet.
posted by amcewen at 9:50 AM on August 19, 2007

7.3.2 Mac. I just did a test and it worked like a charm.

7.3.2 Mac. I just did a test and it didn't work at all. So, what field are you using?
posted by chrismear at 10:17 AM on August 19, 2007

Oh, I've got it. Go to View -> View Options..., make it display the Comments column, and then the search box will search the comments as well.

Nifty! Unintuitive (kinda!)!
posted by chrismear at 10:23 AM on August 19, 2007

This is a cool tip. (Thanks, chrismear for figuring out how to make it work for the rest of us.)

I thought I'd use it to keep track of the songs I've already used on mix discs. I selected all the tracks I put on a recent mix, hit cmd-I, and set the comment to the title and date of the mix. Unfortunately I now realize that I overwrote the existing comments on those tracks. I guess I've got to do this track by track.
posted by booth at 11:01 AM on August 19, 2007

great solution, chrismear. hooda thunkit?
it's plenty unintuitive, seeing as itunes *does* search the "composer" field, even though it isn't displayed in the list.
posted by Silky Slim at 1:33 PM on August 19, 2007

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