I’m not really a classical guy, but I do have a few favorite classical selections in my collection. If you’re got any non-pop music at all, you’ve run into the same problem I have (and many others besides – you there, Jim?): the default way iTunes organizes music is really not any good for music types that aren’t performer/album/tune based. And the iPod’s non-scrolling makes matters worse!
So I stumbled across this article about organizing your classical music in iTunes, and I’m thoroughly happy. But I have a couple of additions to make:
- I use the Album Artist tag for the performer or soloist (e.g. “Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields”, “Nigel Kennedy”)
- The “Sort Artist” tag, though hidden, is your friend.
- I leave the composer in the composer field and just note the album information in the comments field, since I don’t really care about it.
How to use “Sort Artist” you ask? Here’s an example:
- Put “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart” as the artist
- Right click ONE Mozart track and switch to “Sorting” and put “Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus” under Sort Artist
- Right click that same track, select “Apply Sort Field” and “Same Artist” and watch the magic happen. Now the artist will say “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart”, but it’ll come under “M” instead of “W”!
Sort Artist is really powerful, but be careful – it’s easy to forget to maintain it as your collection grows and be left with a smattering of works in “M” and another set in “W”!