How I would fix iTunes

You know how when you transfer a CD that you have legally purchased onto your computer, iTunes fetches all the information (artist, title of album, track names, etc.) from an online database? In theory, I find the existence of this database wonderful. Typing in all the information yourself is a pain.

However, the database uses information that other people have submitted. In most cases, they submit correct information. Accuracy isn’t really an issue. But people do submit things in the weirdest forms. There are people who have a penchant for labeling the ‘artist’ field of every track of a three-disc opera recording with the specific names of the singers singing that particular track, which would sort of mess things up in terms of keeping albums together, wouldn’t it? There are people who put composers’ names in first name first. There are people who list the composer as the artist, or the conductor. There are people who do not know that they do not know how to spell “anonymous.” It is complete and utter anarchy.

I have uploaded some track data myself, and I am sure that in many cases, my system of tagging things drives other people as nuts as their systems drive me – the point is not that everyone else is doing it wrong. The point is that everyone is coming up with different solutions to the same problem, which is that iTunes’s organizational system was not designed with classical music in mind.

There ought to be a “classical music and opera” version of iTunes. It would have a “conductor” field as well as artist and composer and all the rest; it would have like five different artist fields (and one could add more if necessary) so that you could indicate all the soloists separately as well as the orchestra, choir, or whatever. This would make me happy. I am not generally obsessive about things being organized, but when something that is already good could work even better and yet does not, I do get a little annoyed.

4 thoughts on “How I would fix iTunes

  1. I use Media Player, but I’m afraid I’m a “put the singer in the artist section” kind of girl. This is because when I’m listening to my MP3 player and something utterly gorgeous comes on, I need to know IMMEDIATELY who is singing.
    But yes, a media player/library set up for us opera lovers would be a wonderful thing. In our dreams, I’m afraid


    1. Fair enough 🙂 My ‘artist’ fields usually look something like, for example, “Didonato, Joyce / Patrizia Ciofi / Il Complesso barocco / Alan Curtis” so I have the whole group of the participants listed together – I may be alone on this!


      1. You are not alone in this. All my artists are crammed together in one column, and if I want specifics as to who sang what, I hope against hope I remembered to add it to a (work-specific) excel spreadsheet.

        All Apple really needs to do is make it possible to add columns and customize headers generally in Library mode, and more specifically in Playlist mode. Doesn’t seem like it would be that hard to do.


        1. I don’t think it would be hard. This is the downside of Apple, I guess: very streamlined, works quite well, but you can’t monkey all that much with the settings.


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