Stefan Ernst

Things to check when iTunes is splitting up your albums

iTunes splitting up albums

Have you ever suffered from the issue that you had one album in iTunes, but for whatever reason it showed split up as two albums or more even though it had the same album name, artist settings?

There are a few things you can and should check before tearing all your hair out:
Select all the tracks from the album causing you the stomach ache -> then click Get Info.

Now, the setting that would most likely be causing your grief would be the Album Artist field. It is rather hidden but can mess up your sorting very quickly. If you set it to empty/one specific artist for all the selected items, chances are good that your troubles will be gone.

If not, there's more to check:

Artist, Album Artist, Album

If it's an album from just one artist, make sure the artist is set appropriately. Sometimes hidden blanks sneak in.
The Album setting is, for apparent reasons, utmost important to keep consistent! Again, watch for hidden whitespace.
The Grouping and the Disc Number settings can bork up your sorting aswell.

Also, you might try to clear out all the sorting fields in the Sorting tab like this:

Sorting Options

Last, but not least, have a look at the Part of a compilation preference in the Options tab.
If it's a normal album made by just one artist you might want to force it to "No".
If it's a, well, compilation, force it to "Yes".

Compilation Setting

If this still didn't solve it there could be a more severe messup. I once had this and solved it by removing the tracks from iTunes, stripping all ID3-info from the files, reimporting it into iTunes and tagging them again.

Good luck!


Thank you! It is usually

Thank you! It is usually Album Artist that screws things up, but when that wasn't the problem, I was clueless. Thanks to you, I checked the Sorting tab and voiila, there it was. Very annoying as I often change the names of Artists and Albums to keep my artist list small, especially since I have so many where I only have one song, plus what good is having 15 CDs named "Greatest Hits". So frustrating to make the change and still find the item being sorted incorrectly. I spend way too much time on iTunes dealing with stupid little things like this. What should have taken 5 seconds to change now takes 5 hours. And don't get me started on why sorting your library by equalizer secondary sorts by song name instead of artist, then album like EVERY OTHER SORT. UGH! Another blog for another day I guess.

Thank my friend!

Thank my friend!

Great post, thanks to the

Great post, thanks to the author.

OH.MY.DAMN. You have saved

OH.MY.DAMN. You have saved me! I was about to throw my laptop out the window! THANK YOU!!!!!!! You're a legend person!

awesome, thanks for the info.

awesome, thanks for the info. To do what you said click on the "songs" and it works and I'm half in the bag drinking high gravity beer.......thanx dude or dudette.....the fight is always on! Cheers to You!

Thanks a lot! It fixed my

Thanks a lot! It fixed my problems. My albums are whole now.

Great help but I have one

Great help but I have one slight elaboration on the advice. When the author wrote at the beginning "select all the tracks" I wasn't sure exactly what he meant but, after trial and error, I finally discovered that if I selected the first album and then "command clicked" all the other albums involved and then go to "file . . . get info" . . . then I could enter the exact same settings for all those albums at one time and then, when I selected "one compilation" they merged beautifully. (I'm using a Mac. but image the same thing would be true on Windows.) This also works when iTunes didn't split an album but when you want to have only one listing for multiple discs. I "command/selected" all 18 discs of The Odyssey - an audio book - and got it to "audio books" where it belongs hence much simplifying my music library.) Thanks . . . .

The Sorting stuff was very

The Sorting stuff was very helpful, thanks.

I didn't have this problem on

I didn't have this problem on my Classic, only my new Touch 5th. Why??? Why do I have to tell it I want my albums to group as an album for the Touch when I didn't for the Classic?

Thanks! This worked :)

Thanks! This worked :)

What if the same album has

What if the same album has different names in each of the compilation parts?

What a relief. I thought I

What a relief. I thought I was stupid or something. These programmers have no people skills at all.
iTunes has been ruining my life and sabotaging my work for nearly a year, after decades of using IBM PCs that never obstructed ON PURPOSE without notification at any time.

The trend of attaching

The trend of attaching attractive shoe clips is back again. You can easily find out varieties of shoes with designer shoe clips attached to them

I have a huge library and

I have a huge library and it's happened on numerous albums - the fastest way is to highlight all the tracks for the whole album, go the "Get Info", type in the "Album Artist" field (whichever artist it is) and hit the space bar before pressing return or tab. If that doesn't pull the whole thing back together then do the same for "Album". It's always worked for me.

The other way is to slightly alter the 3 fields that are the main culprits for this problem. Artist, Album Artist & Album. If the artists name is, for example, FOO Fighters then highlight the OO, backspace them out and type them in as oo (lower case) so you end up with Foo Fighters - If you don't backspace and you just try to type the whole thing in it will automatically ping back the the upper case version. The only drawback to this is it will deem the artist to be 2 different ones so you really should apply the same alteration to every album/track by that artist.

thaks dude

thaks dude

You can enter a 'Album

You can enter a 'Album Artist' when you import a CD. It keeps the individual song artist info for each track while importing the entire album into a single folder, and keeps songs grouped under the album title in iTunes.

Hi, i did all of those things

Hi, i did all of those things and it still isnt grouping. :( what do i do.

Thanks - your page is

Thanks - your page is amazing!!!! I went through tons of useless Apple "support" which told me nothing and wasted hours of time. Then more time updating info of all the pieces of albums.
Windows Media player doesn't fragment your albums - though iTunes was supposed to be better?

Thank you so much. I've been

Thank you so much. I've been trying to figure this out forever.

Hello, Thanks for the info

Thanks for the info but iTunes split albums purchased status as well. (without purchased info when ripped from cd & with purchased for what u bought from itunes) this cannot be controlled by this way :(

Brilliant. Thank you so

Brilliant. Thank you so much!!!

I highlighted everything (all

I highlighted everything (all albums together, EVERYTHING), selected Get Info and then checked part of compilation, yes.

The correct songs were put with the correct album and no two albums were combined.

From Albums
Click on first album in list
Go to last album in list
Hold down shift key and while holding it down click on last album (release shift key)
All albums should be hightlighted now
Right click and select get info
Go to options tab
check part of a compilation
Change part of compilation to yes

Genius - this has been

Genius - this has been driving me mad for flipping ages. Thank you so much :)

Your. Are. A. Legend. Thank

Your. Are. A. Legend.

Thank you for saving my technology from going 'smashy smashy'.

Solved my problem. Thanks so

Solved my problem. Thanks so much!

bless you dude. Nice to have

bless you dude. Nice to have a checklist.

Thank you so much!

Thank you so much!

Thank you so much! It was

Thank you so much! It was driving me insane and thankfully you came up on Google and have solved all my problems! You rock.

I agree this solves the

I agree this solves the problem in I tunes... but I dont want 1 album to be split into 20 different artist folders simply because it was an album of duets, so now I have a cheiftans album in 24 different artist folders which is a royal pain in the ass when looking at things on my ipod I even spent 2 days moving every file back to where i want it just to have I tunes go and split them all up again when i added my music folder to my itunes library. how can i get itunes to read in my artist folders WITHOUT MAKING ANY CHANGES?????

Thanks for the guide. Very

Thanks for the guide. Very helpful sorting a stubborn album in itunes. Cheers

Thank you for the easy to

Thank you for the easy to follow fix! Most appreciated.

Finally I found them . That's

Finally I found them . That's great news ! thanks a lot

I love you!!!!!

I love you!!!!!

This was the only thing that

This was the only thing that worked for me, as well. Thank you so much for posting this! Otherwise, I would have so many split albums. I get really OCD with my iTunes organization, so it would have driven me crazy if I didn't have it fixed.

Thank you for sharing!

Thank you for sharing!

I thought my problems all

I thought my problems all stemmed from having to recover my files from the ipod using some shareware after my laptop was destroyed. I was able to recover most of them but they are a random, scrambled mess (including those purchased from itunes. But my new Amazon files stubbornly refuse to organize! And of the splits I manage I manage to get into a single album, the order is scrambled and will not drag into place! This is a problem with, for example, the 43 files in my Handel's Messiah album.

The fix in the original post didn't work for me, so I tried this one. It all seemed to work but when I went back to my music list the album was still split to pieces! But I tried this, and it worked:

I created a new playlist with the album title. After I followed the instructions view/grid/shift-select, I moved the selection to the new playlist and it showed up as a single album AND with the tracks in proper order!!!!

Sooo happy for this fix and I hope my additional step helps someone still struggling.

Thanks, problem sorted. As

Thanks, problem sorted. As suggested, in my case the album artist field was the problem, as each duet with the main artist was shown as an album in its own right.

WOW, thanks, this totally

WOW, thanks, this totally worked. I was trying forever to figure out a solution.

This problem is like the

This problem is like the Monopoly game. It never plays the same way twice. After trying all the fixes here I've only been able to solve some my split albums. Others are just invincible. Nothing works for them. I've combed the info with a fine toothed come and made sure EVERYTHING within them matched for each album, even the artwork. I've literally checked every field in every tab for leading/trailing/solitary spaces and found none. WTF?

Thank you! Worked first time

Thank you! Worked first time LEGEND!!!!

Oh my, this was sooo helpful.

Oh my, this was sooo helpful. It completely solved the problem I was having. Easy steps to follow and not much to rectify the issue. Thank you so much for solving something I've been trying to figure out for months!!



Go to the "Albums" screen, and make sure that your albums are in "Grid" mode (you know... List/Album List/Grid/Cover Flow).
Pick JUST ONE of the split albums - that's all you need for this tutorial.
With one of the split albums selected, go to the "List" view. That will auto-point you directly to the first track of the split album that you just clicked on in the "Grid" view.
Presuming your "Album" column simply reads as "Album" alone (and not as "Album by Artist" or "Album by Artist/Year"), you'll have full-range view of ALL of those tracks that were chopped-up by iTunes. (If your "Album" column reads as one of the other two I specified, just simply single-click on the heading until it cycles back to "Album" alone.)
Do a Shift-Select of all of the tracks that are supposed to be all part of the same "Album" (they'll all have the same name in the "Album" column). (Further example: The very-first image in this blog's original post (from the original author of this post) indicate that the "Album" is "Radio Blackout". Whatever the title of YOUR album is, look for the name of the title of your album and do a shift-select on all of those matching tracks.) (Shift-select means - click on the first track, hold Shift, click on the last - this will select everything first last and in between.)
Right click on the shifted range selection and select "Get Info."
Under the "Info" tab, manually type the name of the "Main Artist" (so-to-speak) in the field labeled "Album Artist". (In the same image example of this original post, it would be "T. Raumschmiere". You type the name of YOUR album.) THIS WILL GROUP THE WRONGLY-SEPARATED ALBUMS BACK TOGETHER AGAIN, *WITHOUT* EDITING THE ORIGINAL TRACK-ARTIST FIELDS, WHICH IS VERY USEFUL IN KEEPING THE ALBUM'S INTEGRITY!!!
Next, go to the "Sorting" tab, and type the same thing that you just previously typed (under "Album Artist" in the Info tab - the "T. Raumschmiere" of your album) into the "Sort Album Artist" tab in the Sorting tab.
Both of the fields that you hand-typed into will automatically "check" those lines... leave them checked - do not uncheck them.
I only had to edit two fields!!! All's well that ends well!

This worked when you are

This worked when you are looking at the Albums in iTunes - but what is on the hard drive is still scattered between multiple sub-directories. Maybe I will have to quit using iTunes to rip my CDs. Thanks much for the clear and concise help.

The ONLY thing that worked

The ONLY thing that worked for me after try your tips was:
1. Select all songs from an album -> Get Info
2. Make them part of a compilation -> Clic the OK button
3. Get Info (again, with all the albums songs selected)
4. Make them NOT part of a compilation -> OK button
(the last step is for keeping the songs in artist's original folder)

What a mess…

this is ridiculous - i have

this is ridiculous - i have hundreds of compilation albums - this would take me forever - so many people complain about this - wtf apple - if i put something in your program in a folder - chances are i wanted it that way - not scattered to the four winds

Such great advice- I have

Such great advice- I have been struggling to find a fix for this and now have my split albums fixed perfectly! Thanks so much.

Thanks! I studied ten

Thanks! I studied ten bazillion web pages showing outrageously complicated methods to rectify this problem- including Apple's own instructions. Your solutions were simple & quick. I got to use 3 of them to fix different albums. Even stripping the ID-3 stuff was easy. Now I can stop shaking my head & pull the pins out of my iTunes voodoo doll.

Thank you! I've been tearing

Thank you! I've been tearing my hair out over these problems for years :D

Thank you so much for the

Thank you so much for the tip! This had been bugging me for months!!! Worked perfectly for me.