How to better organize your classical music in iTunes 12.5

As a classical music listener with a large iTunes library, I have long lamented the way iTunes manages this type of music. iTunes considers every track to be a “song,” and as classical music fans know, this isn’t always the case. Sure, some classical music can be classified as songs: opera arias, lieder, and art songs. But the majority of this genre’s music doesn’t fit that name.

In addition, while you might want to listen to your Miles Davis or Bob Dylan collection in shuffle mode, you almost certainly don’t want to listen to, say, the different movements of Mozart’s piano concertos in random order.

Apple has added some new tags to iTunes 12.5 in order to help users organize classical music. They are the Work (work name), Movement (movement number), and Name (movement name) tags. If you select one or more tracks in iTunes, then press Command-I, you can check Use Work and Movement to make these tags visible.

When you check this option, you see that the Name tag—the one for the track name—goes away, and is replaced by these three new tags you can use for classical works. This is a big advance, but not without problems.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.

3 thoughts on “How to better organize your classical music in iTunes 12.5

  1. If I am not mistaken, this article miss an important point: if you add the new tags to mouvements of a piece looks very nice indeed. But if for some reason, you move the album from iTunes, to reimport it later, you loose the works titles!
    Besides the new tags do not seen to belong to the “ID3 standard” so existing third party tagging software can’t use them.
    I believe this is a fist step in the right direction, but it needs much more work to be used.

  2. I agree this is a good first step, but the problem I have is there doesn’t seem to be a way to display by work name. For instance, I currently fill the Album Name tag with the work name, and fill the Song Name tag with the movement name. I use the comments to note the actual album/collection name and key soloists, etc. The advantage of this is that if I feel like listening to Mozart’s ‘Krönungsmesse, K317’, for instance, I can select Mozart as the composer (in the column browser) and then Krönungsmesse, K317 as the album. Nice and quick.

    As far as I can see in my (admittedly quite limited) experimenting with iTunes 12.5, using the work and movement tags provides a more sensible and consistent display of classical albums, but in the above example I would have to remember that Krönungsmesse is part of the ‘Sacred Music’ CD (which also contains the Requiem and some other Mozart works). And iTunes seems not to search the work tags, so if I put ‘Krönungsmesse, K317’ in the work tags, I can’t even search for this piece of music.

    So as best I can see, I should just stick with my current use of album name for work name and song name for movement name, as otherwise I won’t be able to locate specific pieces of music. Or am I missing something in the new support for classical metadata?

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