How do you play all tracks in an album under Big Sur?

Well, Apple have done it again, changed iTunes to Music and I’m confused!
Just upgraded to Mac OS 11.3.1 and trying to play all of an album in my library, from track 1 to the last track, in order. So first thing was figure out how to find my album, did that via Artist name since by Album name didn’t seem to be working and there are a few tracks on the Album not by the Artist - so it doesn’t show them. Tried Album Name and it finds the album, but only shows the tracks for the artist I originally search for, so, How do I rest everything and find the whole album, display it as i used to and play the whole thing? Tried a glance through Take Control of Media, but did’t spot any suggestions (ok, I’ll read it all, but I want to play NOW).

UPDATE (14:05) it appears Music/iTunes thinks this is a number of separate rips, although I would have ripped the whole album and it used to be ok. I also can’t find the various tracks in the ~/Music directory or sub-directories or packages. And it doesn’t appear in the Artist (Wendy Carlos) directory, although other albums by her do? However, now figured out how to list all tracks in album collection as a list and its there.

Can anyone tell me the DB structure (even if the DB is a series of plists)?

Almost surely, since there are multiple artists, the album is in one of two separate folders - one called “Compilations” or one called “Various” - in ~/Music/iTunes Media/Music. That’s where I see albums like that on my machine.

In the case you are mention, I select all of the songs in the album and use Song / Info to edit them together to have the same Album name. It’s there that you can also see if the Compilation setting is ticked.

Thanks Doug, checked those folders and the album(s) is not in any of them.
Checked info and all have same album name and none have compilation ticked.
Only real difference is the Artist Name. I attached a screen shot of the list view and album view.

When you’ve got an album that is a collection of tracks from different artists, you need to do one (but not both) of the following for all the tracks.

  • Put something in the “Album Artist” field. This will be used in lieu of artist when you sort your music collection by album. This is best for things like tribute albums, when you want the album to be sorted with the band the songs are a tribute to.
  • Leave “Album Artist” blank and instead check the “compilation” box. This will sort the album in the “Compilations” section of the Artists view or at the end of the list in Songs view. This is best for things like soundtracks and actual compilation albums.

Whichever approach you select, it is important to make sure all the tracks in the album use the same one. If some check the Compilations box and some set an Album Artist, you’re going to see the tracks appearing in different places in your collection instead of grouped together.


Brilliant, that did it (Album Artist), thank you.
It’s been a while since I ripped anything and I don’t remember having to do that before (before could be10 years or more).
– David

Even with iTunes running under Mojave I find that compilations or ripped albums sometimes don’t get listed as expected. I tend to create a new playlist with the artist name, “-” and album name as the title (which is a default when creating a new playlist from selected songs). I then scan the playlists for the albums instead of the Album view.
Hopefully, if I ever “upgrade” from Mojave the iTunes playlists will be transferred to the Music app of Big Sur, Death Valley or whatever :blush:

Another thing to look out for are the “Sorting” fields. On the Sorting tab of each track, you will see the Title, Album, Album Artist, Artist and Composer fields and associated with each one is a “Sort as” field.

If the “Sort as” field has a value, then it will be used for sorting purposes instead of what’s in its corresponding field (which will still be used for display purposes). For instance, my Elton John songs all have “Elton John” in the Artist field, but “John, Elton” in the Sort as Artist field, so they will sort with “J” instead of “E”.

If different tracks from the same album have different values in their “Sort as” fields for Album, Artist or Album Artist, it can lead to tracks sorting into unexpected places. Especially when the Compilation flag is also used inconsistently.

Fortunately, when you’re in a song-view track listing, you can add columns for the sort-as fields in order to see what they really are, which may help diagnose these kinds of problems.

Thank you everyone for the help and advise. It just goes to show what can happen if you don’t keep up with all the changes to apps. I’ve been using iTunes since it was released, and its changed over that time, but pretty much worked as before. Music seems to be a big step further.
– David

A post was split to a new topic: Using Plex in addition to Music