How to fix the iTunes 10 compilation album grouping bug

I’ve been encoding a lot of my CDs in iTunes (10.1.2) lately. It generally does a great job of encoding to Apple Lossless and grabbing the appropriate track data and cover art from the internet I’ve have come across an annoying problem. Occasionally, despite ALL of the tags being the same, and numerous combinations of “Compilation, Sort Album, etc…” being set, iTunes still insists on listing a compilation album as individual tracks like this:

A google search of the problem shows that I’m not alone. There seems to be as many solutions as there are people posting so in case it’s of any use, here’s what has worked for me every time.

  1. Select all of the tracks you wish to group, right-click, and from the context menu select “Get Info”.
  2. On the “Info” tab, enter a single space in the “Album Artist” field.
  3. On the “Options” tab, set “Part of a compilation” to “Yes”.
  4. Click “OK” to make those changes.
  5. The album should now be grouped properly, and you’ll see something like this:
  6. The only problem is now iTunes thinks that the album’s artist is ” ” and so isn’t listing it as “Various Artists”, so with the tracks selected, right-click and from the context menu select “Get Info” again.
  7. This time on the “Info” tab, remove the single space from the “Album Artist” field.
  8. Click “OK” to make that change and the album should now be grouped properly and listed as Various Artists.
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0 thoughts on “How to fix the iTunes 10 compilation album grouping bug

  1. Barnacle Bill says:

    Clear, concise, pretty quick & it works!
    Shame I only found it after three abortive attempts at solutions from other sites.
    Well done
    Barnacle Bill

  2. Jonathan says:

    If Compilation is for the “Various Artist” type albums, what does the Grouping field used for?

  3. Leon says:

    Seem to have worked with a troublesome 500 track compilation that has been pestering me for a while!! Cheers.

  4. Axel says:

    Thanks, great

  5. Neil Hodge says:

    Richard:

    From the photo you posted, it looks like you are concerned (at least in this case) with some type of electronica. In this case, where there is often a DJ who mixes the compilation, I have taken to using the DJ name(s) in the “Album Artist” field. For example, for the original Renaissance Mix Collection, I would use “Sasha and John Digweed”. This is nice in several ways, not the least of which being that I can differentiate between different compilations, i.e., they don’t all have the same artist . . .

    • richard says:

      That’s an excellent idea, Neil, thanks. I’m not sure if this grouping problem is still an issue in more recent versions of iTunes, have you experienced it lately?

  6. Neil Hodge says:

    No, I haven’t. Once I found something the worked for me, I wasn’t too motivated to go back and explore it any further . . . :)

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