Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Entering song info manually, part of iTunes 10 Essential Training.
Now I am going to show you how to manually enter track information in case either iTunes is unable to identify a particular CD or if you don't have an active Internet connection at the time you import the CD tracks. I am going to go to my iTunes > Preferences, on Windows it would be Edit > Preferences, and under General I am going to uncheck Automatically retrieve CD names from the Internet. Now I want to stress that you don't have to do this unless you just want to follow along with what I am doing with your own CD and enter some information manually. As I mentioned in the previous movie, most of the time ITunes will be able to correctly identify your CD, so you won't have to type stuff in yourself.
So I am only unchecking this for demonstration purposes. Right, I'll click OK and now I am going to insert another audio CD into my computer. So you can see it just shows up with the generic name of Audio CD and the tracks are listed as Track 01, Track 02, Track 03 and so on, along with their durations. No other information is available from the CD itself. Now there is nothing saying I can't import the CD right now as-is. I have complete access to the Import CD button down here in the lower right-hand corner and if I click it, each track will be imported as usual.
But the problem is that every track will come in with these generic names. When I look at my library I won't be able to tell who the artist is, what the album name is, what the song titles are, or any other useful information, and I am sure I can manually enter the information after I import the CD, but it makes more sense to do it beforehand because iTunes will then recognize the CD the next time you insert it and you won't have to manually enter the information again. Now you are going to want to add, at the very least, the artists, the album name and song titles. Now there are a couple of ways of doing this. I could go through item by item. For instance, I can click once to select Track 01, pause a second, and then click it again to select the text and then start typing.
Now that pause between clicks is important because if you click too quickly, iTunes will think you're double- clicking and start playing the track. So you click once, pause, then click again and you can see the track name is now highlighted and I could type in the name of the first song. Then I can come over to the Artists area and enter that info. I already have an album by the Jellybricks in my Library, so iTunes is suggesting that one. If I agree with what it's suggesting, I just press Return or Enter. Now I'll do the same with album and that's how you manually enter information.
I could do the same thing to Track 02. I can even press the Tab key to jump to the next spot, and since this is going to be same artist I just need to type the first couple letters, and I can do the same thing with album again. So you could just come through song by song and manually enter all this information, but that's a pretty slow and tedious way to type in the info for an entire CD. Another way we can do this is to select a track and then right-click and choose Get Info, or alternately,you can select the Track and choose File > Get Info or use the keyboard shortcut of Command+I on the Mac or Ctrl +I on Windows, and that's my preference is to just use the keyboard command of Command+I. Any of those methods opens this window which you can see is divided into several sections or tabs at the top We'll be getting to each one of these areas later but the one I am interested in right now is Info, and in here I can add the track information including additional info that doesn't have a column in the main iTunes window.
So I enter the name of the third song, and just press Tab to move from field to field. Again, iTunes is automatically suggesting the artist for me so I can just press Tab when I am happy with that. The release year of this is 2004. Just be careful not to press Enter or Return while you are entering this information or else iTunes will think you are done and close this window. Now you may be wondering what the difference is between Artist and Album Artist. Generally, anytime you are working with an album by a single band or artist, you only need to fill in the Artist field. In cases where the album is maybe a compilation like greatest hits of the 90s or something like that, which might include a dozen different artists, you'd put the artist to perform the particular track you've selected in the Artist field, and then in the Album Artist field you could just put the name of the album itself or possibly the producer or the compiler if it's someone of note.
Opinions vary on what the official use of the Album Artist field is for. But mostly it's there for situations where it might not be clear who the artist of the entire album is. It's also useful if you have two albums with the same name. For example, there are ton of albums in existence called Greatest Hits and if you have more than one album with that title, it's helpful to put that artist name in both the Artist field and the Album Artist field. It can help iTunes keep better track of the individual songs for each album, especially if you like to view your collection in Cover Flow view. But again in a minimum, you should fill in the Name, the Artist and the Album fields.
If it's classical music you might want to put in the composer. You can put in some of your own personal comments and you can pick genres as well. Let's just say this is Rock. When you're done entering info for the track, you don't have to leave this window to go to the next track. Just click Next and you can see that takes me to Track 04. So this is a little bit faster than manually clicking each field one-by-one and typing in all the info in the main iTunes window here. But since the CD contains tracks that are off from a single artist and they all obviously appear on the same album, it makes sense that I should really only have to type that info in once and have it apply to all tracks.
Let me just cancel this for now. So what I'll do in this case, since my CD is selected, I'll press Command+A, Ctrl+A on Windows to select all of my tracks and then I use the keyboard command, Command+I or Ctrl+I, and I do see this warning asking me if I am sure I want to edit information for multiple items? I do so I'll click Yes. So now we see this Multiple Item Information window, which looks a little bit different than the regular individual Song Info window we were just looking at. Notice there is no field here for song title, since we have multiple track selected. Instead we have fields that relate to the entire album as a whole.
So we have Artist, Album Artist, Album, Grouping, Composer and so on. Many of the fields that we saw before. So for Artist I'll type in the band name. For the Year, I'll put in the year again, and this is essentially going to rewrite over the content that I have already put in there before. But it won't overwrite the song names I've already entered. Type the name of the album, and let's just set a genre for all of them, and those are the fields that I want to add for now. I'll click OK. You could see that global information is now been added to each track.
Now I just need to add the song titles. Now at this point it's definitely easiest to select the first untitled track, Get Info, add the song name, and then click Next to go to the next song. You can even use the keyboard shortcut of Command+N or Ctrl+N for Next to jump to the next track, without having to take your hands off the keyboard to click the Next button. Notice it conveniently keeps the field that you were working in selected. So I'll just type the name of this song, hit Command+N, and the next track, 07, is selected so I can just start typing right away without having to select or delete any other text.
So I'll just finish adding all of these song titles. So now I have added all the important info to the CD and I am finally ready to import. Again, you could add this info to untitled tracks after you import them but adding it before you import ensures that this info will automatically appear the next time you insert the CD. So with all the songs checked, I'll click Import CD and now it's importing each track with the proper information already included. Now I just let it do its thing, but I do want to mention again that if you're importing a popular album by a popular artist, you most likely won't have to manually enter this information.
But if you're importing an obscure album by an obscure artist and the album info doesn't appear even when you have iTunes set to Automatically search for the info, you will have to enter this information by hand. But then you can do your part so that other people with iTunes and the same album won't have to type this albums info in by hand. Once you've entered the album information with the CD selected you can go to the Advanced menu and choose Submit CD Track Names. Now because I am currently importing a CD I can't actually do this. You can see it says Please stop importing or wait for the import to complete before attempting to Submit CD Track Names.
So I am just going to stop the import, just so I can show you this. So I go back to Advanced > Submit CD Track Names. Now in this CD Info window that pops up, you have the opportunity to add any other info that you might want to, and when you are happy with it, you can click OK to send this information to the CDDB. The CDDB actually has a staff of people who are constantly checking and fixing song information that users send them over the Internet, and once you've send this in, then when some other iTunes user inserts their copy of the CD into their computer, the information they receive from the CDDB might just be the information you provided.
I am just going to Cancel this because this album does already exists in the CDDB, so we don't need to send it in again, and that's how you manually enter CD information into iTunes, and if you're feeling like a nice person afterwards, now you can upload the info to save other people some time. Now before we move onto the next movie I am going to go back into my Preferences and recheck Automatically retrieve CD track names from the Internet, because I always want iTunes to at least check for the CD info before I have to start typing it in myself.
- Using the playback controls
- Setting preferences
- Understanding audio and video file formats
- Importing from a CD
- Managing multiple libraries
- Building playlists and smart playlists
- Creating playlists automatically with Genius
- Shuffling and repeating songs
- Burning discs to share
- Shopping at the iTunes Store
- Managing an iPod