Music app

How to Add and Organize Albums in iTunes and Apple’s Music App

When you buy music from the iTunes Store or rip a CD, the album automatically shows up in your music library, either in iTunes or in the Music app on a Mac. However, if you try to locate the album on your computer, you may find that it was not saved in the correct folder, the tracks are arranged in the wrong order, or some albums have incorrect cover art. or missing.

You can fix all of this quite easily if you move the music in question to the correct folder and edit some track data. You can also find the right cover by searching online. Whether you use iTunes or the Music app, here’s how to fix these issues.


Move album

Let’s say that the album in question is a compilation with songs from different artists. If it’s a new addition to your library, you can easily find it in the Recently Added section. Otherwise, scroll down the music library to find it in the Compilations section. The artist’s name will likely be listed as Various Artists. Maybe you’re ok with that, or maybe you’d rather set up the album with a less generic name and location.

album artist info

First, let’s move the album itself out of the Compilations folder on your computer and into a more specific and appropriate folder. In iTunes or the Music app, click the album to view all of the songs in it. Right click on the first track. In the context menu, click Show in Windows Explorer/Show in Finder to open the Compilations folder on your computer.

album files

We will now create a new folder for the music. If you’re using Windows, navigate to the Music folder under iTunes Media in File Explorer. Mac users should navigate to the Music folder under Media in Finder. Create a folder with the name of the artist or artists you want to use for the album.

new folder

If the album is performed by different artists and not by a lead singer or band, you can include the name of the album itself in the folder. For example, I downloaded an album of songs from guardians of the galaxy movies, all by various artists. So I simply created a new folder named Guardians of the Galaxy Artists.

paste songs

Navigate back to where the album is stored in File Explorer or Finder. Right-click on the album and select Cut or Copy from the context menu. Open the newly created folder and paste the songs into their new destination.


Delete album

delete album

Now is the time to delete the original album location. Right-click on the album in iTunes or the Music app. From the context menu, select Remove from Library. You are asked if you are sure you want to delete the selected songs from your library. Click the Delete Songs button.

delete files

If you chose to copy the album rather than cut it, then you are asked if you want to delete the selected songs or keep them. Click the button to Delete files under Windows or Trash on Mac. The album disappears from the application. But don’t worry, the songs still exist in your newly created folder. We will bring back the album using this folder.


Import album

import an album

You can now import the music into your newly created folder. In iTunes, go to File > Add Folder to Library. If you’re using the Music app, go to File > Import. Find the folder and click Select Folder to add the album to iTunes or the Music app.

album info

You may notice that songs still appear in the Compilations section with Various Artists as the artist name. This can be fixed, however. Scroll to the album, right-click it, then click Album Info (iTunes) or Get Info (Music app)

artist name

In the Details section, click in the album artist field and replace the artist name with the same name you previously used to create the new folder. You can change the artists of a compilation album to a single name. For example, I changed the artist of the album to the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 to say Guardians of the Galaxy Artists.

Next, uncheck the checkmark that says The album is a collection of songs from various artists if checked, click OK.

new list of artists

The album should now appear in alphabetical order in your iTunes or Music app library by artist name. Scroll to the right place in your library or type the album name in the search field. You should then find your album tucked away in the right place organized by the name of the artist you created.


Find the missing cover

cover missing

Apple’s iTunes is usually adept at digging up the right artwork for albums in your library. Whether you buy an album through iTunes or rip one of your CDs in your collection, Apple’s music player relies on a database called Gracenote to retrieve album art and other data. .

But iTunes may be blocked if the album is not in the Gracenote database. In some cases, the wrong art appears. In other cases, no art appears. How do you then find the right cover for your albums? You have a few options for iTunes or Apple’s Music app.

find album cover

Right click on an album without artwork. In the context menu, click on the Get album cover order. If the artwork is accessible, iTunes or the Music app will apply it to your album. Otherwise, you will see the dreaded message: work for [album name] can’t be found.

find album cover

If this happens, you can search online for the correct image, save a copy of the image file, and then upload it to iTunes or Music. You can do this by searching for the album in question, switching to images in your search engine of choice, and finding a good image to use.

record album cover

Click on any of the images to view it in a larger format. Right-click the larger thumbnail, then right-click the context menu and click Save Image As. You can then save and even rename the file. Be sure to save the file as JPG or another popular image format. If it is a .webp file, for example, you must convert the image before uploading it again.


Download the missing cover

Once the image is saved to your computer, it’s time to add the artwork to the album. Right-click on the album in question in iTunes or the Music app. From the context menu, select Album Information Where Obtain informations. In the Info window, click the Illustration tab and select Add artwork.

save illustration

Locate the album art file in the context menu, then double-click the image. The image then appears in the Illustration window. Click OK to close the window. Now check your library and you should see that the uploaded image shows up as the album art.

album cover

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