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Album bug

Last week, I thought Apple were wonderful. Today – not so much. I’ve discovered a bug in my iPod (or iTunes really), and for the very first time I feel quite disappointed as Apple don’t really seem keen on fixing a problem which you get on the new video iPods – a new problem which I don’t think affected previous models.

If you have one of the new video iPods, and use iTunes – then try this:

On your computer, find an artist in iTunes, where you have several tracks by that artist, but – most importantly where you have only ONE album by that artist, and some tracks that DON’T have an album tag against it.

In my example here, I’ll use Aqualung, of whom I have the self titled album ‘Aqualung’ but also (down the bottom) I have an additional track of theirs “Brighter than sunshine” which was a single I got seperately and has no album name associated with it.

iTunes Error

Then – go to your iPod. Go to Music, Artists, then scroll to the name of the artist – Aqualung for me – and hit select. And look at what it does!

It does not give you “All”, plus the name of album – instead, it jumps you straight into the album, meaning that you can’t individually select the song that does not have an album tag against it, in my case here – “Brighter than sunshine”. It’s as if it does not exists against that artist name. How annoying is that!?

So I posted up this thread on the Apple dicussion forums asking about. it, and if there was a fix.

And I eventually got linked to this page on the Apple support website about it, which is basically saying “The way around this is to add an album tag to the tracks that don’t have them”.

Well I think that this is piss poor, and it’s the first real time that I’ve ever thought that Apple have been sloppy on something. It’s never done this on any previous version of iTunes or an iPod that I have had, and now it seems as if they can’t be bothered to fix it !? This is rubbish, and I’m not impressed.

I downloaded the latest firmware (taking me up to 1.1) but this didn’t fix it. I don’t think it happens on any other versions – unless you can tell me different. I’d like to know if it happens on an iPod nano for example. Can people have a go with their iTunes/iPods and let me know?

Remember – it’s got to be where you (say) have 15 tracks, and some of them have the same one album tag and the rest are blank. The moment you have more than one album name/tag, the problem goes away.

Anyway, side point .. just to say something good, is that I came across this neat piece of software today which automatically goes away – and using the picture from the Amazon database, it adds the album artwork in for you automatically. Cool huh? Go have a play with it here

20 responses to “Album bug”

  1. Rob(Geoff's brother-in-law) says:

    I’ve got nothing to say….except for i’m the 1st comment – i’ll
    get me coat…!

  2. geofftech says:

    Yes, this is a “one for the techies” type of entry.

    I’m kind of expecting a high “thanks, but that’s not that interesting actually Geoff” type response to this one.

  3. Anthony says:

    It really, really annoys me when software companies (and webmasters for that matter) consider themselves too important to actually consider functionality or the needs of their users.

  4. Hey, give them a break. It was probably just an oversight in an effort to rush the new video iPods to market. I think they will come out with a new version of the firmware that will fix this. It is probably already in the works. You should definitely submit feedback to Apple about it though. If enough customers do that, they will no doubt address it in the next firmware release.

  5. geofftech says:

    trouble for apple is BECUASE they’re normally so rather brilliant, is that they then set ridiculously high standards for themself which makes them look bad when they slip up. truth is – they rarely slip up, but this one is REALLY bugging me, because you’d normally expect them to fix something like this quite quickly.

    i’d still like to know if anyone else has experience this though. anyone?

  6. If you check the Apple iPod forum discussion boards every day for news of the fix, I’m sure it will be up and coming. (Or better yet, just subscribe to a discussion topic and all posts are emailed to you.) Doubtless there are other iPod geeks out there even more bothered by this little glitch than you are. Have patience!

  7. Mark Garth says:

    I would have thought that they could have thanked you for telling them about the problem and promise to try to fix it in a future firmware release. That would have been good customer services.

  8. geofftech says:

    Well it appeared that they already knew about it, hence their ‘solution‘ on their page. But its a crap solution. It’s not a solution – it’s a stupid workaround. Not all of my tunes come from albums, and I don’t want them to have a made up album name just to solve a bug which has never existed in any previous version of iTunes/iPod. So why is it happening now?

  9. geofftech says:

    Fimb .. no, that’s the bug! You don’t have to build a playlist – You go Music/Arist/All – and then with the iPod on shuffle mode it shuffles through all the tunes by that artist. I bet you’ll find that’s only happening on artists with one album and no album tagged tracks!

    You’re just wingey since quitting smoking… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Wait Geoff. “The Archies?” Wuh? Not the cartoon Archies?

  11. neil365 says:

    (9) Pedant prize for me, but tracks with featuring X should be labelled Fatboy Slim – Blah Blah (feat. Bootsy Collins) and not Fatboy Slim feat. Bootsy Collins.
    That solves the problem with playing all his tracks, and is also the correct way according to (which makes it official obviously lol)

    Geoff – have you seen this depeche mode video
    depeche mode meets tron

  12. Peter says:

    #2: Thanks, but that’s not that interesting actually Geoff.

  13. Peter says:

    #4: Re: the oversight comment – awww bless ’em. They only forgot as they were concentrating hard on shifting several million units. Innit sweet? ๐Ÿ™‚

    But seriously, in previous versions, this not-on-any-particular-album track would have showed up under “All” but not any other menu, right? So if you’ve got, let’s say, 5 albums of stuff by one artist, along with 5 non-album tracks, you’ll have to scroll through a menu with all the 5 albums worth of songs as well, just to find the non-album tracks? Surely an “other” section would be better, no?

  14. geofftech says:

    Yes, but the bug only appears when you have ONE album by that artist, plus some tracks without album tags. If you have no album tags at all, or two or more, then the problem doesn’t occur.

    If you have 5 albums by an artist, plus some non-tagged tracks, then you get to see “All” plus the name of the five albums. So if you want to choose one of the songs that doesn’t appear on one of the albums then you go into “All”.

    Checking out the Tron/DM vid now Neil! ta…

  15. geofftech says:

    Kris – No The Archies were a group that had a No.1 hit here back in 1969! Called “Sugar Sugar”. It’s on their, as chosen by iPod contributor #361, Sarah Freeman.

  16. Jono says:


    Kris is right. The Archies are a fictional cartoon band, predating Gorillaz by decades. See Wikipedia for more information.

  17. Tower Block (not a) Prisoner says:

    I can’t comment on the iPod stuff, as I haven’t got one, but I do have a personal Digital Radio so there! Has anyone else got one?

    You get jolly running comments on the screen about the programme that’s playing. Quite amusing!

  18. Mark says:

    I don’t think it’s a bug as such, which is why Apple gives a workaround for your particular situation. I think the problem is that Apple decided to make life easier for people that only had 1 album for an artist and didn’t want to have to click twice to get to the songs, because really in that situation it is a redundant click. Doesn’t help you though :o(

  19. geofftech says:

    #19 – WHAT! … Mark, seriously .. *WHAT* !

    It’s a huge fucking bug. It’s something which broke in this iteration of the iPod/iTunes – something that didn’t happen previously has now changed. I don’t think for a moment that it’s ‘meant’ to do it at all! I think it’s piss poor that they’re trying to fob us off with a “Just add an album tag” line.

    I had this with the terrible RedChairSoftware and a piece of iPod software i once tried using before iTunes called ‘Anapod’. I thought it was lovely .. right up until the moment that I discovered that it ONLY synced tunes in your music collection to your iPod IF it had album tag – Rubbish! I have 400+ CD singles which come from no album at all, and I like not having albm tags on certain tunes.

    Apple need to sort it out. Pronto.

  20. Mark says:

    You call it a bug, Apple call it a time saving device. It’s not a feature of iTunes but the iPod video (and I think Nano). Check out for more info from memory when the iPod Video was released there was information there.

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