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Use an AppleScript to update all Album Artists in iTunes Apps
iTunes 7.1 adds the Album Artist field in the user interface, and some music (such as iTunes Store purchases) include this information, but music imported from CDs may not. I wanted to add this information, but didn't want to do it manually, so I wrote an AppleScript to do it.

The script creates a new folder (for easy deletion) containing two playlists. The first, working, will be populated with every track in your Library that doesn't already have anything in the Album Artist field. The second one will hold any of the tracks which are not updated by this script.

The script will go through the working list album by album, and for those albums whose tracks all have the same artist, the Album Artist will be set to that artist. For those with multiple artists, the user will be given a choice of all of those artists, or Various Artists, or None of the Above. If the user chooses None of the Above, the album will be moved to the Album Artist Work playlist, otherwise the user's choice will be used as the Album Artist

While the script is running, you can select the working playlist and watch the updates.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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Use an AppleScript to update all Album Artists in iTunes
Authored by: Mr. H on Mar 09, '07 08:37:52AM
Actually, the "Album Artist" field has been there since 7.0. iTunes 7.1 does provide new fields, visible in the "sorting" tab of individual tracks' info panes.

The new fields are "Sort Name", "Sort Artist", "Sort Album Artist", "Sort Album", "Sort Composer" and "Sort Show". Each of these "Sort x" fields take precedence over "x" fields when iTunes decides in what order to display a list of tracks, but otherwise do nothing.

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Use an AppleScript to update all Album Artists in iTunes
Authored by: Slinkwyde on Mar 09, '07 09:23:55AM
As the previous commenter said, the feild was added in 7.0. You could have just used a script available on www.dougscripts.com to do this; you didn't have to roll your own thing.

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Use an AppleScript to update all Album Artists in iTunes
Authored by: tbdavis on Mar 09, '07 11:04:36AM

Because I erroneously thought this was one of the new fields, I didn't think there would be a script on Doug's Scripts. However there are a couple of important differences between my script and the script on www.dougscripts.com.

  1. The dougscripts version requires you to select all of the tracks you want to update, whereas mine grabs all of the tracks which don't already have an Album Artist listed.
  2. My version checks all of the tracks in an album to see if they all have the same artist, and if they do, it uses that artist for the Album Artist, but if the artists are different for any of the tracks, my script puts up a dialog box with all of the found artists names plus "Various Artists" and "None of the above". Choosing "None of the above" will leave the Album Artist blank and put the tracks in the second playlist for easy manual editing.

And rolling my own was pretty quick and easy until I started revising and testing to publish here.



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Use an AppleScript to update all Album Artists in iTunes
Authored by: Wodgy on Mar 09, '07 11:56:39AM
I don't think doing this is necessarily a good idea. It depends on your overall tagging strategy, but some of the more established "standards" for tagging, such as this one:
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Foobar2000:Encouraged_Tag_Standards
recommend *not* using the Album Artist field at all unless an album is by multiple artists. That makes more sense to me than mirroring the artist fields into the album artist field without any real reason.

To a certain extent, the iTunes "compilation" check box does the same thing as what the "Album Artist" field is meant to do on albums with various artists, but if you ever find a need to share albums with other apps (Squeezebox, WMC, etc.), it makes sense to use the fields in a standard way.

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Use an AppleScript to update all Album Artists in iTunes
Authored by: Wodgy on Mar 09, '07 12:05:45PM

Also, I forgot to mention this, but iTunes, like Windows Media Center, stores the album artist field in the ID3 tag for Band/Orchestra/Accompaniment. So for classical music, the "standard" is to put the name of the orchestra there.



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Use an AppleScript to update all Album Artists in iTunes
Authored by: tkrombac on Oct 06, '07 09:25:48AM

I don't know why other posters put so much scorn on poor tbdavis. This is exactly the script I have been looking for and I did not find anything as elegant or complete on Doug's scripts.

My only gripe is that there is no possibility to let it turn on a subselection or your library. When I tried to run it on my library (4000 items) it choked...



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Use an AppleScript to update all Album Artists in iTunes
Authored by: tkrombac on Oct 06, '07 10:31:38AM
OK, I found out how to change this. If you only want to update a subselection of your library, change the following line of code (line 4):

set myLibrary to library playlist

to this

set myLibrary to playlist "UpdateArtist"

Now you can create a playlist "UpdateArtist" and drop the songs you want to update into it. Beware however, I did not implement an error message in case the playlist does not exist (tried, but I'm too much of a beginner here), so you might get a nasty Applescript error...

The script works very nicely for me.

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