Utilizing tagging with iTunes

First of all, this is a personal request to any [Windows] iTunes developer that can create plugins:

To whom it may concern:

I use the “Grouping” tag to tag my music. At the status quo, I have to right-click the song within iTunes, click “Get Info”, go to the “Info” tab, then type the tag(s) I want. Too much work for a simple task, isn’t it?

It would be incredible if a plugin could be installed where I can right-click the iTunes icon in the system tray, and a “Tag song” item pop up. Oh yeah, and maybe a slick way to display all the tags I’ve used, utilizing the weight used for each term? Within iTunes, instead of pressing F2 to edit the name of the song, how about a hot key to change the contents of the “Grouping” tag?

Can you look into this, or perhaps pass it along to someone who could work on it? Thanks!

For those of you wondering, how do I use these tags?

Smart playlists + more specific tags (as opposed to just using Genre) = better playlists depending on my mood or the people riding in my car

Sometimes, I feel like listening to some screamo-type music. Maybe my friends [who made me drive for the evening] just prefer mainstream music. Or if I’m out with a lady friend, they’d prefer a bit softer music, so I play my “Mellow” smart playlist. Isn’t that kind of neat? Maybe I’m just a bit geeky, but at least I’m not scrolling through artists too often, and I can focus on driving.

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. He's also a cat whisperer. Sometimes…a photographer, and card magician.

9 thoughts on “Utilizing tagging with iTunes”

  1. Bryan, I couldn’t agree more! I’ve never tried using the “groups” tag because I just didn’t get what it was, but I’d like to do exactly what you’re trying to do. I thought about just using the comments section for “tags”, but maybe I’d be better off using the groups…? My main thing is I want to be able to easily create playlists that don’t include songs that are NSFW. Give me a shout if someone replies and gets this working. Thanks!


  2. After winamp, i tried to begin using MediaLibrary, id3v2 tags… so winAmp isn’t good. I moved to: http://www.musikcube.com which is very nice, but its not yet a good id3v2 tagger. Try: http://id3-tagit.de/ to edit grup tags, its amazing.

    Now i got an iPod, so i’m moving to iTunes (on Windows) and Amarok on Linux.

    could you please specify how you create this smartlists using the tags?
    Another problem on iTunes is that it doesn’t save the Ratings into the mp3. Thats a problem…


  3. @iuri: Alrighty, so a smartlist for Mellow music would consist with “Grouping – contains – Mellow”.

    To combat with the ratings not being saved in the MP3 tag, per se, I also enter the rating number in the comment field just in case something goes wrong. I do this periodically in bulk (within iTunes).


  4. Thanks Bryan. Gonna try this Grouping feature. Its new for me since other players don’t have it.

    In many songs i use the Comment to specify the other artists playing.where it was recorded etc.

    I haven’t seen yet a Player that deals with multiple genre’s like http://id3-tagit.de/ . if you get to know one, tell me. Thanks, iuri


  5. Does iTunes break when it sees your songs with more than one genre in a song?

    My suggestion: Don’t get too complicated and caught up in the system. Figure out something simple and use it. You’re only listening to music, right? 🙂


  6. yes, an excellent point! I’ve just spent days organising my iTunes library (100+gigs) and the feature request above would have saved me no end of hassle. Browsing by ‘genre’ really is a powerful tool – can’t believe it took me years to discover the power of iTunes!


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