After nearly a decade of successfully managing my portable music on myriad generations of the classic iPod and the iPod Touch, something horrifying happened with the latest release of iTunes (12.7). As I attempted to set up my wife’s new iPod Touch (5th gen), songs that I had ripped from CD that I was attempting to transfer to her iPod were showing up as separate albums. I’ve created hundreds of custom playlists to appear as a singular album on an iPod Touch. Yet these playlists were coming across not as an album with 80 songs, but 80 separate albums.
This is a drastic departure from the neat and tidy albums list I’ve maintained for years. I started to look at the ID3v2 tagging, but why would rock-solid tagging suddenly break down for no obvious reason?
I also noticed that on my older iPod Touch (3rd gen), with the old trusty orange tile with the black musical note Apple Music app, that the tagging still held up.
But since my wife’s iPod Touch (and my iPhone) has the latest iOS and the newer Apple Music app (white tile with pastel music note), everything was a mess.
Plus, which well-meaning idiot at the Cupertino mothership decided that a tried-and-true UX featuring the various sort options resident along the bottom of the screen had to be improved by forcing constant screen swapping to go from Albums to Artists to Playlists? Apple continues to prove what I’ve always suspected: as software is upgraded, ostensibly for increased and utility and usability, it becomes precipitously more useless. It’s like we’ve devolved by an impressive degree from the heyday of Jakob Nielsen’s usability testing revolution.
Trying to Google for a solution this issue, is no easy task. I guess no one gives a shit about how the music is organized on their mobile devices? Is everyone cool with their meticulously curated music libraries being hit by the functional equivalent of a virtual tornado? More likely, no one has a music library in the age of ubiquitous streaming.
After some looking, I think I found the definitive explanation of this issue on Apple’s discussion boards. I’m going to try it out (and cross my fingers). Because if Apple’s vision of the future for organizing music on a mobile device is thousands of single songs sorted in no coherent manner, I’m going to have to find a different device.
Copyright © 2018 – ∞ B. Charles Donley