IPod Touch - Album Artist not working


Standard Member
Hi All,

I may be going mad, but I've been trying to work out how to tidy up the "Artist" catagory in my Ipod Touch (64Gb, 3rd gen, IOS 4.2), and I can't for the life of me figure out how to stop tracks on compilation albums appearing in the "artist" list.

For example, I have a compilation CD called "American Anthems". In the Get Info view in iTunes, the Artists are set to the individual artists for each track, but the "Album Artist" field is set to "Various", and the compilation box it ticked. So in iTunes, the "artists" view is not populated with a long list of individual artists, but rather grouped under "various". This does not seem to happen on the IPod Touch, and the artist list is huge because it lists each artist from the compilation. It's like the "Album Artist" tag is completely ignored.

A further example would be an Eric Clapton "Best of" which has tracks by Cream, Blind Faith and Eric Clapton. I would expect to be able to highlight all of the tracks, select "Album Artist" as Eric Clapton, and then iTunes would not show Blind Faith, Cream, etc but only Eric Clapton. Try as I might, I cannot get this to work on my IPod Touch. Adding "Eric Clapton" to the "Sort Artist" or "Sort Album Artist" field simply results in the other artists being moved alphabetically alongside Eric Clapton (i.e. Blind Faith moves from "B" to "E" in the list....about as useful as a chocolate fireguard)

More strangely, the above behavior is not duplicated on my old IPod Classic 160GB, which works in the same manner as ITunes.

It's most frustrating as I really want to minimise the number of individual artists as I want to use the IPod Touch in my car. It seems the only alternative would be to either rename the tracks to "Various", or not to sync the particular compilation albums.

Has anyone else noticed this behavior?

Thanks, Iain
Last edited:


Standard Member
I wish I were writing to help. Instead, I'm adding emphasis with the hope that we both get an answer soon.

In my case, it isn't just "various artist" albums. I have many albums where the track artists contain multiple names. I'd like to be able to keep that informtion, but so far, the only way I can get all the tracks in an album to show up together on my iPod is to erase all the artist data and replace it with the album artist name.

It seems as though the iPod is simply mistaking "artist" for "album artist".

I imagine that I'm incorrect in this assumption and that there's just a setting somewhere to fix this. Hopefully, someone will let us know what that is.

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