Rethinking music management in iTunes with Tags

March 20, 2013 | 2 min read

Tags in iTunes

I love listening to and discovering music and I really like the way iTunes organizes my albums, especially with the new grid view. One thing I miss though is the possibility to tag my albums or songs as this would allow me to organize my music better. There's already a good tagging system built into iPhoto so Apple knows how to do it. As I like the idea of tagging music, I thought about it a bit and found many useful ways to use tags in iTunes. First, you could just forget about genres in the way that they're in iTunes now. At the moment, one song can have exactly one genre. So if you want to give a song or album two genres like Soundtrack and Electronic, you have to create a new genre like Soundtrack-Electronic. This clutters the genres view so much that it isn't easy to find music there anymore.

My cluttered genres list

This could be done much better by using tags. If one song or album has more than one genre, you can just give it one tag for each genre. In my example, you could just assign the tags Soundtrack and Electronic to this album. It would also be simpler to organize and find live or instrumental albums. Using tags you would no longer need to add [Live] or something like that to the titles of your albums and songs. The tags you use in your library could be listed in the sidebar so you can access them quickly. You could also refine your selection by selecting multiple tags. If you, for example, want to hear some live rock music, you could select the tags Live and Rock and directly get a list of all your live rock music.


Another way you could use tags in iTunes is to create more intelligent playlists. If you, for example, want to create a playlist that contains just house music that is played live or soundtracks that are played by an orchestra, you could create an intelligent playlist that automatically lists those tracks and albums.


I think that adding a tagging system to iTunes could change the way we organize and discover music. If you have any suggestions or ideas concerning this topic, just leave them in the comments below this article. Maybe this feature will be added to iTunes in the future.