Re­think­ing mu­sic man­age­ment in iTunes with Tags

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.