Now that I’ve gotten pretty far with ripping my CD collection and properly tagging the MP3s I already had, I ran into a minor iPod annoyance. I have about 20GB and more than 3300 songs in my iTunes library at this point, all of which I sync to my 60GB iPod. A bunch of my albums are collections from various artists - mostly industrial / electronic / goth samplers, 80s collections, tribute albums, etc. This means that there is a huge (one might call it inflated) number of artists in my collection. The actual number of artists of whom I own at least one full album and that are currently in my iTunes library is 97. The inflated number that includes artists of whom I only have a single song on a collection is more than twice as much, 227.

Within iTunes, I have checked the “Group collections when browsing” option that limits the list of artists to the 97 artists I really care about, and groups all collections in an entry called “Collections”. This is the perfect solution to managing my music collection.

Unfortunately, the iPod does not support this feature and insists on displaying all 227 artists. This is particularly annoying as the iPod with its more constrained UI (compared to a desktop app such as iTunes) is where a streamlined interface really matters. Cyling through the artists on iTunes is one thing, but doing the same thing using the clickwheel on the iPod is quite another one. Furthermore, I usually don’t cycle through my library looking for a particular artist, but rather browse around to see what I might feel like listening to.

Hopefully a future iPod firmware update is going to fix this…