Once I deliver a master disk to a client, I often receive a call or email asking a common question. With some regularity, I am asked how to get the track titles and artist details to be listed in the iTunes application. Contrary to popular belief, iTunes does not retrieve track names from the CD itself. Red Book CD’s do have the capability to contain sub code data such as CD TEXT for track names, artist etc. These are pre-defined fields within the specification that will accept alpha numeric data for the track names and artist, amongst other details. However, iTunes does not get this information from the disk itself. Instead, it accesses an online Internet database (Gracenote Media Database) from which it retrieves that information. Here follows a quick guide to inputting that data. The following information is relevant as of iTunes version 10.6.1.7
1) Insert your CD and open the iTunes application.
2) Navigate to the “File” menu at the top of the window (Menu 1). Click on “New Playlist”. Once the new playlist appears type a new name for it.
3) Click the “Audio CD” tab on the left sidebar. Then select all the tracks you wish to include for editing on the CD in the main iTunes window.
4) Then drag and drop each song into the new playlist folder which you just named. Allow the tracks to import.
5) Click on the newly created play list in the left hand side bar. This will display playlist tracks into main iTunes window. You will see a list of tracks that have been added.
6) Select “Track 1” in the window.
7) Navigate to the “File” menu, and select “Get Info” from the drop down. You will see the “Get info” window appear. (or PC right click/ MAC Control click “Get info”)
8) Click the second tab “Info”.
9) In this window you can fill out the fields presented on the “Info” page, including track name, artist album, album etc. Click “ok” to save the information. Repeat for all the tracks.
This should ensure your track names display correctly when your CD is inserted into a computer with iTunes installed. CD Text which is embedded onto the CD itself can display the track names only if a CD player has the capability of displaying CD Text. Many CD players do not have this capability. Most commonly you can find this facility on in-car stereo systems that have a CD player.
Barry Gardner operates SafeandSound online mastering