How to change your mu­sic files’ meta­data

You can fix er­rors or set in­for­ma­tion, but it’s a one-way street. Here’s how to pre­pare.

Macworld (USA) - - Contents - BY GLENN FLEISH­MAN

With all the fea­tures Ap­ple has crammed into itunes for macos, it’s a Swiss Army knife of an app (or maybe more like 20 pounds of pota­toes in a five-pound bag). But de­spite all of its

non-au­dio parts, itunes can help you with mu­sic files. No­tably, you can cor­rect or mod­ify meta­data—in­for­ma­tion about the files—in bulk.

But be­ware! These changes are made to the files, not just within itunes, and

there’s no warn­ing and there’s no undo.

My strong sug­ges­tions be­fore you make bulk meta­data changes in itunes:

> If you have icloud Mu­sic Li­brary en­abled (via itunes Match or Ap­ple Mu­sic), make sure all the files you want to mod­ify have been down­loaded to your Mac and aren’t stored in the cloud. (See this

Septem­ber 2018 col­umn on how to make sure your mu­sic is lo­cally down­loaded [ go.mac­world.com/trfr].)

> Make a full backup of your itunes Me­dia folder. You can make sure you’re back­ing up the right folder by look­ing in itunes → Pref­er­ences → Ad­vanced, where the itunes Me­dia Folder Lo­ca­tion is listed.

Now you can pro­ceed with an op­tion to re­vert in a pinch.

> Se­lect mul­ti­ple items in itunes.

> Choose Edit → Get Info.

> For any field in Details in which there are mul­ti­ple en­tries, you will see ei­ther the word “Mixed” (for text) or a dash (–) for a num­ber. You can mod­ify any of these en­tries and they will be ap­plied to ev­ery song you se­lected.

> Click OK. There’s no go­ing back: itunes im­me­di­ately up­dates the meta­data in the cho­sen files. ■

itunes lets you change meta­data on mul­ti­ple songs at once.

Make sure you’re back­ing up the right folder.

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