Unknown Album Issue (Music App on IPHONE)

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cucuzza

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Information:
Equipment: iPhone 7
iOS version: 13.3
App: Music App
iTunes version: 12.10.3.1

Description of Issue:
I recently wiped my phone and reloaded all my music back onto it. I added it back to phone by loading all my music to iTunes and syncing the phone to the library (since there was a large number of tracks).

All my music is appropriately tagged (I ensured this), but, for some artists, all of the tracks tagged to that artist were added by track as if it didn't have an album. It named the album as "Unknown Album" and looks like this on the app on the phone:
I KNOW it's appropriately tagged because I spend a great deal of time getting this stuff right. Here's a screenshot of proof of how the music is tagged to an album on my phone via iTunes:
To "resolve" this, I simply delete the problematically tagged music on the phone and reload the items. Problem is, 1.) I don't know a complete listing of which tracks exhibit this behavior and 2.) there could be a great number of these tracks.

Questions:
  1. What causes this and is there a way to fix this en masse or will I ALWAYS come across this when I reload music back onto my iPhone for a large amount of tracks?
  2. How will I be able to get a complete listing of tracks that are exhibiting this behavior? I tried searching for anything that says "Unknown Album" using the filter as well as creating a smart playlist of any track that is blank for the Album field, but nothing came up.
 

cjmnews

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Are these MP3 files? This is common for MP3 files. iTunes fails to write the updated album information to the song files automatically.

You can force iTunes to write out the information with the File->Convert ID3 Tags, check ID3 tag version select v2.4 and click OK.

Then remove the tracks from your iPhone and put them back on.
Let me know if this helps or is not the case.
 

cucuzza

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Yes, these are MP3 files. Isn't your solution that you've outlined that same as what I've said (removing everything and putting everything back)? I'd rather not have to wipe it and reload everything once more as the reloading literally takes hours. Are you saying " File->Convert ID3 Tags, check ID3 tag version select v2.4 and click OK" will set iTunes to ALWAYS do this forced writing going forward and thus I will not experience the issue I've outlined going forward?

Is there a way to identify which tracks are experiencing the issue in my current state?
 

cjmnews

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No my solution fixes the songs themselves by writing the song information into the ID3 tags. Your fix is temporary, mine is permanent.

iTunes has the song information stored in it's database and syncs part of that database with the tracks. When the iPhone accesses the track, the first time it usually uses the iTunes information, but it is temporary. The player will query the song for the information about the song when the iTunes information ages. Since your MP3 files have missing information about the song in them via the ID3 tags, then you get the Unknown Album problem.

If you write the song information to MP3, by forcing iTunes to update the ID3 tags, then your song has all the information about it embedded in the song and you shouldn't ever see the Unknown Album problem again with those songs.

Unfortunately there is no way to detect if the ID3 tags are missing the data with smart playlists as iTunes will use the iTunes database to process the rules and the information is in the iTunes database.

If you select ALL MP3 files in your iTunes, then File->Convert ID3 Tags, check ID3 tag version select v2.4 and click OK, then all your current MP3 songs will be fixed. Unfortunately since the song is the same as what is on the device, a sync will not get the update to your iPhone. You need to remove it and put it back on to get the permanently fixed song.

Anytime you add new MP3 songs to iTunes you need to do the File->Convert ID3 Tags, check ID3 tag version select v2.4 and click OK to write out the ID3 tags to the song file. Forgetting this step will cause the Unknown Album (and possibly other tag updates) issue again.
 
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