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From within iTunes (or Music on iOS), is it possible to make a collection of full albums that is separate from my main library? So, essentially, a playlist of albums.

I know that I can put all songs from an album into a playlist, but that's not exactly what I need to do. It comes down to the fact that I have a fairly substantial music library. I'm an album-centric music consumer... meaning I tend to listen to full albums as opposed to individual songs. I want to be able to group albums in my collection based on mood, genre, release date, theme, whatever. So again, a playlist of albums is really the best way to describe it.

Maybe I'm going about this all wrong. Open to suggestions!

  • So basically you want to keep a bunch of songs outside the iTunes library, but still play it via iTunes and/or sync it to iOS devices? To clarify whether you are going about this all wrong: What are you trying to accomplish with this/which problem would this solve? – nohillside Jul 6 '15 at 15:00
  • @patrix Sorry, I wasn't clear enough. I want to create this collection and listen within iTunes. It comes down to the fact that I have a fairly substantial music library. I'm an album-centric music consumer... meaning I tend to listen to full albums as opposed to individual songs. I want to be able to group albums in my collection based on mood, genre, release date, theme, whatever. So again, a playlist of albums is really the best way to describe it. I'm starting to think that this is an impossibility though. (P.S. I'll update the question with this info. Thanks for the prompt!) – Sam Jul 6 '15 at 17:10
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There does seem to be a way to make Smart Playlists that only include whole albums - you need to love ('Heart') the album (not the individual tracks) and then use "Album is Loved" as one of your smart playlist conditions.

Strangely it seems to only work on my home library - my work laptop with iCloud Match messes up the albums - but it seems to work for my iPad and iPhone syncing, which was my purpose, as I like to listen to whole albums not random tracks.

  • Are you able to access the albums as albums? For example, can you pick one album, listen to it and have the music stop at the end? – Andrew Swift Dec 24 '17 at 14:39
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Theres not really a way to make a playlist of albums the way that you are explaining it. You can however, as you said, add all of the songs from a album.

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I have listened to Exile on Main St. every day for abouta month and got sick of selecting Artists › Rolling Stones › Exile on Main St.

Based on David G's answer here is one solution:

  1. Select Artist View in iTunes

  2. Click on the ... to the right of the album cover and check Loved

  3. Make a smart playlist where Album Love is Loved

  4. Under the View menu select View as Albums

You can now access this playlist on your phone, etc. and you'll have a list of your favorite albums in order.

Unfortunately, it will be a giant list of songs, ordered by album name but at least you'll be able to avoid going through all the albums you didn't want to see.

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Here's a hack that I use to quickly get to my favorite albums without a lot of scrolling.

Since the iPhone doesn't provide an album view for playlists, substitute single songs for albums:

  1. Create a new iTunes playlist Favorite Albums with the first song of each favorite album

  2. On your iPhone, go to the new playlist and tap on the album you want

  3. Tap on the song name at the bottom of the screen (with the pause icon) to get into the main song view

  4. Tap the • • • in the bottom right corner of the screen then on the album name

  5. Tap Play to start the album you want

It's a few quick taps and avoids having to scroll through a list of songs and albums I don't need to see.

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Another approach is to change the Album name so your album library sorts in a useful way. I love classical, so I start with composer name, underscore, album. ie"Bthvn_Piano Sonatas 8, 14, 23". I also like Folk rock and name all those albums "y_J Collins .....", my books on CD (from library for road listening) all are labeled "ZZ_JP_title" where JP are the initials of the author. Lastly, Christmas music starts with a single "z".

probably over-engineered, but it has worked for me for over 10 years.

  • Sounds like kind of a clumsy solution when there's already relevant metadata embedded into the songs. – JMY1000 Jul 11 '18 at 13:07

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