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14 Submit CD Track Names to the Gracenote Database

The reason Apple uses the Gracenote database to provide track names for inserted CDs is that it's the largest public database of track names available. It's the largest because it gets information from the millions of people using software like iTunes every day. Apple could have chosen to provide its own internal music database, with professionally entered information—as Microsoft did in the past—but the inevitable result would be that its information would be much more limited. Apple chose to go with Gracenote's much greater coverage of all the thousands, if not millions, of CD albums available in the world, because the risk of occasional erroneous information was a small price to pay for the much vaster field of information that is available.

As an iTunes' user, you can do your part to make sure that the Gracenote database has the most accurate information possible. If you notice any errors in the track name data it provides, simply make the necessary corrections and submit the changes back to Gracenote.

To submit CD track information, you have to start with a complete commercial CD, not just a collection of tracks in your library.

  1. Insert an Audio CD

    Select an audio CD that you want to add to your iTunes Library. Insert it into the computer's CD drive and close the drive door. Wait for iTunes to populate the CD's track listing; if you don't have an Internet connection, the tracks are given generic names, such as Track 01, Track 02, and so on.

  2. Make Necessary Edits to Track Names

    Using the Info window or the displayed fields in the song listing pane, enter the proper names for the tracks on the CD. The best approach is to select all the songs on the disc, choose File, Get Info or right-click the song and choose Get Info from the context menu, and make all the changes at once to as many fields as possible. Make sure that the CD's title is correct; if it's part of a multiple-disc set, fill in the Disc Number fields rather than putting an identifier such as [1/3] in the title. If you can, fill in the Composer, Genre, and Year fields as well (Year should reflect the original release date of the album so that the music on the disc can be accurately pegged to a certain era in musical history). Click OK when you're done; the fields are all updated to reflect your changes.

  3. Connect to the Internet

    If you're not connected to the Internet already, connect now. Dial up your modem or connect to the wireless or wired network, depending on your circumstances.

  4. Submit CD Track Names

    Choose Advanced, Submit CD Track Names. iTunes connects to the Gracenote site, checks the available categories, and submits your information. That's all there is to it. The Gracenote staff will check your submission for accuracy and add it to the database usually within a day or two. Don't expect any feedback from Gracenote or a thank-you—but from now on, anyone trying to import the same CD whose information you just submitted will get your more accurate information instead of what was available before.

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