iPod AlbumArtist sorting via playlists


I've been struggling for days to find some way to have the list of album artists (and not just artists) in my iPod, and as I found a way to do just that using mp3tag export, I thought I'd drop a message here to help anyone interested in the future.

My music folder is built like this :

C:\Music\AlbumArtist\Year-Album\Discnumber\Track - Title.mp3 (if there are more than one disc for this album, else there's no "discnumber" folder).

In iTunes, everything's fine, but once in the iPod, the sorting by albumartist isn't available. So for instance if I want to listen to the Zooropa album by U2, one track is missing just because on this track the artist is "U2 feat. Johnny Cash". Also, I like being able to choose an album from an artist, so I need a view of all the albums for one "albumartist".

I decided to work around the problem by creating as many playlists as I have albumartists. I don't use playlists, so it won't mess with existing ones, and the "playlist" menu on the iPod will display my albumartists. Each playlist will list all the albums, ordered by year (since my folders are too).

I used mp3Tag export feature to create those playlists, in the .m3u8 format (utf8 version of m3u), since I'm french and a lot of my titles and albums have accents in their names.

I mainly used those two topics to create my own export script:

So first, in the option menu, export section, check the following boxes :
[x] Append data
[x] One file per directory
[x] Show selection dialog
[ ] Don't create directories
[x] Write BOM

Then click on the New button to add a new export script. Name it as you want.
Then edit the newly created script (on win it automatically opens it in notepad), delete everything and write a new one.

Here is the script I wrote, based on those two topics :

$loop(%albumartist%,1)$loop(%_path%)#EXTINF:%_length_seconds%,$if(%artist%,$if(%title%,%artist% - %title%,%_filename%),%_filename%)

Save it, and to run this script, load the whole music folder in mp3tag, go to file > export, and select your script.

This will write an m3u8 file in every albumartist folder, listing every track of every album for that albumartist.

Then in your file system perform a search for all the m3u8 files within the music folder, select them all and drag&drop that selection into iTunes.

Now just synchronise your iPod with all those playlists, and it's done.

Hope this will help someone, some day.
Thx mp3tag.