When you import a CD to iTunes, a process also known as ripping the CD, you normally get an exact copy of the CD’s song and title information in iTunes. Normally, all the songs are in the right order and show their names, the album name, the artist name and other information.
Sometimes, though, you’ll rip a CD in iTunes and find that you’ve just a got a list of songs called “Song 1” and “Song 2” on an album by the ever-popular “Unknown Artist.” Sometimes you’ll even just get a blank space where the artist or album name should be.
In order to identify and include the names of songs, artists, and albums when you rip a CD, iTunes uses a service called GraceNote (formerly the CDDB). GraceNote is a massive database of album information that can tell one CD from another using math. When you insert a CD it recognizes into iTunes, it supplies the information about the songs on that CD to iTunes and everything works smoothly.
There are a few scenarios in which GraceNote can’t tell what album or songs you’re trying to import:
- If the CD is from a very small record label, is obscure, or is self-published. Albums like that may not be included in GraceNote’s database.
- If you’re importing a mix CD that didn’t have this information included on it when it was created.
- If your computer isn’t connected to the Internet when you rip the CD into iTunes. GraceNote needs a web connection to download information to you.
If you’re not getting any song, artist, or album information when you import a CD, these could be the reasons. Some, like being connected to the Internet, are easy to fix. If the songs aren’t included in GraceNote, though, you’ll need to add their information manually. Learn how at this tutorial on editing iTunes song info.