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I would like to be able to shuffle-play multi-movement pieces of music in Zune. The use case is: I have ripped a CD which contains one piece of music spanning 3 tracks, another piece spanning 7 tracks, and two pieces which are 1 track each. When I shuffle-play my music library, I want the 3-track piece to be played alone, and not always followed by the 7-track piece and the two 1-track pieces.

Some iOS users have managed to do this in iTunes by repurposing the album, artist, and composer tags. They've found a way to get shuffle-play to work and also be able to browse their libraries easily in the Music app and on iTunes. Click here to see an example how-to guide for iTunes and iOS. (Oddly, the iPod nano Music app supports shuffle-by-album, but on iPod touch a third-party app is required to do this.)

Has anyone devised a solution for Zune and Windows Phone? Zune's database seems to have slightly smarter support than iTunes for organizing classical music. There is a Composer field and a Conductor field. Why are they here, if there is no native support for multi-track pieces of music?

A classical music app could probably be developed to identify multi-track sequences which should be regareded as a single piece of music and played together.

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Could you not combine the pieces into one track? –  row1 Nov 10 '12 at 4:35
    
@row1, yes that is a solution. But not an ideal solution, since it would not be possible to see which movement (track) was being played. –  Jacob Nov 11 '12 at 0:15
    
The answer I am looking for is a method for managing the fields in the Zune database. There is a field called "Sort Title". It would be nice if there was a way to use this field to store the name of a multi-track piece of music, such that a music app would know what I wanted it to be used for. –  Jacob Nov 11 '12 at 0:19
    
Found this app you can try out. windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/shuffle-by-album-free/… –  Wayne In Yak Dec 21 '12 at 21:56

2 Answers 2

What I've done in the past where I wanted to do what you described is used Audacity to make them one MP3 file. This is assuming you ripped them as MP3. You can then edit the combined MP3 files metadata to show the title, composer, etc.

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Yes that is a solution. But not an ideal solution, since it would not be possible to see which movement (track) was being played. –  Jacob Dec 20 '12 at 21:53

You can manually go into your music library and create your own folder hierarchial structure, this needs to be done on the PC.

Basically you will be manually changing the song file names and putting them into the folders of your choosing. The Top most folder is the artist, the next level down is the album, and inside there are the songs.

Keep in mind that once you do this, you're permanently changing your artist/album architecture.

Ps: be sure to keep album art along aside it's album. You can copy/paste the images if you make folders to keep the same covers.

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I think your suggestion serves only to set the Album Title to be set for the specific multi-track piece of music. I can do that within the Zune application on my PC, as well, by multi-selecting all of the tracks of a piece of music, and editing the Album Title field. This does nothing to control the shuffle function. As far as I can tell, shuffle on the PC app and the WP app shuffle tracks randomly, without respecting multi-track sequences which have the same Album Title. –  Jacob Nov 11 '12 at 0:12
    
Ah, I see what you are trying to do. AFAIK, there is no way to aggregate titles together to play consecutively while in shuffle mode. –  Lance McCarthy Nov 12 '12 at 13:00

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