I've been ripping my CD collection into iTunes, and I've come up with two concerns. First, it seems that every classical disc has a different format for presenting information. The iTunes categories of Song Name, Time, Artist, Album, and Genre are designed for pop/rock/jazz, not classical. Classical recordings usually have both performers and composers that you want to list, and iTunes only gives one category for both. Some classical CDs have the composer in the album name, but that doesn't work with a multi-composer album. Most pieces are multimovement works , so how to indicate both the name of the larger work and the individual movement or song is an issue. Some list the large work: movement under Song Name, some put the larger work in Song Name and the individual movement in Artist, and the worst ones put the larger name just for the first movement and then just give the movement names in Artist. This is a problem when playing individual movements rather than whole works.
That leads to the second issue, whether to join multi-movement works into single tracks for iTunes. iTunes allows you to join tracks together when ripping mp3s, so tracks 1-4 would be recorded as a single mp3 file. I think I'm at the stage of ripping separate tracks for each movement. I would like to have recitatives joined with their subsequent arias, but identifying those on each opera and oratorio CD will make the process much longer. While I would like to have a whole symphony show up when I listen to party shuffle mode, I also want to be able to access separate movements for teaching purposes (see Kyle Gann's plans for that.)
How have you dealt with these issues?