iTunes’ Complete My Album feature allows you to buy the remaining tracks from an album that you don’t already own in order to “complete” that album in your iTunes library. However, sometimes this feature doesn’t seem to work properly. There are a few potential reasons why you may be having issues with Complete My Album.
The album is not eligible for Complete My Album
Not all albums are eligible for the Complete My Album feature. Generally, albums need to meet the following criteria:
- The album needs to be available in the iTunes Store catalog
- The album needs to have tracks that can be purchased individually
- You need to already own at least one track from the album in your iTunes library
So if you don’t own any tracks from a particular album yet, or if the album is not available for individual track purchases in the iTunes Store, Complete My Album will not work for that album.
The metadata doesn’t match up
Complete My Album relies on matching up metadata between the tracks you already own and the iTunes Store listings. The following metadata needs to match exactly:
- Album title
- Artist name
- Track titles
If there are any inconsistencies here – for example, if you have a track titled “Song One” but the iTunes Store has it listed as just “Song 1” – it could prevent Complete My Album from recognizing it as being the same album.
There are regional restrictions
In some cases, albums or tracks may only be available in certain iTunes Store regions. If you obtained the initial tracks you own from a different region than your current iTunes Store account, Complete My Album may not work properly.
For example, if you first bought a track from a Japanese iTunes account, but are now trying to use Complete My Album on a Canadian iTunes account, it likely won’t recognize that album as being eligible.
The album version doesn’t match
If the tracks you own are from a different version of an album than the one available on the iTunes Store, Complete My Album will not work. For example, if you own tracks from a “Deluxe Edition” but the iTunes Store only has the standard edition available.
Bonus or special edition tracks can also cause mismatches and issues with the feature.
There are licensing restrictions
In some cases, the record label or artist may have licensing restrictions in place that prevent the album from being eligible for Complete My Album. iTunes cannot override these restrictions imposed by the content owners.
Try manually finding the missing tracks
If you’ve verified the album should be eligible based on the criteria above, try searching for the missing tracks manually in the iTunes Store. You can search by artist name and album title.
If you are able to locate and download the missing tracks individually, then there may be some metadata mismatch or other issue preventing Complete My Album from working properly.
Double check your iTunes library settings
Make sure you have the following settings configured in your iTunes library:
- “Complete My Album” is enabled under Store > Turn Complete My Album On
- iTunes is set to download iTunes purchases automatically under Account > Download iTunes purchases automatically
With these settings properly configured, any new track purchases should be automatically downloaded and fill in your missing tracks.
Contact Apple Support
If you’ve verified all the steps above and are still having issues getting Complete My Album to work properly, your best next step is to contact Apple Support directly. There may be a bug or underlying issue that requires further troubleshooting on their end.
You can contact Apple Support by phone, chat, Twitter, or scheduling a callback from their support site. Be prepared to provide details on the album you are trying to complete, the tracks you already own, and the issues you are running into.
Use a third party completion service
If Apple Support is unable to resolve your Complete My Album issues, another option is to use a third party completion service. Sites like TuneMyMusic analyze your iTunes library and help you find missing tracks to fill in incomplete albums.
The benefits of using a service like this include:
- Ability to match albums even with minor metadata inconsistencies
- More flexibility in terms of album editions and special releases
- Automatically identifying tracks you’re missing
The downside is you may have to pay a small fee to use the completion service, whereas iTunes’ built-in option is free when it works properly.
Try redownloading or repurchasing missing tracks
One somewhat tedious but effective workaround is to manually redownload any missing tracks in your iTunes library. To do this:
- Delete the partial album from your iTunes library
- Redownload the tracks you already own, repurchasing if needed
- Then go back and purchase the tracks you’re missing again
This essentially gives iTunes a “fresh start” at recognizing and completing the album properly. Just make sure not to delete your songs permanently before redownloading.
Complete My Album can be a convenient feature when it works, but can also be frustrating when you run into issues. The most common problems involve licensing restrictions, metadata inconsistencies, or regional store mismatches. If you’re unable to get it working after troubleshooting within iTunes, try using a third party completion service or contacting Apple Support for further help.