How can I arrange the order of my music on the iPod on my iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Big Byte, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Big Byte macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009

    I am using an iPhone 3Gs that is connected to my iBookG4.

    In iTunes on my iBookG4, I arrange all music in alphabetical order based on the name of the artist.

    However, when I sync my iPhone, some of the playlists are arranged the way they are in iTunes (i.e. A, B, C, etc.), but some of the playlists are arranged backwards (i.e. Z, Y, X, etc.).

    Does anyone know why this is and what I can do to fix it?

  2. Big Byte thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    So, nobody has any ideas on what I can do? I'm willing to bet someone does! Please let me know if you do. Thanks.
  3. Enjoylife1788 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2011
    Even m interested in knowing the answer for this.. Is there anyone??
  4. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Verify that the backwards playlists are actually ordered alphabetically and not just displayed alphabetically (important difference) in iTunes.
  5. Big Byte thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    Thanks for replying.

    I'm not sure how to verify what you are suggesting, but I can let you know that what I do is I click on the "Artist" tab in iTunes; this allows me to choose between arranging artists alphabetically either in ascending order (i.e. A, B, C... X, Y, Z) or descending order (i.e. Z, Y, X... C, B, A). I choose to arrange them in ascending order (i.e. A, B, C... X, Y, Z), but they transfer to my iPhone in descending order.

    Am I doing it correctly?
  6. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Are you saying the contents of some of the playlists are alphabetical and some are inverted-alphabetical? And you are absolutely sure that you have arranged each and every song in each and every playlist alphabetically in iTunes by artist?

    When you come across what you would consider a backwards playlist, go to iTunes on your computer and see if the accompanying playlist is listed the same way.

    FWIW all of my playlists on my iPhone are just as I had built them, some are several years old at this point. I do not alphabetize...I can't think of a reason why I would honestly. I either listen to the songs in import order or shuffle them....or just pick a song 'at random' by searching through the alphabetical list inherent to the iPhone.

    Some of my playlists are Genius playlists too, so they are randomly produced in a non-alphabetical way, certainly. Might your errant ones be something like this?

    I just can't think of a reason why some would be right and some wrong if you set all of them up a specific way.

    Since the only way I could see this being an issue is for you to be able to find a certain song, you do know that you can go to the Artists 'tab' and then touch the letter on the side and you will see all of the songs for that Artist...and they are by nature, listed alphabetically, then alphabetically by album title, then by song order on said album.
  7. Big Byte thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    mstrze, yes, some playlists (e.g. my "All Songs" playlist ) are arranged in ascending alphabetical order (which is how I want it) and all other playlists (e.g. "Classical Mix", "Rap Mix, "Rock Mix") are arranged in descending alphabetical order (which is how I do not want it). I should note that any song in a specific genre mix is also included in my global "All Songs" playlist, so I don't know why there's no problem in my "All Songs" playlist but there is in the other ones.

    All of the playlists in iTunes are arranged how I want them, that is, in ascending alphabetical order (i.e. A, B, C... X, Y, Z); I do this by clicking on the "Artist" tab until it arranges the artists in ascending alphabetical order).

    I usually shuffle songs myself, but I do want them in ascending alphabetical order because it seems natural and is easier for a friend to scroll through them to find an artist.

    None of my playlists are Genius playlists, they are all my own.

    It's not a big issue (I can always find what I want), but it is nagging me slightly both because I'm a bit compulsive in this regard and I can't stand not knowing why it's an issue and how to fix it.

    Thanks for your input.
  8. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009

    First I would ask why you even need an "All Songs" playlist since all of your songs will be available, alphabetically, on your iPhone anyway?

    Secondly, is it only the 'all songs' playlist that is correct, while ALL other playlists are backwards? I'm assuming not, but you listed only that one as a correct example while listed numerous incorrect ones.

    FWIW all I do is just select certain playlists I want to show up on my iPhone and do not have an 'All Songs' playlist. Worth a shot: try doing it this way and leave out your 'All Songs' playlist for the next sync (since the songs already exist in the individual playlists AND you will still see all your songs in the Music App listed alphabetically) and see how the playlists behave. As I said, my playlists are all as I had created them...I hadn't tried to alphabetize them within iTunes (nor do I have an 'All Songs' playlist), though...and if you still have issues I might experiment myself.

    A friend can always scroll through and find the artist listed alphabetically within the Music app, no?

    I guess I continue to 'harp' on the "All Songs" playlist because it is the only thing that is different between our iPhones. Perhaps the duplication of information is causing some mischief with the playlist order? Like I suggested, just try it once without the 'All Songs' playlist on your next sync.
  9. Big Byte thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    mstrze, I really appreciate your effort to help me resolve this.

    To let you know, my "All Songs" playlist is not all of the songs in my iTunes music library, only about 1/5 of them (I have over 5000 songs ripped from my CDs and find that my iPhone slows down considerably when they are all synced to my iPhone).

    You are correct in that it is only my "All Songs" playlist that arranges the songs correctly; all of my other playlists arrange the songs in descending alphabetical order.

    In any event, I just tried your suggestion to not sync my "All Songs" playlist, but the issue subsists - a minor inconvenience, not earth-shattering by any means, but annoying nonetheless!
  10. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    I didn't think 'All Songs' was all of your library, just all of the songs on your iPhone...which is essentially the contents of all of your other playlists, no? And it is basically duplicating what is already present on the iPhone through the Music App functionality, which lets you see and access all of your iPhone's music in one place.

    Sorry to hear that the removal of that playlist didn't fix anything. :(
  11. stealthmouse macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2012
    It's been a LONG time since I dealt with this issue, and it seems I spend about a week reading through very few methods that worked, and a lot of "hey, this might work" ideas. But both through recall and taking a look back at some forums, the following are some things to check, to see if they work for you. This is for two reasons: 1. iTunes software versions have changed since I had the issue; and 2. I don't have an iPhone, but a Classic 160g, though recent generation. I also have pretty much anything that can be forced manual set up so that iTunes can do very little to my music library or my iPod without an action first by me. That probably makes mine not as subject to some auto changes, so combined with not having an iPhone I don't have a good way to scenario test what you are seeing.

    My initial problem had been that my playlists on my iPod were arranged in random order, or at least an order different from my iTunes (e.g., arranged by album in iTunes, arranged by artist on the iPod). The issue then, and as I recall it was a bug specific to that software version, was with live updating. You had to go to each playlist, click on it from the left sidebar, click File-Get Info (aka Command-I), and deselect Live Updating. Which pretty much ticked off every person with embedded smart playlists using live updating, since it broke their live updating if they used that workaround. I believe that issue was subsequently fixed, as I arranged my playlists in random fashion, and had some set to live update and others not, and when I synched them, they all adjusted on my iPod to match my iTunes ordering regardless. But....something you might want to take a look at.

    The other thing to check is that if a track/podcast/etc. is miscategorized, it wreaks absolute havoc with the playlist, either showing it as having no tracks in it, freezing it from updating, etc. I know this because I had a video labeled as an mp3 and every time I opened iTunes, it would kick the album down to Unknown Artist, then I would manually put the info in, then it would do the same thing all over again. Once it was labeled correctly, it stopped trying to change it. The typical default when you pull up the Get Info box for any playlist is "Media Kind"...."is not"..."Podcast." Change this to "Media Kind"...."is"....."Music." This effectively does the same thing as you sorting through a few thousand tracks to find a file that's mislabeled. Note that IS "Music" is a stricter definition (as single category) than is NOT "Podcast," which is everything (multiple categories) except podcasts. I've also seen somewhere that you should have "Playlist"..."is" set to "Music" as well, but this should really only apply to those playlists where you have Playlist as a condition, rather than or in addition to Media Kind.

    So, those might help you, and apologies in advance if they don't - as I said, I know they've worked in the past and they've worked on Classics. And of course, if you're playlists are rocking movies and audiobooks and music videos and songs all in the same one, the whole restrict Media Kind and/or Playlist won't really help you.

    Oh, and finally, sometimes shuffle creates problems too, though I never use shuffle, so that's something I've seen written and heard secondhand. Then again, if you have shuffle checked, you would kind of expect your tracks to be in a random order (though probably not reverse alpha).
  12. stealthmouse macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2012
    One other thing, and perhaps you should look at this first given your problem with the reverse alpha. Select a playlist on the left sidebar (not within the ipod menu on the sidebar), and right-click, then select Copy to Play Order. I believe that this selection toggles your playlist order, reversing it. So if it's alpha, it will toggle to reverse alpha, and back, though to make things interesting, you won't know until you check it on your ipod. Also, I realized my prior post mostly applied to Smart Playlists, and your problem seemed to be with any playlist, and the Copy to Play Order selection applies to any playlists, Smart or User-Generated (I'm not sure what veiled message Apple is trying to send us by calling its iTunes generated playlists "Smart," but I digress...).

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