How to sort spotlight search results by location?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by thekb, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. thekb, Jul 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011

    thekb macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010
    The vast majority of my music is already in itunes, with the correct album, artist, etc assigned. However, I have lots of other mp3 files that are scattered throughout my hard drive that I want to track down and import into itunes so it can all be neat and collected.

    Using spotlight, I can search for all my mp3 files and I figured out how to exclude the music\itunes folder from the search results (because I am looking for the scattered files, not the organized ones) ... but when I get to my search results how can i show the file location in a column so that I can sort on that column?

    So of the 1,800 mp3 files on my computer that are NOT currently in itunes, I want to be able to sort them by their file location to help me determine which ones I want to keep and import into itunes. Is this possible in Finder or Spotlight? I did it in Windows all the time, but can't figure it out in OS X.

  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    I don't think there's a direct way within the Spotlight results window. But you can get the list out for further work:

    Open a new TextEdit document and make sure it's in Plain Text mode (the third item in the format menu should say "Make Rich Text", if it says "Make Plain Text" then do that). In the Spotlight window do Select All and drag that to the Text Edit window. You now have a list of the entire file paths. If you have Excel you can import that to Excel for sorting…
  3. thekb thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010
    Thank you, Robbie ... that sorta does what I need.

    I do now have a list of all the files and can sort them by location, so now I know where all the rogue mp3 files are, but I can't select a group of them to import. I will have to go to another Finder window to navigate to the right folder. That will work, so thank you very much for that idea.

    I always found that to be a useful feature for searching for files in Windows. But I am sure there is an app or that!

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