iTunes compilation issues (when sorting by year)

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by hathiphnath, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. hathiphnath macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #1
    Hi all!

    For some reason iTunes messes up my complaitions if I sort the albums by anything else than "album", such as year. It "breaks" the compilations up (you know what I mean) even if the year is the same. The weird thing is that some (up to 3 I've seen) tracks keep in bundles (even despite having different artists). Also, if the album stays "intact" by some wonder when I sort by year, the track order usually becomes totally random... (14, 4, 2, 13, 3, etc). :confused:

    Yes, they are marked as compilations.
    Yes, album artist is the same (blank field).
    No, there are no typos.

    As a disclaimer, I'm on a Windows machine.

    P.S.
    Can anyone tell me how to set the "sort by year" a default? It's pain to re-set it every time I launch iTunes.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Try putting "Various Artists" in the Album Artist field.
     
  3. hathiphnath thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #3
    I tried it, no use. The effect is just the same as leaving the Album Artist field blank. :(
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    After reading your post more carefully, it sounds like you have compilations, but when you sort by Year or Name or Artist or other fields, it doesn't keep all the tracks of the compilation album grouped together. If that's what you're referring to, iTunes is acting as it's designed. It's not supposed to keep all tracks of a compilation together, in violation of a sort order.

    For example, you have a compilation album like "Best of Country" which includes 2 tracks by Garth Brooks and 2 tracks by Willie Nelson. You also have a albums and some singles by both Garth and Willie that are not part of the compilation album. When you sort your music by Artist, all the songs by Garth Brooks should appear together, and all the tracks by Willie Nelson should appear together, whether those tracks are singles, album tracks or part of a compilation album. The other tracks of the compilation album will appear in the sort, based on which Artist did those tracks.

    The same is true for other tags.
     
  5. hathiphnath thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #5
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    Yes, it's normal. iTunes doesn't allow 2 sort keys. When you sort by Artist, all the tracks by an Artist are grouped together, with the Year field not necessarily in order. When you sort by Year, all the tracks with the same Year are grouped together, but within the same year, there is no other sort being applied, so the same Artist can be scattered within the same Year. When iTunes sorts by a given field, it disregards all other fields for purposes of sorting. I agree it's unfortunate, because there are times when "sort by field1, then sort by field2, then sort by field3" would be very helpful.
     
  7. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #7
    Yes, but what exactly is going on in the 3rd GIF file is wierd. The first song and last two songs are from the same album and have the same year, yet they are separated for no apparent reason. Presumably, the album artist is set at "Various Artists".
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    It doesn't matter to iTunes, because in sorting by Year, it doesn't even look at the Album or Artist or Album Artist fields. It only sorts by Year, so any other arrangement within a Year is coincidental.
     
  9. hathiphnath thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #9
    But apparently the tracks aren't grouped together by the same year, yet they are broken down into a LOT of separate chunks by some logic I can't gather. By what reasoning are these separate chunks formed?
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    The "chunks" you refer to are because you have artwork showing. If you hide the artwork column, you won't see the "chunks".
     
  11. hathiphnath thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #11
    Yes, this is exactly what I'm talking about. The 3CD Prisoner soundtrack is broken up into 36(!) chunks while they all have the same year in their filelds (1967).

    Album Artist field is blank (I've erased the contents).
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #12
    All iTunes cares about is that all the tracks with the same Year are grouped together. It doesn't care if songs of the same Year in the same Album are grouped together. That would imply a 2nd sort key: Sort by Year, then by Album. iTunes doesn't do that. It sorts by one key at a time, with total disregard for any other arrangement within that key. The only "exception" is the "Album by Artist" and the "Album by Year" sorts and the sorting of tracks within an Album, which are built-in.
     
  13. hathiphnath thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #13
    Ah, this is indeed true. So, basically, when I sort by year, the songs are also alphabetically sorted by the artist and then alphabetically by the song title, creating chunks when album artwork is displayed as the alphabetical listing is scattered over many albums... hmm...

    Thanks! We have that one cleared I think. I just wish that when sorting by "year (#1)" I could sort by "album (#2)" and then by "track number (#3)" instead of the default "artist (#2)" and "song title (#3)". :(
     
  14. hathiphnath thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #14
    Actually it does.

    When you sort by album, the 2nd sort key is track number.
    When you sort by artist, the 2nd sort key is album and the 3rd sort key is track number.
    When you sort by year, the 2nd sort key is artist and the 3rd sort key is track name.

    Pity one can't customise those. :(
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #15
    Not quite. It doesn't sort by track name at all:
    Picture 2.JPG
    As far as sorting by Artist within Year, I have found this to be inconsistent in the past. Perhaps with recent releases this works now. I'll play with it to see if I can make it fail.
     
  16. hathiphnath thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #16
    Ah, yes, it isn't indeed a pattern. I simply stumbled upon a coincidence.
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #17
    This is a great find! So far, I can't make those fail. Unless I'm having a "senior moment", I don't think this was the case in the past.
     
  18. hathiphnath thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #18
    Thanks! But look at this:

    When you sort by artist, the 2nd sort key is album and the 3rd sort key is track number.

    Did you manage to make the 3rd key fail? And more importantly, would there be a way to self-define those through some hack? :cool:
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #19
    I know of no way to circumvent the built-in sort. Many have asked about this, but so far, I haven't seen any solutions. As far as a 3rd sort key, I think it's really 2, although you could look at it as 3. Whenever you sort by Album, it sorts by Album/Track Number. So even though you sort by Artist, it treats the 2nd key as Album/Track. I guess it's just how you look at it.

    I got sidetracked when I was working on testing for sort failures. I ended up working on dupes and lyrics! :) It's a never-ending process!
     

Share This Page