iTunes unable to sort music on iPhone?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by The General, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    Why can't iTunes sort the music that's on my iPhone anymore? I plug my iPhone into my MacBook Air and listen to my music with iTunes, but it seems that since the last update, I can't sort my music or open the browser with CMD+B. It's stuck sorted with the songs alphabetical by title.

    I can remove columns and add columns, but clicking on the does not sort by the clicked column. The four buttons near the top right don't change the view style either.

  2. petethepanda macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2010
    I don't have an answer, but I'm bumping because I have the same question. When I plug my iPhone into iTunes on my desktop (which isn't the phone's main library) to play from it, it only sorts the Artist tab. I tried removing the artist tab so the sorting defaulted to the "checkmark" tab, and now it's stuck on that lol.
  3. hossboss macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2011
    I've noticed this question hasn't been answered yet...and I have the same problem! Can anyone shed some light on why I can't sort the songs in iTunes anymore? I did load iTunes onto another pc, and this is the first time I've noticed the issue. Not sure if that's the reason though?
  4. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    I don't quite know if this is the answer to what you guys are asking, but from what I've seen (on my previous iPods and iPad) is that the arrangement on the players is dependent on the arrangement of the playlists in iTunes.

    If you are syncing a playlist in iTunes for a particular group of artists or whatever qualifies in it, sort it the way you want there first, then sync the player and it should transfer over in the exact same order. I have found that I couldn't edit the songs after they were ont he players unless i synced them to the computer and edited the playlist in iTunes.
  5. hossboss macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2011
    Hi there young spade,

    I ended up finding out why, and it was because I ended up installing itunes on to another pc, and was trying to use it to manage my files. iTunes only allows the iphone to sync with one pc at a time, so I had to kind of start over...all good in the end though!
  6. Dara224 macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2011

    I'm having the same problem right now. I can't sort any of the songs on my iphone through itunes. I don't even then I have the option to delete them! I've read some other forums saying it's because your songs are set to shuffle but that's not the case for me. Help anyone? Please??? :(
  7. billy5hears macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2011
    I was also getting frustrated with not being able to sort any music on my iPhone from within iTunes. I finally realized that this was because of a preference set locally on the iPhone that affects sorting in iTunes regardless of whether it's plugged into it's "home-sync" computer or another one.

    The solution: in the iPhone Summary window, in the Options pane near the bottom, I enabled the option to "Manually manage music and videos". I can now add and delete music manually from the Music list (as opposed to selecting Artists, Albums, or Songs to sync in the iPhone Music window) and now have full control over sorting, etc.
  8. rajivsinghsuwal, Apr 10, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012

    rajivsinghsuwal macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2012
    On either iPhone or iPad, it sorts songs based on the Track number (#) for each Album. If you have songs with blank Track number under Track # menu item in iTunes, it will automatically give Track numbers and sort it accordingly on iPhone.

    In iTunes, if the column is not shown, right click on the column name bar and select Track Number from the list.

    On Windows PCs, folders which have your songs will show a column name '#' for Track Number.

    One easy way to sort all the Songs in each Album is by making the Track # blank in each song. In iTunes, select all the songs for Album -> Right Click -> Select Get Info - > Select Info tab.
    Type 0 on the two boxes underneath Track Number[0 of 0]. After you click ok, none of songs should have any number under Track # column.
    Sync with iPhone/iPad. Now it will sort all the songs in that Album by Song Name in Ascending order.
    Likewise you can do so on Windows PC folder. Select Album songs -> Right click - > Click Properties ->Click Details tab -> Type 0 on # item -> Click Ok
  9. lensrecords macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2012
    Here is what I have found works for me.

    I have a 2011 iMac at home that I sync my iPhone to. I use a Dell laptop at my office that I plug my iPhone into in order to play music through a docking station attached to the laptop. Both systems are running the most current versions of operating systems and iTunes software.

    I still am not able to sort my songs on the iPhone once plugged into my workplace laptop, but here is my workaround. I've found that the work laptop seems to maintain the most recent sort order that I did on my home iMac.

    So lets say I go home tonight and I plug in my iPhone to my iMac at home. Then I sort the music library on the phone by 'Album' - then when I come into work tomorrow and browse the music in iTunes on my work laptop - the songs will be sorted by 'Album' just like they were at home the night before.

    Since I listen to albums mostly - this works fine for me. It is probably the best way to leave it in a 'static' sort since I can find both artists and albums through this process. If it is sorted by 'Song Title' for instance, then it is pretty much useless at work for anything other than shuffle play.

    Hope that helps!

  10. Leeshez macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    Thank you for the info. Something so simple. :):):cool::D:apple:
  11. iLLUMI, Nov 17, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012

    iLLUMI macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2012
    Syncing and Sorting - iPod Nano 5th gen

    Hi all,
    I was having this problem also but with my 5th gen Nano.
    Thanks to lensrecords' post I now have this sorted. :)

    It seems that the Sync Music option on my Nano not only syncs my tunes but also my Library sorting settings too, which is kinda weird but I'm sure Apple have a logical reason for this. I can't see why you cant manually sort them, after all it's just a sorting option while viewing the iPod contents through iTunes. :confused:

    Of course the way around this is to not have Sync Music selected. However it seems with my 5th gen Nano, iTunes automatically sets it to Sync. I tried to uncheck the box for Sync Music but it somehow keeps defaulting to Sync. Very odd! :confused:

    Thanks for the info anyway! I now know that little bit more about iTunes. :)

    Just figured out that the Sync Music option will keep defaulting to being ON because you also need to select Manually Manage Music and Videos from the Options panel to stop this from happening. Doh!
  12. ConnectFire611 macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2013
    I have the answer!!! Sort Name and Mp3tag!!!

    I've found the ultimate way of sorting on the iphone are the tags in iTunes that you find in the "Get Info" menu and the tab labeled "Sorting". Using this and Mp3tag to edit the "Sort Name"(can only be viewed if one song is selected) I can sort my music on the iphone "Songs" tab by "artistalbum - year - album - track".

    First you need Mp3tag, once you do select music you want to reorder and drag it to Mp3tag than select all and right-click you should see the "Covert" menu click "Tag-Tag" you'll be brought to a dialog. In the "Field:" textbox write "TITLESORT"(This is "Sort Name" in iTunes) and in "Format String:" write "%albumartist% %year% %album% %track%" you'll see a preview of the first song below; click ok when your happy with it.

    Second you need iTunes 11 and up, once you do make sure you've edited the "Sort Name" by selecting a song right-clicking, see "Get Info" menu than "Sorting" tab, if you see the right data than it's time to update the iphone. In the iTunes iPhone menu select the "Summery" tab and the checkbox "Sync only checked songs and videos". After click the "On This iPhone" tab and click "Autofill" button you'll see it update your files with the corrected tags.

    Hope this helped and thank tunequest for much of the info.
  13. callipygian macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area

    I was struggling with the same problem and was surprised how many people also have this problem without resolution. I'm sharing my fix here for future users:

    If you select your Device's "Music" folder from the sidebar, you can't click the columns to sort.

    Click View ⇒ Show View Options (Command+J or Ctrl+J for PC users).
    You can choose which column to sort your library by at the very top:
    Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 4.56.43 PM.png

    Thanks to SandySF in this thread for helping me find the solution:
  14. HomeFinishers macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2014
    That's It!

    I am so happy to have found the solution after a very long search that I registered with this site just so I could thank billy5hears! It was so obvious but I didn't see it. Thanks very much for pointing it out.
  15. zaber123 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2015
    After selecting the Music folder on my ipod and hitting Ctrl+J or going to "View > View Options..." nothing happens. It's like View Options isn't something iTunes supports anymore. Has anyone seen this problem? I'm on Windows 8 iTunes

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14 February 26, 2011