Smart playlists have wrong sorting order on iPhone since itunes 10.5/ios5??

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by roraz, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. roraz macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2005
    I recently upgraded to iOS 5 (GM) for my iPhone 4 and iTunes 10.5, however since doing that when I sync my smart playlists, they do not have the same sorting order as in iTunes?? Most of my smart playlists are sorted/ordered by Most recently added, but this does not seem to be transferring to the iPhone (the most recently added songs are, just not their order).

    I don't what the issue is as it was fine before the itunes 10.5/ios5 upgrades, but now its not working!? I have tried deleting/recreating the lists, unchecking live updating and clicking copy to play order - but nothing seems to be working??

    Has anybody else experienced this since upgrading, or know a fix as its starting to drive me nuts??
  2. Krandor macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2010
    I had this issue. The fix for me was to check and setup "select 50 GB sorted by least recently played" and then they order came over properly. These were for podcast playlists where all the playcounts were 0.
  3. roraz thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2005
    How do you set that up/where is the option? - I'll give it a shot to try and fix the problem?
  4. Krandor macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2010
    when you go to edit playlist above live updating is the option to select how many to select and based on what. Even though I wanted all, I just set it at a big number (50GB) but the key was the select by option in that line. Even if that wasn't checked it seemed to still be using that "select by" criteria when transferring.
  5. roraz thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2005
    I think I have worked out the cause (at least for me). If I use a smart playlist with the filter: playlist - is/is not - 'specified playlist/playlistfolder' - then the smart playlist on the iPhone does not have the correct song order. However if I delete this filter then the song order is correct. It seems to be a bug I think, which is annoying as I have a lot of smart playlists that use this functionality :(
  6. BigMark macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2009
    Thanks, this worked for me... I Set Limit to 50GB and all was fine after. Hopefully there'll be a fix soon so this won't be necessary.
  7. SabresFan macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2011
    Re: Setting Date Order on playlists

    Instead of creating a new playlist just do this:

    Go into iTunes, set playlist in "Date Added" order. Right click on that playlist and "Copy to Play Order". Now click on the far left number column, the order should stay the same. Resync to your iPhone and it should be in this order.

    Also note that when you add new music to the playlist you have to press "Copy to Play Order" again, otherwise the new songs will not stay in order when you press the number column.
  8. Wekesalocs macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2012
    How to fix smart playlist sorting - It Works!

    I got this answer from

    It works perfectly for me


    This is actually an old bug that keeps coming up every year or so at random, whenever Apple makes major changes. I don’t know why they don’t test this immediately before a release, and make a permanent note of what fixed it last time. Essentially, if you have a smart playlist that you reorganize in iTunes, your device won’t get your updated play order; it will re-sort the playlist the way it thinks it should be.

    Credit for this one goes to TechGeekBlogger at the Apple discussion boards. I just include it here because odds are if you’re pissed off about the first bug you’re annoyed by the second as well.

    There’s an interesting workaround that TechGeekBlogger discovered: a smart playlist on an iOS device will sort things the way it wants but a smart list composed of other smart playlists will work fine. I noticed this when I checked to see that my “smart shuffle” playlist (which accesses playlists for different star ratings with rules for each one) would let me re-sort it but my podcast playlist wouldn’t.

    Essentially here’s a workaround Create a new smart playlist with the following rules (and only the following rules):
    • Playlist is (your old playlist)
    • Limit to (however many) items (ordered as you like)

    Then sync the new playlist to your iOS device. This new one should be able to be re-sorted in iTunes and have its new order updated on the device as well.

    Hope this prevents some of you from pulling your hair out like I’ve been doing.
  9. skillets macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2011
    Thanks Krandor and Wekesalocs both of your solutions worked for me. Wekesalocs your solution was what I needed for Playlists that were too complex and didn't have the sort options I needed using Krandor's method.

    I hope they keep this fixed whenever they get it fixed, a frustrating bug that keeps coming back.

    This worked for me on iPad 2, iOS 5, iTunes 10.5.3 on OS X.7.3
  10. Cesarmg00 macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2012
    This does not work with iCloud iTunes match.

    Any other idea for the iCloud users?

    When I tried to do this iTunes said that smart playlist of smart playlist are now supporte in iCloud.

  11. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Neither of these work for me.

    I'm trying to get my old playlist working (5 stars, ordered by date rated (sort by the most left column)). Both these methods put the latest rated song at the bottom of the list when it should go at the top, eg.


    I only use these playlists, it's how I've used my iDevices since 2004 and in one upgrade the whole thing is broken.
  12. derickdub macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2011
    I just recently started using a smart playlist similar to yours. I just sort mine by 'album by artist/year', rather than date rated. For some reason when I sync the playlist to my iPod Classic it sorts the artist names from #'s to A rather than A to #'s. But on my computer it's sorted just fine. Very frustrating.

    So is this something that has just recently started? I've only been using this playlist for about a week or two and it's been like this the whole time. And apparently unchecking live-updating will fix it when it syncs, but obviously isn't a complete fix.
  13. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Ever since the last big update. Users on the Apple support forum have said Apple know about it but they didn't fix it for this update.
  14. Steve Ballmer macrumors 6502

    Steve Ballmer

    Oct 2, 2009
    Redmond, WA
    Still not fixed as of iOS 7 B6, unfortunately. There are numerous syncing bugs regarding iCloud/iTunes Match, and it seems not maintaining Smart Playlist order on an iOS device is one of them.
  15. Geerace, Jan 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015

    Geerace macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2015
    Still not fixed. 4 years and this fix still works... Thanks all
  16. superduperultra macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2008
    Yeah just tried to sort my stuff and came over this thread, the fix works.

    Damn Apple, much disappoint.

Share This Page