Sorting songs in itunes

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by RobbieL, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. RobbieL macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    This has been driving me crazy all day. Just got done ripping some albums, and when I import the songs into itunes and choose "album view", the songs aren't grouped correctly into albums. Some songs from the album will be grouped together, but the rest won't be. I've changed each of the tags on the MP3's so they all match, but still they won't group together.

    Been pulling my hair out over this. Anyone know of a solution?

    Cheers, and hope everyone is having a great Christmas. :)
  2. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    If they're compilations of different artists without the same "Album Artist", make sure to change them to be a compilation.

    Try selecting another view, then returning to Album View :)
  3. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    the iTunes sorting problem treatise

    Sorting and making the songs appear on the iPod in the order that you want is quite difficult and one of the great failings of iTunes in general. Like much Apple software, once you get used to how it's done, it's not *too* bad, but the average user takes a long time to figure it out and Apple won't tell you anything at all so it can be very frustrating for the first time iPod user.

    Basically, you have to sort in iTunes itself and then sync to the iPod. If you change the sorting in iTunes in any way you have to re-sync to re-set the order on the iPod. There is no way to sort the tunes once they are on the iPod, only in iTunes, and then by re-syncing. This means that if you inadvertently click on a column header in iTunes (and thus sort by that column), and then "sync-and-run" your songs will be mixed up all day long until you can re-sync again. Drives me crazy also, but as soon as you can train yourself to never change the sort in iTunes, life gets a bit easier.

    The next level of "gotchas" is that sometimes they don't sort into albums anyway because of two other settings. In the "GetInfo" for the track, there is a setting for "Disc X of X" and another setting for "Is this part of a compilation." Both of those settings have to match for each song on the album or the songs will sort separately. In some case the album art has to also be the same.

    What I do is I got in the habit of selecting an entire album of tracks and doing a "Get Info" on all of them together. Then I set all of these settings (including things like album name and "track X of X" as well) so that they match on all tracks and that the sort is correct in iTunes before syncing. One down side to this is that as a database, iTunes is kinda slow and sucky, so if you have a slower computer like mine (G4), it will take several seconds to update each track for each change and this kind of mucking around will generally take you about 10 to 15 minutes per album to get right. Once you get the tracks set right, making a playlist from the album is easy.

    The third level of sorting "gotchas" is mostly minor annoyances. For instance, by default, the online database with the track info in it (Gracenote?), that you connect to to get the track names, sorts improperly. iTunes has lots of sort options on a track per track basis in the "GetInfo" of the tracks, but these are left blank by default when you download the track names. This means that "Brian Setzer" will sort under "B" for some dumb-ass reason. The only way to change this is to put "Setzer, Brian" in the "sort name" field but this has to be done for every track in the album. Since they are *all* this way, you basically have to enter (manually!), sort names for every single track in your library if you want them to sort properly.

    Basically, you need to get familiar with the properties or "GetInfo" of every track and teak and tweeze them about a hundred times and then sync that to the iPod. You should have everything sorted and working fine by late January.

    God forbid Apple would ever let you manage the tracks on the device manually, but a simple sort feature on the iPod itself (instead of in iTunes) would be a nice feature to have.

    Steve says we don't need it though. ;)
  4. c-Row macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    No, you haven't to. Say, you got 30 songs by Brian Setzer. Just set the "sort name" field to "Setzer, Brian" in one of them, do a right-click on the song and you can apply it's sort field settings to all tracks that share the same entry (artist name, album name, album artist name or all at once).


  5. LiveForever macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    Artist View in Cover View

    I have just discovered the cover flow option and that you can get the album artwork (well most of them) automatically downloaded. This has instantly made itunes more attractive to me as seeing the album cover is like having my real CD's in front of me.

    However, compliation albums and greatest hits seem to cause all sorts of bother. The title "Greatest Hits" is quite popular for albums and when I imported Take That GH, Bangles GH and one other they all seemd to come under the one cover.

    Iv'e managed to frig it by selcting all the tarcks going to my info and making things common (as I read here).

    All is well and good if you select sort by album (you only get one album cover) but selecting the sort by artist column you get multiple copies of the same compilation album cover as each artist is sorted alphabetically.

    Is there any way to have an artist view a la cover flow so you would see a picture of ABBA then Bee Gees etc etc?

    Cover flow is great but it doesn't handl;e compilation albums very well.

    In fact how are people handeling compilation albums- I am considering tediously recompiling all the artists under one artist album but it could take some time.
  6. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    cool tip, thanks. :)

    I will try that out.

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