Sorting Photo Folders on Apple TV
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I use Windows XP as my home computer for iTunes. I had shared out about 10-20 folders of photos via iTunes for display on my Apple TV. Recently, I have added more folders of photos for display on the Apple TV. But now the folders of photos are no longer in alphabetic order since I added the new folders when viewed by the Apple TV. Within some folders, I did add some photos and take away photos in others. The folder names are almost all “yyyy Text” where yyyy is the year the photos were taken and text is a description like “Birthdays.” Some folder names are exclusively text like “School pics of Kid X.” I am getting some year-x pictures by folder name, then full text name folders, then year-y folders, and then year -x again. Why aren’t they alphabetical?
A: Unfortunately, sorting for photos shared from iTunes to Apple TV or iOS devices has been somewhat inconsistent over the years, and the problem is even worse when syncing photos from folders rather than using a photo management app such as iPhoto, Aperture or Adobe Photoshop Elements.
For a number of years the sort order presented for a set of photo folders to an Apple TV or iOS device by iTunes was seemingly random. In reality, iTunes was simply handing off the folders and photos in whatever natural order the file system had them stored in, which was effectively unsorted. The end result was a photo order that, while logical to a computer, generally made no sense to anybody actually trying to view the photos.
Recent versions of iTunes have improved this somewhat, although for actual folders on Windows it remains a bit inconsistent. Specifically, when first syncing a Pictures folder to an Apple TV, iTunes will initially present the folders in alphabetical order, with numbered entries last (as iTunes does for other media content). However, as you add and remove additional folders, this changes and iTunes falls back to using the natural file system order for your subfolders. This will often simply be the order in which the subfolders were created or moved into the main Pictures folder, but for various other technical reasons such as file system type (FAT32 vs NTFS), this could also eventually become a more random order.
The good news is that there is a fairly simple workaround to return to alphabetical sorting of your folders. In the main “Pictures” folder that you have selected for synchronization, you should see a subfolder named iPod Photo Cache. This folder is simply used to store optimized copies of photos that you are sharing with your Apple TV and iOS devices; remove this folder and iTunes will simply rebuild it, effectively resetting your photo synchronization settings back to their original defaults in the process.
To do this, select Choose Photos to Share from the Advanced menu in iTunes, disable the photo sharing options, and then go into Windows Explorer and delete the iPod Photo Cache folder. You can then re-enable photo sharing and iTunes will rebuild the folder and in the process return your subfolder order on the Apple TV back to the original alphabetical order it would have been in when you originally enabled the feature.
Note that this issue only affects the order of folders; the issue with the sorting of actual photos has been addressed in recent iTunes versions, with photos in folders being sorted by the “Date Modified” when viewing the entire photo library or simply alphabetically when viewing individual folders/albums.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Invoxia adds Amazon Alexa to Triby
- Apple provides more details on new Apple Music API
- Apple Music for Android adds music videos, Family Plan support
- Icahn pulls out of Apple over China concerns
- Apple launches CareKit, with four apps debuting today
- Alleged schematics for iPhone 7 ‘Pro’ show up in Japanese magazine
- Nintendo bringing Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing to iOS
- FBI will not disclose San Bernardino iPhone hack
- Notes from Apple’s Q2 2016 earnings call
- Apple Q2 results: $50.6B revenue, 51M iPhones, 10M iPads sold
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit support
- ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
- Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)