Sorting tracks in iTunes | iLounge Article


Sorting tracks in iTunes

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Q: When I import downloaded tracks from a folder on my computer iTunes always imports the tracks in alphabetical order. How can I change this to ensure the tracks are imported in the original running order?

- Anonymous

A: Although iTunes will import the tracks in alphabetical order, this doesn’t have any direct impact on how iTunes organizes or sorts your tracks - you can choose any of the available track information to sort your tracks on.

If you’re seeing your tracks listed in alphabetical order, chances are that this is simply because iTunes is sorting on the “Name” field. You can tell which field iTunes is using as your sort field by looking for the column heading with the blue highlight and small triangle.

To sort on a different column, simply click on the appropriate column heading. Clicking on the column heading a second time will reverse the sort order. Some sorting criteria have default secondary sort orders as well—for instance sorting by “Album” will automatically sort the tracks within each album by track number, providing the track numbers are stored in the files, otherwise it sorts the tracks alphabetically.

You can check to see if your songs contain track numbers by either displaying the “Track Number” column. To choose which columns are displayed, simply select View, View Options from the iTunes menu and choose the columns you want displayed from the resulting view options dialog box.


If your imported tracks are missing the track numbers, then you will not be able to sort them in album order regardless of which criteria you choose, since the album order simply isn’t available. In this case, you can add the track numbers by selecting each track and choosing File, Get Info and filling in the “Track Number” field yourself.


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