Sorting tracks properly within albums
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’ve been finding that iTunes alphabetizes some of my albums so that the tracks are listed in alphabetical order. This is highly irritating with albums that are mixed to run straight through in an order. How can I stop it from doing this?
A: By default, iTunes and the iPod normally sort tracks with each album based on the track number. If the track number is not available, however, it will revert to sorting alphabetically. It is therefore important to ensure that all albums have the proper track numbers filled in within the file information.
You can enter the track information by selecting a track in the iTunes library and choosing File, Get Info. This will bring up the file information dialog box. On the “Info” tab, there is a field to specify the track number.
The first number is the primary requirement for sorting tracks properly with an album, whereas the “Of” number is for reference only and is not used by iTunes other than for display purposes.
Note as well that you can use the “Next” and “Previous” buttons to quickly navigate from track to track in the file info dialog box.
The track number column can also be displayed in list view by choosing View, View Options and checking the box for “Track Number.”
Note also from the diagram above that you can specify the sort order in iTunes for the list view, which will apply to all albums when playing them in iTunes directly from the library. Sorting by a common field such as Album or Artist will still default to a track number sort, however sorting by any other field that is not in common between all tracks, such as track name, will cause the tracks to be sorted within each album alphabetically instead.
Note that these sort orders selected in iTunes for the library do not transfer to the iPod itself. If you find that the iPod is still sorting tracks alphabetically, even after inserting track numbers, you may want to try removing these tracks from the iPod and re-adding them, particularly if you’re managing your iPod content manually. If you’re managing your content automatically, the easiest way to remove and re-add the tracks to the iPod is to set your iPod to “Sync checked items only” (in the iPod settings in iTunes), and then simply UNcheck the tracks in question, sync your iPod to remove them, and then RE-check the tracks and sync the iPod again, which will add them back.
One final option to keep in mind is that the sort order for playlists will transfer to the iPod, so if you have specific albums that you want to override the sort order for, you can always create a playlist for that specific album, set the order in iTunes to how you want it (even a manual sort order if you like), and then sync those playlists to the iPod.
- 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?
- Report: AirPods delay due to problems with wireless audio synchronization
- Apple offering hands-on demos of Super Mario Run in stores
- Report: Apple pursuing studio agreements for early movie rentals
- Apple releases seventh beta of iOS 10.2 to developers
- Apple makes its picks for best iPhone, iPad and Apple TV apps of 2016
- Apple acknowledges Apple Music now includes ‘all the benefits of iTunes Match’
- Apple Music tops 20 million subscribers
- Apple blames ‘external factors’ for iPhone fires in China
- Rumor: 2017 iPhones won’t include glass chassis or wireless charging; will add red color
- Top Apple supplier Foxconn planning U.S. investment
- Elgato Eve Light Switch
- iHome iPLWBT5 Docking Clock Radio for iPhone and Apple Watch
- Brydge 12.9 iPad Pro Keyboard
- Sen.se GuardPeanut
- iHome iZBT10 Zenergy Bedside Sleep Therapy Speaker
- Twelve South HiRise Duet for Apple Watch and iPhone
- IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor
- JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Heart Rate Headphones
- Edifier e235 Luna E Speaker System
- Clamcase ClamCase+ for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10