Using Artist and Sort Artist fields | iLounge Article


Using Artist and Sort Artist fields

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Q: How come when you enter one thing in the Artist field and another in the sort artist field, instead of showing up in either of the artists, it shows up in none, and erases the artist in the sort artist field entry from the artists menu? (ie: Artist: Bob Marley, Sort Artist: Gang Starr, If I left the sort artist blank it shows up in Bob Marley, and if I leave the Artist blank it show up in Gang Starr, but if I put both of those in, its only listed in the songs menu, and the Gang Starr artists list is suddenly gone.) Why is this? I guess a more appropriate question would be: Is there actually any logic to the sort fields options at all? Thanks.

- Peter

A: The sort fields in iTunes merely determines the order in which your tracks are sorted in the iTunes and iPod listings, and has no bearing on how the information is actually displayed.

This field is most commonly used to override the default sorting for titles that may not otherwise sort naturally. For example, if you had a numeric album title such as “2112” iTunes will sort this by default at the bottom of your album listing, since numbers are sorted last. However, if you wanted this album to sort alphabetically based on the number, you would enter “Twenty One Twelve” in the “Sort Album” field. The album name would still be displayed as “2112” but would sort in an order based upon the “Sort Album” field contents.

In your example, placing “Bob Marley” in the artist field and “Gang Starr” in the “Sort Artist” field will result in your tracks showing up sorted as if the artist was “Gang Starr” however the artist will still be listed as Bob Marley.


If you were to scroll down to the G’s in your artist listing, you should see “Bob Marley” listed, sorted along with the rest of the artists beginning with the letter G.



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