Playlists playing in reverse order on iPod

Q: I have just set up a few playlists on my iPod. For some reason, even though they are in the correct order, the songs are playing in reverse order, i.e. last song first. I’ve checked and double-checked iTunes on my computer, and there, they are set up correctly. However, the minute I disconnect my iPod, it plays last song first. Any ideas?

– Bob

A: One part of the issue is that the iPod only plays playlists in “forward” order, while iTunes can edit in either “forward” or “backward” order. However, the main cause of the confusion is that iTunes is very subtle when informing you which of the two orders you’re editing in.

This is perhaps one of a few user-interface problems that has had iLounge editors annoyed since early versions of iTunes. Our guess is that the top-left corner of your playlist looks like this:

Playlists playing in reverse order on iPod

Whereas it should look like this:


Playlists playing in reverse order on iPod

In an ideal world, when the playlist is sorted in reverse (as in the first photo), the track numbers would go into reverse as well—they do not. Without that behavior, playlist sorting is quite confusing.

Regardless, to fix your problem, you’ll need to click on the column header so it appears as in the second photo, and re-order your songs so they’re in the correct order when the column order is sorted that way.

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