Sorting albums by year

Q: Here’s something I’ve wanted to do in iTunes for a long time: can I organize music in iTunes and on the iPod to show an artist’s albums by release date?

– Eric

A: iTunes – yes, iPod – not technically.

iTunes now has a semi-obscure feature that enables sorting albums by a certain artist by year of release. To enable it, repeatedly click on the “Album” column header in iTunes’ Library or playlist views until “Album by Year” appears. The feature works, though clearly is only effective if you have accurately and completely tagged music.

How can you sort in this manner on the iPod? There’s no built-in function for it, but as always – you can fall back on manual playlists: simply copy and paste the output iTunes gives with the method above into a separate standard playlist. Since these preserve order when transferred to the iPod, you’ll be able to listen to tracks by date on the iPod as well. It’s not the most efficient or friendly method, but for your favorite artists – we do this with our Pink Floyd collection – it works.

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