Sorting photos on iPod


Q: I’m trying to sync my photos with my iPod, which are arranged in chronological order (via the names of the photos) in various subfolders in one folder on my computer. However, once I sync them with my iPod via iTunes, the order of photos in each subfolder ends up as different from the order that they’re in by name. It seems like iTunes sorts the photos by the order in which they were copied to the subfolders on my computer, instead of sorting them by name. Is there any way to change this such that I get my photos sorted by name?

– Anonymous

A: Actually, iTunes does sort the photos on the iPod in chronological order, however it bases this upon the date stamp on the image file itself from the underlying operating system, rather than the file name or the date stamp stored within the file itself. Depending on the method that you are using to copy these photos to your computer, the date stamp may in fact reflect the date the image was copied as opposed to the original date on the file.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to change this sort order behaviour in iTunes itself. The good news is that the original time stamp is still contained in the Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) data within the file, and there are a number of utilities available that can be used to copy the EXIF date back onto the actual file-system date of the file. The classic option for Windows users is a program called Exifer, although there are many other alternatives available. While Mac users who are using iPhoto won’t normally have this issue since iPhoto handles the sort order, the same problem could occur for those Mac users who are simply syncing from their “Pictures” folder rather than from iPhoto. On OS X, A Better Finder can also be used to adjust file dates based on the EXIF information.


Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.