Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Sort by album then by artist in iTunes' library view Apps
If you're an iTunes master user, you'll probably say "well, duh!" to this hint...but if you're like me, it might save you some frustration. I was doing some work on my library over the weekend, and had my collection sorted by Album. As it turns out, there are three albums named 'Home' in my library; when I reached this section, the sort just looked awful--the artists were in a seemingly random order, not grouped by album title.

First I tried changing the sort to Album By Artist, but that didn't work -- it actually sorts by artist first, then by album, and I needed the main sort to be by album. After some fiddling about, I discovered that if I coded the artist of each Home album into the Sort Album Artist field on the Sorting tab of the Get Info (Command-I) dialog, everything worked: sorting by Album now groups the artists by album within the 'Home' section.

Apologies if this was obvious to most of you, but it wasn't to me, and reading help didn't make things any clearer.
    •    
  • Currently 3.06 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (16 votes cast)
 
[15,529 views]  

Sort by album then by artist in iTunes' library view | 13 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Sort by album then by artist in iTunes' library view' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Sort by album then by artist in iTunes' library view
Authored by: sittered on Mar 01, '10 07:54:54AM

I think I'm understanding this right - does this mean that one would have to edit each artist one by one? Or is there a brute-force approach?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Sort by album then by artist in iTunes' library view
Authored by: robg on Mar 01, '10 12:26:04PM

I selected all of the artists for the first Home album, pressed Command-I, and set the sort artist field. Then repeated for the other two. There's no way to do more than one album at once that I'm aware of.

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Sort by album then by artist in iTunes' library view
Authored by: peterholdn on Mar 01, '10 02:12:14PM

You should be able to use an Applescript to copy the artist into the sort album artist field. Doug's Applescripts (http://dougscripts.com/itunes/) has a variety of them. I know that there is at least one that lets you copy the contents of one field into another for a whole selection of tracks - you would only need to select the tracks you want to do this with, then run the script.

In the OP example, you could select all the tracks in all three Home albums and run the script once.

---
Relax, it's only ones and zeroes.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Sort by album then by artist in iTunes' library view
Authored by: John Frum on Mar 02, '10 11:15:02AM

I've used Doug's "copy info from tag to tag" (whatever it's called--I've renamed it) script for years, but it has no provision for copying to the "Sort Album Artist" field. I wouldn't expect to find such a script, as Sort Album Artist is a non-standard tag, and was surprised to discover this:
http://dougscripts.com/itunes/scripts/ss.php?sp=searchartmakesortart

If that doesn't meet the user's needs, then perhaps this will, as it was not stated that Album Artist would need to be kept intact:
http://dougscripts.com/itunes/scripts/ss.php?sp=artisttoalbumartist



[ Reply to This | # ]
Sort by album then by artist in iTunes' library view
Authored by: kiltbear on Mar 01, '10 08:33:48AM

Heh, to me there is nothing obvious about what exactly those sort fields do in the info panels. Thanks for the tip.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Sort by album then by artist in iTunes' library view
Authored by: asmeurer on Mar 01, '10 10:04:55AM

I don't think this was obvious. The subtleties of how iTunes handles Artist, Album, and Album Artist (not to mention the sort fields for these various things) can be quite complicated. And it gets worse when you throw track numbers and disc numbers into the mix.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Sort by album then by artist in iTunes' library view
Authored by: auntchilada on Mar 01, '10 10:24:18AM

hi Rob,

if you click on the Album column header button, away from the reverse-order triangle, it will toggle the column sort between Album/Album by Artist/Album by Year. if you click the Album column reverse-order triangle, it will just reverse the sort order for the current state.

regards,

-mervTormel



[ Reply to This | # ]
Sort by album then by artist in iTunes' library view
Authored by: robg on Mar 01, '10 12:22:35PM

That doesn't change the fact that the sort is wrong: it still makes Artist primary, not Album. I wanted to keep Album as the primary sort field, and Album by Artist doens't do that here (except on compilation albums).

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
An alternative: trailing spaces
Authored by: gidds on Mar 01, '10 12:17:21PM

I too have several albums which share names. My solution is to change the album names to distinguish them.

It turns out that the album name sorting takes into account any trailing spaces. So I leave the first album alone, but add a trailing space to the album name on each track in the second album. If I get a third album, that gets two trailing spaces, and so on.

That way, iTunes treats them as different albums, even though the names look the same. And it works in all views, regardless of how you sort things.

---
Andy/



[ Reply to This | # ]
Why use the "Sort" field?
Authored by: stephenr on Mar 01, '10 07:13:48PM

If you put the Artist name in the "Album Artist" field, that will be used for sorting the Album.

The "Sort" field is only really intended if you want to change the sort order without changing the display - i.e. you could use it so that a band whose name is "Four Fingered Frank" is sorted as "4 Fingered Frank".



[ Reply to This | # ]
Sort by album then by artist in iTunes' library view
Authored by: Stormchild on Mar 01, '10 11:16:30PM

Not sure why you'd want to sort by album, *then* by artist, but you can probably avoid the grouping problem by just ensuring that the artist name is entered in both Artist and Album Artist.

You might also want to make sure the disc numbers are entered (it's usually 1 of 1, but iTunes can't assume that if it's not entered; it could be part of a multi-disc set), and Compilation is set to 'No' for all tracks.

There should be no need to manually enter anything in the sort fields. If all the info is correct and the albums still aren't grouping properly by artist, it's an iTunes issue that should be reported to Apple:

http://www.apple.com/feedback/itunesapp.html

Edited on Mar 01, '10 11:22:19PM by Stormchild



[ Reply to This | # ]
Sort by album then by artist in iTunes' library view
Authored by: robg on Mar 02, '10 09:47:08AM

I wanted to sort by album then by artist so that the three albums named 'Home' would be grouped by artist when I got to that section of the list...

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Sort by album then by artist in iTunes' library view
Authored by: pdquinlan on Mar 02, '10 12:15:18PM

Please define "Home" album - As in "... I coded the artist of each Home album into the Sort Album Artist field on the Sorting tab of the Get Info (Command-I) dialog"



[ Reply to This | # ]