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Mick_M Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hopefully the subject says it all - I sort my iTunes library by Date Added (so my most recent purchases are on top). However, purchased albums then display the songs in whatever random order they were downloaded and not in ascending track order so I can just play the album properly. Is there a way to do this?

MacBook Pro (17"), Mac OS X (10.6.2), 3GB RAM
  • Jim VanLeeuwen Level 6 Level 6 (18,820 points)
    Sort your music library using the "Album" column. You can cycle between album, album by artist, and album by artist by year by clicking the column title. You can't sort by album order and date added simultaneously.

    You can still sort the "Purchases" playlist by date added if you need that information.
  • Mick_M Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for your reply Jim. I do realize that albums can be sorted that way, however I'm specifically interested in easily listening to my recently acquired albums in proper track order and, as you stated I guess, the first part of your response seems to indicate I can't do that.

    Sorting the Purchased playlist by date added ends up giving me the very same problem that I started with, only with the added inconvenience that I don't see any purchases from Amazon or albums that I recently ripped or imported myself.

    So, I'm still looking for a solution. Seems like such an obvious thing to want (well, obvious to me anyway).
  • Jim VanLeeuwen Level 6 Level 6 (18,820 points)
    Edit the recently added playlist or make your own smart playlist using rules something like this:

    Sort that playlist by album and you should have what you want.

    Change the smart playlist rules as you like.
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (58,175 points)
    Hi Mick...

    Sadly iTunes isn't built the way you want it right now. A workaround is to ensure you add your new imports, one track at a time, in reverse track order, at least one second apart (probably not a problem if you're doing it by hand, but it makes a difference). If that sounds like a drag I've written a Windows vbScript for automating the process called SortDateAdded and rather foolishly suggested in another thread the other day that it ought not to be too hard to migrate my script into AppleScript. I've since had a look at an online AppleScript primer which leads me to think the job is little harder than I first thought but I have organised some access to a Mac for testing so I will try to give it a go over the next week or so.

  • Mick_M Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Jim: Thanks once more for your suggestion, but the resultant sort order for your method is alphabetical vs date order.

    tt2: I think you have confirmed that iTunes can't natively do what I what. It's interesting that you wrote a script to do this (albeit in the Windows world). If you are motivated to translate this to AppleScript then I was wondering if you've heard of Doug - the iTunes AppleScripting 'legend'. I understand he's open to suggestion and starting with your algorithm might help him out a lot! Check out his site:
  • Jim VanLeeuwen Level 6 Level 6 (18,820 points)
    To sort the smart playlist by album, rather than alphabetically, you have to select the album column.
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (58,175 points)
    @ Jim
    I think perhaps you've missed what the MIck wants i.e. a library ordered by *Date Added* so that each new addition to the library appears at the top of the list. In addition when sorted on this column he wants the tracks to be listed in the correct track order. It's an obscure request but he is by no means alone. This effect can't currently be achieved directly in iTunes. It would be trivial for Apple to implement this ordering if they chose to do so but as users that's out of our control. In response to a similar thread I wrote a Windows script a while back that removes and reimports selected tracks one by one, in reverse order, at least one second apart (as tracks with the same timestamp are ordered alphabetically). To be useful it needs to be used after each import but it is better than nothing.

    @ Mick:
    I'm well aware of Doug's AppleScript site and often offer links to his scripts where they seem appropriate. As a PC user I haven't had the opportunity to use them however. I'm pretty certain he doesn't, as yet, have anything that works the same way as my script. I'll probably have a stab at converting my script myself for the challenge, but if I don't get anywhere I'll drop him a line.

  • Mick_M Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks tt2 - you clarified my position precisely .

    One thing to watch out for in your script is that I often buy several albums at once from my wish list. In that case if you space out all the time stamps for the first album to be 1 second apart then it's possible that the last track's time stamp which you create may occur after the time stamp of the first track downloaded on the next album. Sometimes I see the iTunes library populate very quickly when downloading! It might be a good idea to be able to specify to starting time for the first time stamp just in case.

    Anyway, I look forward to hearing how you get on with that script .
  • Martin Claesson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I found out how to do this. 1. Click on "Purchased" playlist. 2. Sort on "Purchase date". 3. Make sure that "Artist" column is all same names or empty.

    Now all tracks should be in correct order and albums sorted by date of purchase.

  • Mick_M Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Close, but no cigar! I have a couple albums that did not sort properly by this method and, even more importantly, all of my own rips and any stuff purchased from Amazon etc is not on that list. I think it would be great if Apple could do column sorting like Excel whereby you can sort by column X and then by column Y etc. However, I could see the techno-phobes out there complaining about the increased complexity. So I'm still waiting for a solution .
  • Martin Claesson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hmm I see...but anyway, my attempted solution show that sorting has something to do with the contents of other fields like "artist" or similar which in turn indicates that altering the values of those fields impacts sorting either way. Why cannot someone at Apple just tell us how to do it?
  • J.R. (johnny rotten) Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Step 1) Sort the iTunes library by Track Number
    Step 2) Re-sort the iTunes library by Purchase Date

    So long as all the tracks were purchased on the same day (which should be the case if you bought the album as a whole, unless you did so a few minutes before midnight), this should give you what you want. Typically, the previous sort order is retained when there are identical values in the subsequent sort field.

    I think that'll give you what you want.
  • Mick_M Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So I guess there have been a couple promising suggestions so far, but nothing that caters to, again, my own ripped stuff or stuff purchased elsewhere (like Amazon).
  • turingtest2 Level 9 Level 9 (58,175 points)
    iTunes doesn't use the result of one sort to fine tune the order of the next one. Some columns (e.g Album) sort by more values than the column itself but as end users we get no control over those other values.

    Sorry I've not got around to the Mac version of my script yet. I've spent the last few weeks fighting a chest infection and an overloaded schedule at work. I had hoped to work on it this evening but I'm having to rebuild a complex linked system of spreadsheets for a Monday deadline when I could really use about 3 days on the task...

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