I think there's more at issue here than a simple sorting problem. I too see the duplicate items and random groupings described in this thread, but I'm also unable to see some TV shows. For example, I have several seasons of Futurama. Some show up on my iPad via Homeshare, although randomly and repeatedly grouped. But Futurama Season 5 doesn't show up at all via Homeshare on my iPad.
I'm hesitant to scrub all the sorting values (e.g. Album, Episode ID, etc.) as described here since I'm also seeing missing seasons via Homeshare. I'm hoping this is an iTunes bug that, when fixed, resolves the duplicate/random-groupings as well as missing titles via Homeshare.
However, if anyone has found a workaround solution that solves both the duplicate/random-groupings problem as well as missing titles, please let us know.
I also am having this issue. My TV list was a mess before I upgraded to iOS 5 but now it is out of control. I get multiple listings for the same show and season. All of my episode IDs are unique and I really don't want to have to go through my entire library and add an artist and album to fix the issue. (2205 shows at last count) Hopefully Apple will find a fix for this or sort them the same as they are in iTunes.
I do think that solving the duplicate seasons issue will also make the missing shows reappear. This is something at the Video App programmers need to fix (and have needed to fix for awhile), but if you want an immediate solution. The following steps might work:
1. In iTunes, go to your TV Shows and sort/group them by seasons.
2. For just the seasons that are showing up twice in the Video App, shift-click to select all the episodes for ONE of the problematic seasons.
3. Option-click (or right-click) the selected episodes, and select "Get Info" from the pop-up menu.
4. If asked, "Are you sure you want to edit for multiple items?", click "Yes".
5. In the Artist and Album Artist fields, type the show's name (for example, "Mythbusters").
NOTE: I believe that the Artist and Album Artist fields must be the SAME for all episodes of this show across all seasons!
6. In the Album field, type the show's name followed by its season (for example, "Mythbusters, Season 4")
7. Click on the Sorting tab.
8. In the Sort Album field, type the show's name followed by its season (for example, "Mythbusters, Season 4").
NOTE: I believe that the Album and Sort Album fields must be the SAME for all episodes within a season (but will be different for each season).
9. Close the Info window, and repeat for all other seasons that have duplicates on the video app.
It's still tedious, but at least you only have to make the edits for an entire season at a time, and only for the ones that are repeating themselves in the Video App.
Jonathan, thank you very much for the advice. I started looking at some of my Futurama episodes, and I got excited when I saw that in fact, I did have some Album and Sort Album mismatches (as well as other values).
So, I took the time to carefully look at each season and ensured that all the episodes within a season had consistent information.
Afterwards, just to make sure, I rebooted my Mac and iPad to clear any lingering cache things.
Unfortunately, after that effort, it did not clear anything up. I still have duplicates galore and I'm missing Futurama Season 5 as an option on my iPad via Homeshare.
I don't mind spending the effort to clean up stuff, as it needed to be done anyway. But I wished it fixed my Homeshare problem!
I'm attaching a screenshot from both my Mac iTunes and iPad/Video Homeshare so you can see the mismatch.
At the risk of blurring the focus a bit, I would like to be sure that those struggling with this issue are aware of Identify (http://identify2.arrmihardies.com/) and other database-based video tagging apps. If you can get the show name, season, and episode right, Identify will fill in all the other tags from thetvdb.com. My (admittedly limited) experience so far is that the thetvdb.com tags are iTunes-friendly and do not cause the issues outlined in this thread.
I'm not sure exactly which tags Identify actually touches, but you can easily use iTunes to delete all tags except show, season, and episode on your entire library before you run shows through Identify, if you are worried about lingering contamination. (Of course, back up first.)
I have no relationship to the authors of Identify; I've just found that it works well. It's a freemium app, but so far I've just used the free version, which seems to do everything I need. Mac only, unfortunately - nothing as good seems to exist for Windows.
Well I bit the bullet and reorganized my entire iTunes TV library.
1. I cleared anything that was in any of the "sort" fields.
2. I added an Artist and Album Artist. (i.e. "Home Improvement" for both fields)
3. Added Album name. (i.e. "Home Improvement Season X")
Doing this got all of my TV series to show up in the correct order and all series to be displayed.
4. Changed my Episode ID from the episode name, which caused individual shows to be sorted in alphabetical order, to the season and episode number. (i.e. 101 for Season 1 Episode 1)
This sorted the individual episodes correctly in each TV Season.
It really stunk having to re-do everything but it's done and everything works great now.
I was also missing several seasons of shows when connected to my Home Share. I hated to do it having 2205 individual TV episodes to go through but I followed the suggestions in this thread and all of a sudden all my TV series showed up in the correct order, even those that had not been displayed previously. As I went along and updated Home Share the shows would start to be correctly displayed.
I did note however that I had to totally shut down the Video app to finally get everything to display in the end. Just in case you don't know how to do it just double press the Home button to bring up the suspended apps, press and hold on an app to start them wiggling and then push the red "-" sign to shut it down. After this I restarted the video app and everything showed up so this may be part of the issue.
I'm giving up on this and going back to using Airvideo.
As far as I can see this is a fault and no amount of tinkering will fix it.
I've tagged everything correctly and had it all working perfectly. Switched iPad on a few hours later and it's all messed up again. Absolutely nothing had changed other than the passage of time.
I've even deleted and re-imported entire library which works fine, for a bit, then corrupted again. As the fault is not even consistent I'm of the opinion it's an iOS fault rather than a tagging issue.
p.s. Viewing same library on iPhone 4 gives totally different set of results.
Wasted too much time this weekend trying to resolve so am throwing in the towel.
Will keep an interested eye on all your endeavours though.
I have just solved the 'final' problem of the missing season and a couple of episodes that seemed to pick up the wrong artwork.
I was led to the answer by my iPhone which wasn't showing any of my home sharing at all... which made me delete my Apple ID and password from the Video Settings page and then kill of the video and music apps and re-enter them... my iPhone then saw my video collection correctly and when I did the same on the iPad I managed to get all my TV episodes and films with the correct artwork etc. (at least as far as I can tell at the moment).
My only problem now is that the video app seems to crash rather a lot .
So give my original posting a go and then add this final step and see if it works for the rest of you - *fingers crossed*
Over to Apple for the all to frequent crashes though...
Hey Dave Latheron,
Well done you.
Just tried what you said (removing apple id and password from 'video' in Settings on ipad etc). Now works perfectly.
It seems the iPad does not always update unless you do this. After changing some of the artwork in iTunes I noticed the old covers were still displaying on iPad until I did the log off/log on thing.
Awesome, and thanks for the instruction on shutting down Videos. I was wondering how to do that as I kept reading that in different forums. This seemed to clear the Sharing cache data, as it took longer to sync, but alas, my missing re-taged vidoes did not appear, even after restarting iTunes.
I worked at Apple, and they'd trend problems but not speak to them until there was enough data collected and problems documented, or a fix found. Hopefully this is an indentified problem, and a fix will be issued. I'm not seeing enough in the forum about this issue, so I'm not particularly hopeful. But as more and more iOS 5 users start using Sharing, maybe.
Looks like framerate per second of particular videos may in fact be an issue. I just deleted my iTunes preferences lists (.plist) (exporting my library first) and rebuilt.
I added only one of the series that didn't show in iPad/Videos/Sharing. It popped up immediately there. However, when I added other videos, I watched it disappear right out of the sharing list.