As with animal397 my problem has (almost completely) resolved itself.
(1) One form of the problem arises when you manually make changes to the "info" metadata about a track's artist name
(2) This initially shows up as out-of-order listings on ios devices. The devices show the NEW name but the OLD sort order(s).
(3) It resolves itself after about 2-4 days
It does not 'Resolve itself after 2-4 days' for me, do you need to resync several times before the music list gets rebuilt? Is this just regarding ID3 tags?
I called apple support and escalated this issue to whatever Tier 3 Engineering representatives that are supposed to look at these issues. They had the advisor call me back 3 days later only to tell me the issue is with my library. False. I had this issue on 2 PC's with iTunes 10.5.2 and the issue only came about after I updated to iOS 5.
-ID3 tags are fine
-The same music sorts correcly from a Restore & Resync
-Issue comes about when adding new music
-Issue is noticed when iPod is near full
-Issue occurs on iPod Touch 3rd Gen 64GB (at least)
I told each Advisor I spoke with about this thread, and told them to forward it up the chain. As you can see, there is no response.
I'm certain my tags are fine because the music sorts properly on other Apple devices (Nano using v1.1). For example, for Florence + The Machine it was sorted fine but for some reason the album art wasn't showing on my Nano but was on my iPhone so I added a new image to each of the tracks and when I re-synced that album was no longer sorted properly on iPhone running 5.0. On my Nano it was still sorted properly and the album art now appears. I made no other changes to the "info" on those tracks other than changing the album art.
This problem has not resolved itself for me. I haven't re-synced my iPhone with iTunes since when I first encountered this though. Additionally, I have plenty of room left on my iPhone so I don't think it has anything to do with when you are close to full capacity.
My issue with the newest update is this; Some artists simply aren't showing up under the "Artist" portion on my iPhone. There is no problem with how the songs/artists are ordered in iTunes on my MacBook. The issue is only with my iPhone. For instance, Lynyrd Skynyrd is not there, at all, under Artists. The songs are there if I look under "Songs" but the artist...gone. Also, for some artists, random albums or tracks are missing. For instance, I have all 3 Gorillaz albums, but under Artists/Gorillaz, it only displays 2 albums. The third, while still on the device, is located somewhere else entirely, and it **** near impossible to find.
All I want is for the music on mu iPhone to reflect the simplicity and order I have on my iTunes home computer. I have tried leaving Group by Album Artists on once, off another time. I have restored my iPhone to its factory settings and reloaded everything all over again to no avail.
This is really starting to **** me off.
Well, after my poor experience with Apple Support on this, I took the iPod to the Apple Store. They looked at the iPod and attempted a restore of their own. They however had no way of verifying the bug without sending me home to try it with my music.
They don't generally keep alot of music there to assist in a battery of tests, and bringing your Apple restored iPod back home just to see it fail isnt smart. Bring your music with you, or have enough music on iTunes to do your tests at the Apple Store.
The funny thing is the Specialist at the Genius Bar had not seen this bug before, knew it would be impractical to send me home to test it, and took the opportunity to exchange the iPod when a "verifyable" bug in the WiFi functionality appeared. So I got exchanged a new model in hopes of alleviating the stated issue, but officially for WiFi issues.
I updated to iOS 5.0.1 again, synced my music, then added another artist, then synced again. As expected, the newly added artist did not sort to its alphabetical position in the artist list. So I've confirmed this myself on 2 different 64GB iPod Touch 3rd Generations.
This is starting to really annoy me now too. I'm almost afraid to try to put new music on my phone. I just synced a new one and it's listed under M instead of O. Great.
I used a third party tagging program to modify the tags to avoid editing using "Get Info" in iTunes as it was previously hypothesized that this is when problems happen. Given my previous experiences this seemed like a possible cause/workaround. No such luck. And now there's no way for me to ever know if those files would have been listed properly without editing their tags either because based on past experiments it didn't matter whether I was using the same files or copied versions of the files, as long as the Artist/Album/Song has the same info it will continue to list it in the wrong order even if you re-tag a completely different album (different files completely, different songs) with the artist/album/song titles as the the album that gets listed in the wrong position.
How is this not a more widely publicized issue? Is it possible that we are all doing something the same that hardly anyone else is doing?
Ok, I'm out of ideas for now...I know I've successfully synced two new albums to their proper alphabetical position since this problem started but I wasn't sure if I had ever modified their tags.
So I just synced one that I know has never been synced before and that I have not modified in any way and it was placed in the wrong alphabetic position. I then synced two albums that were synced a long time ago but never on my new 4S and neither of them were sorted properly either. Therefore, it almost seems like the two albums that have sorted properly out of the 10 that I've synced to my 4S since upgrading may have sorted properly by sheer happenstance and there is actually nothing about those files that made them work properly.
I resolved this different ways for my iPad vs. my iPhone.
For my iPad, I went into the Music preferences, turned off Show All Music first, then turned off iTunes Match. Once that was done, I went into the Music app, selected Genres, then held down a cover until I got the wiggle and deleted all of the genres (essentially, all of the music that was physically on the iPad).
I restarted my iPad, turned iTunes Match back on, and the data seemed to clean itself up.
Unfortunately, you can't delete your local music from your iPhone in the same way (and even if you do, the database is still all messed up).
The only solution I was able to find was to Backup my iPhone, do a complete Restore, then Sync all of my data back onto my iPhone. It all took about an hour (most of which was syncing) to complete, from start to finish. I haven't had any regressions of my music back to the buggy playlists ever since.
On my iPhone, the only way I could figure out how to manually delete the music in the largest possible quantities was to delete everything Artist by Artist (i.e., there was a larger quantity of albums and tracks than there was for artists).
I had 2 artists in the "123" section (at the end), then 1 artist in the "Z" section, then 3 artists in the "Y" section (and so on). When I deleted the very last artist in the list, all of the entries shifted down by one while the sections contained the same amount of entries (i.e. "123" had a numeric artist and the Z artist; "Z" had one of the Y artists; "Y" had the other two Y artists and a W artist it had pulled down into itself).
Despite what various Apple Geniuses or tech support people say, this is absolutely a bona fide bug.
I have the same problem. It has plagued me since November. I truly thought an easy bug like this would have been fixed in four months.
What bothers me more than the alphabetizing issue is the problem with artists not showing up. Having to manually search for an artist sort of defeats the purpose for having a music library on your cell phone.
Is this the type of future we have to look forward to with Apple?
I just spoke to a senior customer support representative. After redirecting him to threads such as this one, he acknowledged that this is a widespread iOS5 problem. He forwarded the issue to a senior engineer who works on iOS. I was told I would get a call back in the next few days with an update regarding when we would see this fix. I'll post what I am told once I get the phone call. Really hoping for a fix soon.