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Archived - iTunes 7.3: Changes in music sort order

Starting with iTunes version 7.3, the following sort order is implemented:

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

General ordering

  • Letters & Unicode characters (except for digits)
  • Digits
  • Other

Ignore leading definite and indefinite articles

  • "The Beatles" sorts as "Beatles"
  • "A Night in Tunisia" sorts as "Night in Tunisia"

Note: In English these are "A ", "An ", and "The " and includes the localized or international equivalents.

Ignore leading symbols and punctuation

  • "#41"sorts as "41"
  • " ' Til I Collapse " sorts as "Til I Collapse"

Sort digits numerically

The songs "1 foo", "2 foo", "10 foo" will sort as
"1 foo", "2 foo", "10 foo" and not as
"1 foo", "10 foo", "2 foo"

Ignore leading white space when sorting

Any spaces entered at the beginning of the title will be ignored when sorting.

Sort ignoring case

For example with iTunes 7.2 and older versions, the song playlist sorts in the following order:

  • .38 Special
  • 'Til Tuesday
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic
  • 4 Non Blondes
  • The 5th Dimension
  • 311
  • Oingo Boingo
  • ZZ Top
  • つしまみれ

With iTunes 7.3 and newer versions, the song playlist sorts in the following order:

  • Oingo Boingo
  • 'Til Tuesday
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic
  • ZZ Top
  • 4 Non Blondes
  • The 5th Dimension
  • .38 Special
  • 311
  • つしまみれ

Note: If you sort a playlist and sync it to an iPod, the sort order from iTunes will be retained.

If you want to override the default sort rules for a given artist or song, follow these steps:

  1. Get Info on a song and click the Sorting tab.
  2. Enter the text in the appropriate sorting field. If you want "The Beatles" to sort by "The Beatles" instead of "Beatles" you would enter "The Beatles" in the Sort Artist Field.
  3. Click OK.
  4. To apply that change to all of the songs by "The Beatles", right-click (or Control-click) the song that you just changed and choose Apply Sort Field > [relevant field] (using the example above, Same Artist).
Last Modified: Aug 10, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Aug 10, 2012
  • Article: HT2642
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