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Album Sorting In The Age of iPod

I like having my CDs out for visitors to peruse through - or for the occasional listen without the aid of my iPod.

A curious thing struck me this evening. Months ago, I sorted most of the CDs in library order: artist’s last name, then first name, then album name. This has worked out well…until tonight.

I was going through my CDs tonight, pulling out each album that hadn’t yet been ripped into the MP3 collection. Since my iPod is sync’d to my MP3 collection, I could just look up each album on my iPod and see if I had all the tracks from the album.

The iPod doesn’t follow library-sorting rules. Doubtlessly, this is because of the difficulty in parsing an “Artist Name” field that could be a person’s name, like “Billy Joel”, or a band name like “Statutory Grape”. However, this made the process tonight a bit more difficult, since I found myself scanning all over the place when the iPod sort order and my library-sorted CDs didn’t follow each other.

Therefore, the question is…do I give in to the iPod and sort my CDs similar to the non-library sort it uses? Or, do I just let it go, since this will most likely be the last time I would require the sort orders to match for efficient comparisons?

For the record…here I thought I had the vast majority of my CDs ripped, only to find I’ve still got about 33% to go. I see a hard drive upgrade in my future…

Comments (1)

If, as you say, this will be the last time you need to sort through your collection in comparison, I'd recommend just letting it go.

If you want a change, consider the sort method I use which keeps both iTunes and the CDs matched up identically: I sort by the first name or first word of the artist. By your example, "Billy Joel" gets sorted in the B's and "Statutory Grape" gets sorted with the S's.

This organization made absolutely no sense to my friends (in fact annoyed several people who were used to looking by the artist's last name, as done in stores) but I loved it. The reason I don't like the "store" method for alphabetizing is because it is inconsistent at times. There are always those obscure artist names like Kenny G who should be under G but instead is under K. To avoid this issue, I made a decision early on to alphabetize by the first letter of the name or group because that doesn't have exceptions. Besides, what's the first thing you hear in your mind when you think of an artist? The first letter!

And, to my delight, iTunes does it the same way.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 23, 2005 10:33 PM in Music and Residence.

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