Apple just recently released firmware version 1.3 for the 5G iPods. Of course, since it is Apple, the release notes just say “bug fixes” without bothering to say which bugs were fixed. Well, one of the bugs they fixed is pretty damn cool.
One annoying thing about the iPod (and, for a long time, iTunes did the same thing) is that albums are sorted alphabetically under the artist name. So for the Beatles you end up seeing Abbey Road before Please Please Me. That just doesn’t make any sense. Some people fixed this by putting the year in front of the album name on every album, but then you end up with albums like “1969 – Abbey Road,” and that just looks lame.
So Apple eventually added “Sort Album” and “Sort Artist” tags to iTunes. With these you could see Abbey Road but sort via “1969 – Abbey Road,” and show “Elvis Costello” but sort via “Costello, Elvis.” But, since this is Apple, they didn’t implement it very smoothly. The “Sort Artist” tag worked on the iPod from day one, and when the iPhone and the iPod Touch and Classic came out all of them supported both tags. But us 5G owners were stuck with alphabetically sorted albums (I know, horror, right?).
But now, with version 1.3, the original iPod can do the same thing. Here’s a bit of a tutorial (scroll to the last message) on how to update your “Sort Album” fields using Mp3tag (for some reason iTunes won’t let you update a bunch of songs sort fields at once without going through a bunch of rigamarole). Note that I couldn’t get the Mp3tag directions to work in version 2.4, but I did get it to work in one of the 2.39alpha versions a while back… perhaps I’m just doing something wrong or maybe there’s a bug they’ll fix soon.
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