Script for Chronological Album Sort for iPod!

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Wild Maiden

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I got an iPod classic not too long ago, and it's nice except for one thing: The albums sort alphabetically. I looked into it, and found that there is essentially no solution available for those of us who want to have our albums sort chronologically by release date. So I made one.

Download the script here: http://www.mediafire.com/?4wmtw0bwvmr

I wrote this script in javascript and it's very simple. What it does is go through your iTunes music library and fill in the "Sort Album" field with the year and album name like this: [year] [Album Name].

The "Sort Album" field is the same field used to allow albums such as "The Number of the Beast" to be sorted apathetically under N instead of T (the sort album field is simply Number of the Beast). By placing the year the album was released in front of the album name, albums are essentially sorted chronologically.

After running this script, albums on my iPod were in fact sorted by year insted of by name, much to my delight!

THIS CHANGE DOES TRANSFER TO THE IPOD!

I tested it with my iPod Classic 80GB with firmware version 1.0.2 and with iTunes 7.5.0.20 running Windows XP. If you have all these requirements, I can almost guarentee this will do the trick, if not then it's kind of up the air, it should work, but it has not been tested.

This script does NOT modify anything on your iPod! As such, there is a 0% possibility of bricking your iPod. It simply makes changes to your iTunes music library, which transfer to the iPod after syncing.

The script of course only works correctly if you have the correct year information for each album, and assuming that an artist doesn't have 2 albums released in the same year (in which case you would have to manually edit the Sort Album field to something like 1992a and 1992b).

The script is included in a .bat file so that messages can be sent to the console instead of as an annoying pop-up window. If an error occurs (which sometimes appears to be the case if certain tracks cannot be modified) consult the console window to determine which track is causing problems and temporarily remove it from your library.

note to webmasters: Feel free to host this script if you can and want to.
 

Mawdryn

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I may try this out. I have exactly the same setup as you, except my Classic is a 160. I've always wished iTunes would sort albums by release date rater than alphabetically.

I'm just not sure about running something that will automatically change my 8,000+ library though. Most of my stuff is tagged correctly, but I still have a lot of miscellaneous stuff with no dates or (worse) wrong dates. Even stuff from the iTunes store is often tagged with the year they started selling it and not the year the album was released. (I've bought albums from the 1970's that iTunes tags as 2007. Very annoying when playing iQuiz.)

And I was wondering how this would handle an album such as a "Greatest Hits" where each song has a different year. Would this create multiple sort albums (one for each year) for the same album?

Thank you for trying to correct what to me is one of the most annoying things about iTunes. Now that you gave me the idea, maybe I'll just manually change the sort album field for the artists I care about and just leave the others alone.

If anyone else tries this, I'd be interested to hear how it went. Thanks.
 

Wild Maiden

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In the case of a "Greatest Hits" album, it will do the same thing it does for every other song, take the year from the track and the album name from the track and apply those two fields to the Sort Album field. Unfortunately, this will create a separate album for each year when browsing on the iPod.

What I would suggest is removing these files temporarily from your library, running the script, and then adding them back in, whereby you can manually changes the sort album field to whatever you want (ie if you want it at the top, apply a 0 to the sort album field, if you want it at the bottom apply a 9, or something similar).

In the end this script will likely save you a ton of time like it did for me, since 90% or more of my music worked great by applying the year and album name to the sort album field, only a few cases where there were 2 albums in the same year, or a greatest hits sort of thing, but going back and changing those was by far less time consuming that manually trying to do edit every sort album field.
 

iPr0n

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I've pretty much settled on including a 2-digit year in front of the album's title, visibly. (4 digits for 2000 and later, which curiously sorts with the 2-digits ones correctly). This way, the sort oder is correct, and ALSO I have a trip down memory lane when I wish to know when things were released/first bought, such as "oh yeah, I listened to that during grade 11".

But your script idea for manipulating the invisible sort field is clever. Thank you.
 

sontaron

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If you enter the year in the sort album field for each song on an album the ipod *does* sort albums chronologically. It`s pretty time consuming but the option is there. This script is probably a quicker way of doing things though - good work!
 

ieltxumetal

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Hi there,

The link is not working anymore... could you re-upload it somewhere or copy the script here?
 

reneipod

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The link is not working anymore... could you re-upload it somewhere or copy the script here?
11-24-2007 05:55 AM
I know this thread is 2 years old, but I will put my input in. Right click on the first song of an album. Click get info. Go to the sorting tab. Next to sort album, put the year the album was released. Click ok. Then right click again and go down to apply sort field and click same album.

This will apply to all the songs on that album. Do this with all the albums by a particular artist and it will sort all their albums based on the year they were released.

There is no need for outside programs when itunes can do it for you. I do this for every album I import whether it is an artist's latest album or a previous album that I just bought. There is no need to put the name of the album in this field also; the year is sufficient.
 

ieltxumetal

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I know this thread is 2 years old, but I will put my input in. Right click on the first song of an album. Click get info. Go to the sorting tab. Next to sort album, put the year the album was released. Click ok. Then right click again and go down to apply sort field and click same album.

This will apply to all the songs on that album. Do this with all the albums by a particular artist and it will sort all their albums based on the year they were released.

There is no need for outside programs when itunes can do it for you. I do this for every album I import whether it is an artist's latest album or a previous album that I just bought. There is no need to put the name of the album in this field also; the year is sufficient.
Thnaks for the advise but having 135gb of music on my iPod is quite tedious to do it on every album...

That's why I wanted the script
 

reneipod

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Thnaks for the advise but having 135gb of music on my iPod is quite tedious to do it on every album...

That's why I wanted the script
Though you may have 135gb of music, do you have multiple albums under each artist? If not, the amount of time you spend on this has just decreased. Start with artists you listen to more often than not. Spend a few minutes here and there and it will be done eventually. As for the script, the OP may or may not still visit here, so you may not get an updated link.
 

nocannothave

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No scripts necessary as already mentioned. Yeah, it will take some time, but only do a few hundred songs at a sitting.

You may also consider changing the Sort Artist field to Last, First, so Isaac Hayes in the the "H" section, not "I".

It is most excellent to have everything sorted the way it logically should. Alphabetically is not always logical for music.
 

ananeas

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and when not using itunes?

i am not using itunes to synchronize my ipod, does anyone has experience with other softwares with wich you can access this sort album field?
 

nocannothave

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i am not using itunes to synchronize my ipod, does anyone has experience with other softwares with wich you can access this sort album field?
There must be an mp3 tagger that has options for Sort Album field. It may take you some time to find it. Surely "Sort Album" can't be an Apple copyright.
 

ananeas

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album sort order field - ipod classic 6G

ok i did some research and that s what I found out:

>the sort album field is in the ID3v2 Frame Specification (version 2.4 delta):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ID3

listed as the TSOA frame

>I found a really good tag editor mp3tag which since version 2.39b support the sort album field:

NEW: support for iTunes sorting fields at ID3v2.2, ID3v2.3, and ID3v2.4 (ALBUMSORTORDER, BANDSORTORDER, COMPOSERSORTORDER, PERFORMERSORTORDER, and TITLESORTORDER).
NEW: support for iTunes sorting fields at MP4 (ALBUMSORTORDER, BANDSORTORDER, COMPOSERSORTORDER, PERFORMERSORTORDER, SHOWSORTORDER, and TITLESORTORDER).

here under the name ALBUMSORTORDER

You can also just create whatever tag you want with mp3tag
By the way mp3tag is really powerful and you can write some script to edit for example the ALBUMSORTORDER field from the YEAR and ALBUM values.

>I am not sure about the connection between frame name and tag name...

>I have a ipod classic 6Gen, I tried to feed the ALBUMSORTORDER tag and a TSOA tag field but none of them works on my ipod with the latest firmware version (1.1.2)

any help?
 

aerochrome2

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I would also love to figure out a way to use MP3TAG or some other software to do this. I would also be OK appending the year before or after the album name (its not so much about sorting for me, but an easy way to see when the five albums I'm looking at were released.

Any ideas? Im on windows so DougsScripts are not an option
 
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