Sorting collections of library items in iTunes U

Most of the “Collections” in my iTunes U library sort just fine.  However, I’ve had one collection which seemed to defy logic.

The collection contains about 50 iTunes U videos.

  • Each title is prefixed with an unique session id number.
  • Each has the exact same “release date”.
  • And each has a timestamp for “Date Added” which fall into the same sequence as the session id (since I downloaded them in that order).

Seems obvious all of these items should be sorted by the session id numbers in the titles. But the sort order always seemed to be random.

Turned out to be a problem with the “Track Number” for each item.  I had reviewed the tracked numbers through the “Get Info” option, and the fields were blank.  However, when I turned on the iTunes library Column Browser option to show Track Numbers in the iTunes U library window, I discovered most of the items did indeed have track numbers and the sequencing was all wrong.

Rather than edit the track numbers for all 50 items, I simply selected Get Info for the entire collection and cleared the existing track numbers by selecting the check box next to that field and leaving the value blank.  iTunes updated (removed) the old track number values for each item in the collection.  Since all of the titles contain sequential session numbers, they immediately sorted correctly.

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