Last week, we went over some easy to configure options that allows you greater control over your tracks in iTunes. We learned about gapless albums and remembering playback positions for audiobooks. This week, we are going to look at Sorting options and lyrics. You might be wondering why lyrics are a cool option, we will get into that a little later.
I want to start off by looking at the Sorting options that is available under the “Get Info” settings on a per track basis. The downside to this is that the Sorting options are only available at a per track level and it is difficult to set when doing multiple tracks. However, the sorting options available can be a powerful tool if utilized correctly. Sorting gives you a lot of control over how your music is organized. If say for instance, you can decide if you want the group The Beatles to be sorted on the “Beatles” (like a record store) or on the “The” part. It is entirely up to you. You can do this with album title, artist, or even the actual title of the song, making sure you can organize your music in a crazily accurate manner. And while it is not overly complex to decide how to organize your music, keeping up with it is a time consuming process. However, you will easily find that the benefits are huge.
Another nice little feature inside iTunes that gets ignored quite a bit is the Lyrics tab under the “Get Info” section of your tracks. While there is no way to see the lyrics on current full size iPods, there is an option on the Nanos. Also having the lyrics is often a really nice feature in general, especially if you can find a programmatic way to fill in the lyrics data. There are some programs that will do this automatically for you on both the Windows and Macintosh platforms (see this Ask iLounge article for a couple of options). I am a lyric nut so this is a rather big deal for me. However, be warned that if you listen to a lot of music that is not well known, then you run the risk of not being able to find the lyrics online and will be left hand typing them in.
We have not covered most of the track specific features in iTunes. Next week we are going to look at having iTunes help keep your music organized on your hard drive. Be sure to check back next week.