Have you ever had trouble finding your favourite artist in your iTunes library? In this article, we will take a look at how you can make changes to your collection so artists are catalogued within the alphabetical letter that you deem to be most appropriate.

Using The Beatles as an example, iTunes catalogues the band under the letter B with ‘the’ being ignored. Within my physical CD library, I have The Beatles listed under T, not B. I would therefore like iTunes to replicate this behaviour.

To change this, open your iTunes Music Library and select the artist in question.

iTunes beatle

By using this method of selection, you will be selecting the entire catalogue of the artist. If you simply wanted to change a single album, such as a Greatest Hits collection, then you would need to proceed to the album and select that instead. You can also make these changes to individual songs.

Your next step it to press Command + I, or proceed to File > Get Info from the Menu Bar. You will be asked if you are sure you want to edit the information for multiple items. In this example we will click the Yes button.

get info

You will then be presented with the Multiple Item Information panel that allows for modification of the album’s information within the artist you have selected. At this stage, it is important to remind you that you should have a backup of your iTunes Library prior to proceeding. Whilst you can manually change back the sort preference, there is no immediate Undo function.

Once you have selected the Sorting tab you will be able to modify the sorting preference information. In this example we will solely look at changing the artist, but the same principles can be used for sorting areas such as Album or Composer. In fact, you can set up multiple sorting options for a single artist and this functionality will appeal especially to those of you that are Classical and Jazz music collectors. For example, you may want all of Beethoven to be under B, or you may prefer to sort by the Orchestra, or even the Composer. There is a lot of functionality here that enables you to get the most out of your iTunes Library.

To make a change and thereby place The Beatles under T, instead of B, simply add The before Beatles as shown below:

multiple items

When you click the Okay button, you will notice that the artist in question will be moved and re-sorted in your iTunes Library.

the beatles

As you can see from the image above, The Beatles are now under T and therefore match my physical CD cataloguing.

If you use iTunes Match, your catalogue will automatically update, or you can force this change to occur by proceeding to Store > Update iTunes Match from the Menu Bar. If you manually update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod via iTunes, you will need to perform a sync with the device before these changes will take effect, even if you wirelessly connect to your Wi-Fi compatible iOS devices over your local Wi-Fi network, from iTunes.

It is important to note that these changes only apply to the music currently in your iTunes Library. If you add additional albums from the artist via either CD rips, iTunes Match, or by purchasing them from the iTunes Music Store, then you will have to make this change to the newly acquired music.

If you have any further questions about managing your iTunes Library, please drop into the store and one of our knowledgeable staff will be able to assist you.