Sort and Randomly Order Your iTunes Playlists

You can set your playlists to a manual order or to follow a specific order like alphabetical. You can also use some tricks to shuffle the order of your playlists and get that random order to become permanent, rather than using the shuffle function that plays songs in a different order each time.

Video Transcript
If you like creating playlists in iTunes you'll find that it can sometimes be frustrating to get the songs to be sorted in the order that you want them to be played back. So let me show you a few techniques. This is using the latest version of iTunes, that's version 12.5.3.17 in Sierra. I'm in songs view here and I can see all my songs. I have one selected so I'm going to do Command A to select them All. Then I'm going to create a playlist that just includes all of the ones in the sample library here.

So, New; Playlist from Selection. Now I've got a new playlist here and I'm just going to call it Playlist 1. I've got all the songs added in the order that they appeared in my list. That's great but now I want to sort them.

The easiest way to do that is simply drag and drop. So I take the first song here and just drag it to another position and you see it sticks there. I can do that but it's a very clunky interface. You don't see where it is you're dropping it very well. You can see that little blue line there. You drop it and you can reorder what's there.

But you can also click Edit Playlist. This takes you to a different interface. Now on the left side most of the interface here in iTunes I see my library here. I'm going to ignore that because this is for adding new songs. What I want to focus here is on the right I see my playlist. I can edit the name, I can edit the image even selecting one, I can add a description, and I can also set an order.

So I can change the order say to Name. So say if I wanted this to be alphabetical. Now it's sorted by name. I hit Done. I can see my playlist appears now sorted by name. So it's an easy way to do that. I can go back into Edit and you can see I had other options here like Time, Artist, how many loves and how many plays I gave to it. That kind of thing. I can even have it sorted by Album.

Now I also have Manual Order. So you think this switches back to being Manual Order. But if I do that you can see it actually not only gives me manual control of the order again, and I can drag and drop inside this interface as well to change the order, but it remembers the manual order I was in. For instance, if I put this song here at the top and then I go to Sort by Name, I go back to Manual Order, it remembers the manual order there.

So it doesn't allow me to say sort by name and then edit this order somewhat. Change the order of these songs because as soon as I go back to Manual Order it remembers the previous manual order and goes back to it.

What if you wanted to have a random order to your songs. Well, you might say I'll hit Shuffle and it'll play songs in a random order. But it's a different random order every time. Let's say I wanted to create my own mixed tape. I wanted to shuffle all the songs so they're randomly sorted and then stay in that order.

It's not easy to do but you can do it by using the Up Next List. So here's the Up Next List of what's playing up next. If I wanted to shuffle all these and add them to the Up Next List what I do is hold the Option key down, hit Shuffle All, and it adds them to Up Next in a random order.

Okay, so that's step 1. Step 2 is create a new playlist. We'll call that Playlist 2. That's empty. Now I'm going to go back to the Up Next List. I'm going to select the first song, scroll all the way down, Shift click to select all of those and then I'm going to drag and drop that into Playlist 2. Now Playlist 2 is what was in my Up Next List but it is now permanent. I now have a permanent listing of those songs in a random order.

If I Edit that playlist and go in you can see it's Manual Order. I can now maybe do some fine tuning, some tweaking, maybe I don't want the same group played back-to-back, that kind of thing. But it will remember this manual order even though I started with a random shuffle.

So you can do that with a lot of different things. If, for instance, the sorting order you want isn't listed here you can just sort your library in that way and then drag and drop to a new playlist to create a playlist that has the Manual Order set to that original order.

It's a really simple way to kind of create a mixed tape that has everything in random order but will play in that same random order each time.