Saturday, 29 November 2008

Two-faced kitten

Two faced kitten

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Re-ordering songs in a playlist in iTunes - you first need to click on the playlist number (1st column)

I haven't really had much to complain about when it comes to iTunes, until now.

I was preparing a CD songs for my son, and I had the songs in a playlist. The first group of songs I added was from a single CD, so that was easy enough. I added a few more songs later, and discovered that changing the order of the songs in a playlist can be a bit puzzling. Trying to drag around a song in the list, which normally you'd expect to be enough to change the sequence, had no effect. Googling it reveals that it doesn't work when the list of songs is already sorted on a column other than the first one, which is the list number. However, there is no indication anywhere in the interface that this restriction is in place!

Now from an implementation point of view, I can see why they don't allow it. For example, if the list of songs is sorted by Name, in ascending alphabetical order, allowing the songs to be dragged around and resequenced would be inconsistent with what the table widget is meant to
be doing.

But this is a totally inadequate user experience! If you can't drag and drop the songs while it's sorted on any of column after list number, then why couldn't they tell that to the user? There should be a drag/ drop event detectable from the GUI toolkit, so why couldn't they put in a condition like:

IF (song is being dragged and dropped) AND (songs are sorted on any
column from 2 onwards) THEN
SHOW MESSAGE "Click on 1st column before changing the order of the songs"

Unfortunately, iTunes has worked like this for a while (and so have complaints about it), so I don't think Apple will be making this operation a bit easier.

So to change the order of songs in an iTunes playlist, click on the first column to cancel out any other sorting on the list, before dragging the songs to the desired sequence.

NOTE: Make sure that the shuffle button in the bottom left is not clicked. (thanks Andrew!)