Sorting titles containing numbers

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lliwedd
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Sorting titles containing numbers

Post by lliwedd »

If I look at (for example) my collection of Haydn symphonies, MediaMonkey orders them like this (extract):

Symphony #100
Symphony #103
Symphony #22
Symphony #44
Symphony #6
Symphony #67
Symphony #76
Symphony #8
Symphony #87

This is really unhelpful, particularly if the list is long. Is there any way of sorting these so they appear in numerical (rather than literal) order? I guess I could add leading zeros in the names, but I don't want to have to edit many hundreds of files one by one. Other people must have this issue - how have you solved it?
Lowlander
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Re: Sorting titles containing numbers

Post by Lowlander »

Only adding leading zeroes can solve this within MediaMonkey.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)
sallenmd87
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Re: Sorting titles containing numbers

Post by sallenmd87 »

To avoid putting leading zeroes into the titles, the appearance of which I do not like, I put them into the grouping. I use groupings to identify works and artists, usually conductor. So for example grouping 1 = Haydn: Symphony No. 006 [Pinnock], grouping 2 = Haydn: Symphony No. 019 [Fischer], and grouping 3 = Haydn: Symphony No. 104 [Davis]. Creating a playlist that gathers Haydn symphonies and sorts them by grouping will then sort them in the proper numerical order. If a playlist sorts by album, disc number and track number, works will display in the order they are on in the album, which is fine with me in many cases. I've been collecting music for nearly 50 years now, so I am still quite comfortable with the album model as well. Naming, tagging and organizing classical music is complicated, and individual preference plays a major roll. I've been using MM for ten years now. I have very strong preferences for appearance and information conveyed, but the most important thing to me is consistency. Without it, things get lost. I have a few hundred playlists to keep my 240,000 tracks well-organized. My main recommendation is to pick a scheme that you like and stick with it. Maybe experiment a bit at first, but find something you can accept for many years, because at some point, fixing an ill-thought out system is too much work.

One other thing: I've never really cared about how the tracks are organized in Windows Explorer, since all of my management is in MM. As long as everything is branched out from the same root directory so that I can easily maintain an incremental backup, I'm fine. My scheme for that is Album Artist>Album>file name. I recently added in a directory of the first letter of the album artist before album artist to make the directories a little easier to look through on the rare occasions that I need to, such as restoring a backup.
lliwedd
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Re: Sorting titles containing numbers

Post by lliwedd »

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I'm new to MM, didn't know about Grouping and haven't used Playlists. I have been using Album for the name of the work (presumably this is the "album model" you refer to), with the main artists (conductor, orchestra etc) appended to the name (e.g. album title might be "Symphony #76 in Eb (Hogwood - Academy Of Ancient Music)"). Of course the artists are in the appropriate fields too, for searching/indexing purposes. This seems to work fine except for the numerical sorting issue. I'll investigate Grouping and Playlists to see whether that might be better.
sallenmd87
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Re: Sorting titles containing numbers

Post by sallenmd87 »

What I do can only be done with MM Gold because AutoPlaylist functionality is not included in the free version. It is well worth the price.

By "album model" I am referring to the long tradition of releasing a group of songs on a single (or a few) record(s) or disk(s). This model may be waning, and the ability to buy single tracks certainly undermines it. Obvious examples of albums are two of my long-time favorites: the Beatles' Abbey Road and Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

In classical music, of course, an album could be a single disc containing a couple of Mozart piano concertos or a trio of discs containing a complete performance of Don Giovanni. So I'm not sure how the Album field could be used for the work in the former case, since the album contains two works, Say Mozart's Piano Concerto #9 (K271) and Piano Concerto #11 (K413) performed by the English Baroque Soloists and Malcolm Bilson, conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner and released by Archiv Produktion in 1984. Because the total number of Mozart Piano Concertos is a double-digit number, I would enter Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 09, K271 [Bilson/Gardiner] in the Grouping field for all the tracks of the first and Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 11, K413 [Bilson/Gardiner] in the Grouping field for all the tracks of the latter. Within an AutoPlaylist, sorting by Grouping will then put the lower number concerto first with the tracks withing the grouping in proper order. If sorted by album, with will put the album in its track sequence. I have more that one performance of all of Mozart's piano concertos, so an Autoplaylist of all of them sorted by Grouping will put all performances of Concerto #2 before all performances of #10. The order of the performances of any given concerto is determined by the information I put within the brackets. You mentioned Haydn's wonderful symphonies. My playlist of these works the same way, but requires three digits (e.g. 004, 050 and 102) to work properly.

BTW, there is a conductor field in MM. I put all my conductors there rather than in the artist field. The latter is used for ensembles and soloists, each separated by a semicolon so that I can sort on any specific artist or combination of artists. Also, I use the actual symbols for sharp and flat, as well as special characters from other languages (e.g. cedillas, umlauts and accented characters) because MM (and iPhone) support displaying them.
lliwedd
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Re: Sorting titles containing numbers

Post by lliwedd »

Thanks for the detailed clarification! I make each work a separate "album" - so in your example of two piano concertos, I would put "Piano Concerto #9 K271 (Bilson - English Baroque Soloists - Gardiner)" in the album field for that concerto, and then "Piano Concerto #11 K413 (Bilson - English Baroque Soloists - Gardiner)" would be a separate album, with that work's title in the Album field. I think all I am losing by this method is the knowledge that these two concertos are on the same physical compact disc (or vinyl record or whatever), but that doesn't matter to me. Then I would also put the English Baroque Soloists and Bilson into the Artist field separated by a comma (my defined delimiter), and yes, I put Gardiner in the Conductor field.

This all works very well except for the numerical sorting issue. Sadly it looks as though I have no option but to add leading zeroes into the names of the works, just as you have done in your Grouping entries. Ah well...
sallenmd87
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Re: Sorting titles containing numbers

Post by sallenmd87 »

Yes, the leading zeroes is the only thing that will work for your scheme, but since that scheme works really well for you otherwise, going with them is worth any unsightliness. You'll only need it in the album field so long as your numbering your tracks.

As an old guy who bought his first album (rock of course) on vinyl at age 14 in 1973 at Tower Records in San Francisco and has been collecting since, I am unwilling to give up on that concept.

Enjoy your collection! That's all that matters in the end.
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