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Currently .mp3, .aac, .m4r, etc. are all looked as "Music". So when I do an Arrange or Group By in the Lion Finder, all of these files get displayed under the heading "Music". Is there an option to make this arrange by Kind setting respect the exact file type?

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Do you care what view mode you use? This is easy in List view, but I'm not sure of a way to do it in Icon, Column, etc. – Nathan Greenstein Sep 10 '11 at 16:26
ah, sorry should have mentioned that. Was looking to do it in the column view specifically. But, do let me know how this is done in List view as well ? – Kaushik Gopal Sep 10 '11 at 19:44
Wow... I just checked and apparently it doesn't work any more. I feel silly. Sorry! – Nathan Greenstein Sep 10 '11 at 20:05
up vote 12 down vote accepted

It sounds like you want to "sort" your files rather than "arrange" them.

  1. In Finder open up the folder you would like to sort by kind (file type).
  2. Click the Action button (gear icon).
  3. Choose Show View Options.
  4. Set Arrange By to None.
  5. Set Sort By to Kind.

Your files can be sorted more specifically now. There are also a few other tricks to such as holding down the option key while selecting what you would like to sort by, which overrides grouping.

enter image description here

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wow, that makes no intuitive sense to me, but I can confirm that you can sort music files by actual file type this way. Adding any other finder sorting tricks to this answer would be great! – lemonginger Sep 16 '11 at 14:59
@ioi actually what i "really" want is to get the sorting done by file type exactly as you've mentioned AND have them nicely grouped by kind. Basically the "group by" kind nicely splits them up with headings. But functionality wise, applying your solution gets them sorted by kind(and they do this alphabetically), so you get the brownies on this. Cheers! – Kaushik Gopal Sep 16 '11 at 19:58
great explanation, though I must admit, I also am puzzled by Apple's logic here... – verboze Nov 9 '12 at 17:31

There is a better way that I always use when I need.

I just right click in the Finder window and hold down the 'alt' key. It provides me with the menu item to sort by when I would like :)

So, in this case, I right click in the folder, hold down the 'alt' key, choose Sort By, and choose Kind.

I hope this helps :)

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