Over the weekend I upgraded my iPod 3 to iOS 5.1.1 and jailbroke it. Today I noticed that artists and albums are not properly sorted and it doesn't display everything. However, all the tracks are on the iPod and in iTunes I can see all the tracks/albums/artists in the correct order.

This is what it looks like:

enter image description here

As you can see "Everlast" is listed under "H", "Exciter" is listed under "I" and "J", etc etc.
I would rather not completely wipe it since re-encoding/uploading all the tracks will take a very long time.
It seems like I need to somehow delete/rebuild artist and album database on the ipod itself..


This is a well known issue. There is a very long discussion going on on the Apple Support pages. As far as I can see, there are two solutions which proved to fix this issue.

  1. Switching the iPhone languages seems to work in some cases. Switch to Japanese and back to English (or your own language) and this should do the trick according to some users.
    However, I would advise you to memorize the navigation very well, since it's very hard to find your way back in Japanese :)
  2. Another thing which seems to fix this is to this "new feature". When navigating to Settings > Music, there should be an option to toggle Group by Album Artist. Toggle it off and after a resync, the problem should be fixed.
    And while you're in the menu, make sure you've turned off Shuffle as well.

I can't confirm neither of these solutions since I cannot reproduce this error. So I hope it helps you out.

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  • Unfortunately disabling/enabling Group by Album Artist did not solve the problem. Then when I switched languages it stopped displaying all my music at all. Even when I switched it back to English my ipod now does not show any music at all. Itunes still shows that proper amount of space is used up by music. If I go to /User/Media/iTunes_Control/Music I can see all my tracks there. I have a feeling that itunes file in /User/Media/iTunes_Control/ is somehow corrupted, but I have no idea what a proper file supposed to look like. – Mxx Jun 6 '12 at 14:01
  • Please give your iPod some time to rebuild your iTunes Library. Or you could do it manually support.apple.com/kb/HT1451 – Michiel Jun 6 '12 at 14:10
  • your link talks about desktop itunes, not the device itself. Anyway, I left mine at home since its useless w/o music. Will see if it rebuilt anything when I'll get back home. – Mxx Jun 6 '12 at 16:22
  • Yes, try rebuilding your iTunes library on your Mac and sync it with you iPod. I really hope this works, 'cause life without music sucks! – Michiel Jun 6 '12 at 17:46
  • (It's not a mac, it's windows). Well, ipod did not rebuild music index. it was still missing. Also rebuilding iTunes' did not fix the problem. – Mxx Jun 7 '12 at 5:09

I was able to get my music properly sorted again.

Changing languages did not help. Changing album grouping did not help.

  • Using iphonebrowser I deleted (actually renamed, just in case)


This is the file that contains all of the primary the music metadata on your iOS device.

  1. Next I rebooted my iPod and went back into the Music app to see that it was now totally empty. (that's good)

  2. Next I connected my iPod to my computer and saw iTunes show ~20GB used by "Other" on my iPod. (that's good too)

  3. Next in iTunes I selected every single track, right-clicked and did "Get Info". From there I changed a single tag that I knew would not affect anything in my collection: "Sort Show". In that field I just put "qqq". It can be anything just so that it'll change.

  4. After waiting a few minutes for iTunes to update every single of my 5146 tracks, I synched my iPod. iTunes/iPod are smart enough to recognize that the actual files are still on the device, so all it had to do was re-upload current metadata information.

  5. Next, back in iTunes I selected all my tracks again and deleted that needless "Sort Show" tag. After a few more minutes of iTunes updating all the files again I synched my iPod one last time and voila!

All my 5146 tracks are there and properly sorted in every category. I did not have to reset my iPod or restore from backups or do anything like that.

I hope it helps other people.

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