If there are two tracks in an album made of various homemade MP3 files (rather than an imported CD or downloaded) that have the same "album by artist" value, what is the tiebreaker value that controls how iTunes orders those tracks?

I even deleted the files, removed all the ID3 tags, renamed the files with a "00 - " prefix to try and force the order, but still they display in a random order in the Albums view. In the Songs view when sorting by name they are correct, but when sorting by "Album by Artist" they appear to be sorted randomly, and the order is consistent with that in the Albums view.

Can anyone help? If I can just find the field that controls it I'll edit each track in iTunes to have "01" to "14" in that field to force it.

Many thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


You need to set the Track Number tag for each file. That's the only way iTunes determines track order. If there is no track number, it defaults to either alphabetical, or to the order in which the tracks were added. (I've seen both, and don't understand why it chooses one or the other.)

  • Hmm that's odd. I've set those as well and it didn't make any difference. Oh well. Commented May 25, 2013 at 12:51

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