This is the location of the podServe blog posts published up to June 2015.

Welcome to the podServe blog, a selection of tips, tricks, comments and various other ramblings on the topic of CD ripping, digital music, streaming and all the things that go right and wrong in being entertained.

Sonos - iTunes - Out of Sorts

This afternoon I was at a client's premises looking into some problems with their network and how that was handling music streaming. The client asked me to look at an issue that was puzzling him and it concerned music on his Sonos controller, compared to his iTunes library.

He showed me his Sonos hand held controller and accessed his Bach music. Right at the top of the list were two tracks that were obviously out of order. When we crossed to the Mac with iTunes, did the same search and looked at the result. A very different result. It was a trip down memory lane for me, back to my early days in IT when as a programmer you had to keep in mind a thing called "sort order".

I've deliberately put "sort order" in quotes, but if you saw that phrase among others, sorted alphabetically, where would you expect it to be slotted? In the good old days It manufacturers took different views and looking at the Sonos display it was obvious that the Sonos view is that single quotes and double quotes should come at the top of the list, like this -

'A
"A
A
B
C and so on.

Looking in iTunes it's clear Apple have set up iTunes to ignore any distractions such as the single or double quotes. So the track title will appear in the place it would be in if it didn't have those marks. Clever, would have saved me hours and hours all those years ago.

So if you have an iTunes / Sonos environment and you're experiencing some sort oddities take a look at your track names and album titles. My client's library is huge (2,700 albums) and I found four albums and 12 tracks that started with ' or ". It only took a few minutes to edit out those unnecessary characters and now iTunes and Sonos sort in harmony. Lovely.
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