Any way to sort TV shows by episode on iPhone?

dcom

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I can't seem to find an answer to this so I thought I'd put it out here.

I have several seasons of a particular TV series on DVD that I've been ripping down to my iTunes library so I can watch them on my iPhone. I use Handbrake to create the m4v file then import it into my iTunes library. Once there, I update the metadata by adding the Show name, Season number, Episode number, and change the Video type to TV Show. The main file name is the name of the episode but it doesn't include any episode number since there is already a field for that in the metadata.

When all the shows for a season are done, I can see a listing in the TV Shows page of iTunes of all the shows , sorted by Episode number...all good so far. But, when I sync them up to the iPhone, the shows are not sorted by episode number. They seem to be sorted by when the particular file was added to the iTunes library or by alphabetical order based on the episode name

This is a problem because if I load multiple shows and would prefer to watch them in chronological order, then I need some way of making sure they are listed in that order under TV Shows in the iPod app.

Does anyone know of a way to make sure the TV shows are listed in Episode order on the phone, other than changing the file name so they sort alphabetically?
 

Youngbinks

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I've noticed that sometimes (it might just be for me) that if I have the sorting in iTunes to be by "date added" then the TV shows and such will sort that way automatically in the phone, and it seems as if I have no way on controlling it. Maybe try sorting them by "episode number" or something similar and see if that has an effect. I am doubting it will but it might be worth a shot.
 

dcom

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After a bit of experimenting, I have things sorted by Episode on iTunes and when the shows get transferred to the phone, they are sorted in the opposite order that they are in iTunes. So, all I do is play them in reverse order from the way I thought I'd have to play them.

I set the Episode ID to the same value as the Episode # in the Metadata and told iTunes to sort the list by Episode ID. I had to do that because you can't display the Episode # in the iTunes list display but you can see the Episode ID and sort on it. I don't know if that's what did it but it seems to be ok now.
 

Youngbinks

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After a bit of experimenting, I have things sorted by Episode on iTunes and when the shows get transferred to the phone, they are sorted in the opposite order that they are in iTunes. So, all I do is play them in reverse order from the way I thought I'd have to play them.

I set the Episode ID to the same value as the Episode # in the Metadata and told iTunes to sort the list by Episode ID. I had to do that because you can't display the Episode # in the iTunes list display but you can see the Episode ID and sort on it. I don't know if that's what did it but it seems to be ok now.
I really wish iTunes would have a better way of syncing TV shows in the first place. I hate that you can sync "the 6 (or whatever #) most recent unwatched" but choosing and syncing an individual show or episode is rather difficult.
 

acosmichippo

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i agree. The best way i have found is to sync "all unwatched" episodes, and manually mark the ones you want to watch as "unwatched".
 

acosmichippo

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another way you could force the iPhone to order the episodes properly is to use the "Sort Name" field. This will override the actual name of the file for sorting purposes, but the original name would not be changed.
 

dcom

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another way you could force the iPhone to order the episodes properly is to use the "Sort Name" field. This will override the actual name of the file for sorting purposes, but the original name would not be changed.
Tried that too, didn't work.

For my test, I was syncing 2 episodes of the same series so I set the Sort Name field to "1" and "2", respectively. I synced them to the phone but when I brought them up in the iPod, they were reversed. The one that had "2" in the Sort Name field was listed before the other.
 

dcom

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I really wish iTunes would have a better way of syncing TV shows in the first place. I hate that you can sync "the 6 (or whatever #) most recent unwatched" but choosing and syncing an individual show or episode is rather difficult.
I've gotten used to that and just go into iTunes and manually mark the ones I want to sync so they are "New" and mark the others as Not New. After I watch them on the phone, I delete them so I know which ones I've seen and which ones I haven't