If you view your iTunes library in a list view, such as Songs view – or similar views for types of content other than music – you may not realize that you can choose which columns iTunes displays in these views. Here’s my iTunes library in Songs view:
If you look closely, you can see columns for Album by Artist (that’s the first column with the artwork), Name, iCloud Download (the one with the cloud icon in the header), iCloud Status, Time, Composer, artist, and Album by Artist/Year.
But you have a couple of dozen options for columns to display. You can do this by choosing View > Show View Options, or pressing Command-J.
It’s useful to display other columns for two reasons: you get to see more metadata (if your display is big enough) and you can sort by any of those columns by clicking its header. Also, you may want fewer columns displayed than the default; you may only want Name, Artist and Album.
Here are the columns you can display:
The top section lets you choose how to sort the window (here it’s by Album), and whether you want to show artwork, show it always, and its size.
The Music section lets you choose from standard metadata about albums, artists, time, track number and more.
The Personal section lets you select among items that you add to your music files: their ratings, groupings, comments or descriptions.
Under Stats, you can choose to display the date you added or modified files, how many plays or skips they have, last played date, purchased date and more.
File includes items about a file: its bit rate, kind (the codec used to convert it), its sample rate and size.
Under Sorting, you have options to display any of the information on the Sorting pane of the tagging window: Sort Album, Sort Artist, etc.
Finally, the Other section covers some items that don’t apply to music: Episode Number (for TV shows), Season, etc.
To display or hide any of these columns, just check a box next to its name. If there is no content in your files’ tags, however, those columns will be blank.
Let’s say you want to view your entire library by Date Added, and see all the music you added recently. Check the Date Added column, then close the View Options window. Next, click the header above that column. If you see a recent date, then the tracks will display in order from newest to oldest. If not, click the column header again (each time you click, the sort order changes from new to old, or old to new).
This is a great way to view specific metadata for your music – or other content – and you may want to leave certain columns visible all the time, or only display them at certain times, such as if you’re cleaning up your library, or fixing your files tags.