How can I sort my music database by artist?

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Last Updated: October 06, 2019

Sorting a database in Readerware is easy, just click on any column header(s) to display your database in the desired sequence. Of course that is only part of the story, sorting your database by artist in exactly the sequence you want can be tricky. Readerware gets artist information in the normal format. Readable but you can't really sort on the artist in this format.

For Example:

  • 10,000 Maniacs
  • Elvis Costello & The Attractions
  • Rolling Stones
  • Van Morrison

Readerware lets you control how items are sorted. Select the Preferences menu item then Contributor. If you want your albums to sort in standard name format choose the display name only option. If you want complete control over how your items sort, choose the display and sort name option.

Suppose you really want to sort on last name, Readerware supports this by letting you store the artist name in two formats one for display purposes and one for sorting.

Display an album in the detail view and click on the green arrow button to the right of the name. The contributor dialog will be displayed. You can edit both name formats as well as add a biography, image etc. You could set the display name to "Van Morrison" and the sort name to "Morrison, Van". The name displays naturally but sorts under M. Readerware will even do this for you, right click in the sorted name field and select the Switch Artist item from the popup menu.

Suppose you wanted 10,000 Maniacs to sort under the T's, you can leave the display name as is and set the sort name to "Ten Thousand Maniacs" or just "T" if you want it to sort at the front on the T's.

If you want "Elvis Costello & The Attractions" to sort under C, set the sort name to "Costello, Elvis & The Attractions".

If you have albums by "Big Brother & The Holding Company" and by "Janis Joplin" and you want them all to appear together in the list. You can set the sort name to "Joplin, Janis" on all albums. Now all your albums featuring Janis are sorted together but you can still see the correct artist.

What about various artist collections? These show up under "V", but you may prefer them to appear at the end of your database. Change the sort name from "Various Artists" to "| Various Artists". This forces all your collections to the end of the listing.

Hopefully you get the idea by completely separating the display and sorting of the name in Readerware, you can display an artist however you want and still sort it the way you want. This is a very powerful feature.