The new Grid view in iTunes 8 offers a new way to look at your music—and personally, I think it’s quite useful. When in Grid view, you can have your music grouped together in one of four ways—by albums, artists, genres, or composers. You choose the grouping option by clicking on the labels at the top of the iTunes Grid view window. Not much of a hint there, I realize…but wait, there’s more!
Did you also know that, depending on which arrangement you’ve selected, you can further group and/or sort your music? Check out the View menu as you switch between Albums, Artists, and Composers in the Grid view window. (There aren’t any additional options for Genres.) With each selection, you’ll see, for instance, Group Albums in the View menu; select this, and your albums will be sorted into alphabetical groups based on the artist’s name. (You can group when using the Artists and Composers options, too.)
But the Artists view has an additional viewing option: you can sort your albums by title, artist, genre, year, or rating, in either ascending or descending order. Then, depending on which sort order you’ve chosen, you may be able to set a secondary sort within the primary sort—sort your albums by year, for example, then by artist name within the year. OK, so that’s a bit more of a hint, but still, the options are there in the menu to be seen by all..but wait, there’s more!
It’s not much more, though; just a little tidbit to make accessing these view options less mouse-intensive. Instead of heading for the View menu, just move your mouse onto the row of buttons you use to choose Albums, Artists, Genres, or Composers, and Control-click—it doesn’t matter which button you’re over, or even if you’re over a button at all.
As long as the mouse is over the button bar, a contextual menu will appear, mimicking the options available in the View menu for the currently-active grouping method. (You won’t see a menu if you’re grouping on Genre, because Genre doesn’t offer any additional view options.)
This may not be a huge timesaver, but I try to minimize how far the mouse must move, and this hint helps a lot, especially on a larger monitor.