Two Things I Am Hating About iOS5

First, they somehow screwed up the shuffle function. I have an iTunes smart playlist on my laptop that gives me a list of randomly selected “albums” (for classical music, I group each work as an “album” and make the individual movements “songs”). I shuffle by albums, and this way I get random works but the movements within each work stay together and in the right order. Since updating to iOS5, however, when I sync to my iPhone, this list gets shuffled again — by song, dammit. The playlist is still fine on my laptop, but on my iPhone the list begins with the fourth movement of Verklärte Nacht, the second variation from the Enigma Variations, the first movement of Dvořák’s Sixth Symphony, the sixth movement from J. S. Bach’s Overture No. 1 in C, the second movement from Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony, and so on. This is not how I want a shuffled list to work! And I cannot figure out how to get my iPhone to go back to just duplicating the playlist on my laptop like it used to. Maybe there’s a setting somewhere I need to set, but I’ve looked around and can’t find one.

Second, the iPhone, or at least the music part of it, now seems to ignore all characters other than letters and numbers in alphabetizing lists. For something like 20 years, I have used a bullet (option-8 on the Mac keyboard) at the start of the name to pull my most important or frequently accessed files to the top of a list, so I don’t have to be scrolling for them all the time. This no longer works — the item with the bullet is alphabetized as though the bullet were not there. Arrgh! I’ve tried several other symbols and they all work like that now. Again, things are fine on my laptop, but screwed up in the Music app on my iPhone. Why did they change this? It’s going to take a mess of trouble to find something else that works (I may have to resort to “aa” if this is now true of all symbols, and “aa” is kind of ugly compared to •) and then change the titles of hundreds of playlists.

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