Sortable Sub-Genre With ITunes 11 Using Grouping

About: Breaking and fixing things daily.

Music nuts everywhere have complained that there is no good way to add sub-genres to songs in iTunes.  This guide will show the best way I've found to add sub-genres to an iTunes library in iTunes 11 using grouping.  Sub-genre will even be sortable using the column browser.  This guide was done for the Mac version but the Windows version is probably very similar.

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Step 1: Step 1: Show Column Browser

When iTunes is open and selected, choose View/Column Browser/Show Column Browser or hit Command-B on your keyboard.  This will make the column browser visible.  In the music section, column browser can only be shown in playlists or songs views.

Step 2: Step 2: Show Groupings in Column Browser

If Groupings does not automatically appear in your column browser, again go into View/Column Browser but this time choose Groupings to add it to the browser.  This will make it so you can easily choose to view individual groupings/sub-genres once you have that data entered into your songs.

Step 3: Step 3: Show Groupings in Song Browser

Right click on any column header in the song browser (not the column browser you just added).  A list will appear: select Grouping.  After doing this, you can easily reposition the grouping column by dragging it's column header.  The second image shows what it looks like when dragging a column.  Now you will be able to quickly and easily view grouping/sub-genre information for individual songs in the song list.

Step 4: Step 4: Add Grouping Information to Songs

Either right click on a single song or select multiple songs by holding Shift or Command and right-click.  Choose Get Info from the options.  Now you can manually enter in grouping information.    

If you need hep identifying genres/subgenres, I recommend checking out  They don't have everything, but they have enough for this task.  I recommend having very broad genre categories (ie Rock, Country, Hip Hop/Rap, etc) then more specific groupings/sub-genres (ie Acoustic Rock, Bluegrass, British Rap, etc).  

I hope this guide was helpful.  Now let your OCD go wild on your music library!


I think this might help some people as well.  Here is a list of genres & sub-genres I use.  I know the list isn't perfect and you are likely to have different types of music than me, but this can be used as a jumping off point if you are having trouble organizing your music:

- Blues Rock
- Contemporary Blues
- Early Blues

Children's Music
- Children's Music

- Contemporary
- Gregorian Chant
- Romantic Era

- Alternative Country
- Americana
- Bluegrass
- Comedy
- Contemporary Country
- New Traditionalist
- Outlaw Country
- Pop/Rock
- Skit
- Traditional Country

- Comedy
- Contemporary Folk
- Folk Rock

Hip Hop/Rap
- Alternative Rap
- British Rap
- Christian Rap
- Comedy
- East Coast Rap
- Gangsta
- Mashup
- Nerdcore
- Old School Rap
- Pop-Rap
- Underground Rap

- Christmas
- Halloween

- Big Band Swing
- Bop
- Comedy
- Contemporary Jazz
- Electronic
- Lounge
- Other Jazz
- Smooth Jazz

- Latin Guitar
- Latin Rap
- Latin Rock

- Comedy
- Contemporary R&B
- Oldies
- Urban Crossover

- Caribbean
- Comedy
- Contemporary Reggae
- Pop/Rock
- Roots Reggae

- Acoustic Rock
- Alternative Metal
- Alternative Rock
- Christian Rock
- Classic Rock
- Comedy
- Electronic
- Emo
- Experimental
- Folk Rock
- Funk Rock
- Goth Rock
- Grunge
- Hardcore Metal
- Hardcore Punk
- Indie Rock
- Industrial
- Mashup
- Metal
- New Wave
- Oldies
- Pop-Punk
- Pop/Hair Metal
- Pop/Rock
- Post-Hardcore
- Post-Punk
- Progressive Metal
- Progressive Rock
- Punk
- Rap Rock/Metal
- Ska
- Southern Rock

- Film Score
- Musicals/Broadway

- German
- Hawaiian
- Indian
- Irish Celtic
- Polka

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