The Music App underwent some significant changes in iOS 7. A lot of these changes were great: Apple introduced a sleek new design and integrated iTunes Radio right into the new version of the app. However, Apple also removed a key navigational feature, sorting by Artist/Album. However, I’ve found a way to re-enable this view. This post shows a trick to view music by Artist/Album in iOS 7.
Here’s how the Music app worked in iOS 6 and earlier: When using the Artist tab you would tap on an artist (U2, for example) and the app would then display a list of the titles of all the U2 albums on your device in alphabetical order (Achtung Baby, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, Boy, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, etc.). You would then tap on the album title to view its tracklist and tap on a track to begin playing. When the Music app reached the end of the album, assuming you didn’t have repeat turned on, the album would stop playing and the view would switch back to the list of albums so that you could choose another album to play.
Here’s how the new Music app works in iOS 7: When using the artist tab you can tap on an artist (let’s use Mat Kearney for example) and the app will display the album with the oldest release date (Bullet)… with all its tracks. If you scroll down, eventually you will see the next newest album (The Chicago EP)… with all its tracks. If you continue scrolling down, you will see the next newest album (Nothing Left to Lose)… with all its tracks, and so on. You can tap on a track to begin playing that track, but when the Music app hits the end of the album it will just continue right on playing through that artist’s albums.
I think it was very clever of Apple to list artist’s albums in order of their release dates, but in my opinion this view has a huge drawback in terms of usability. Viewing artist’s albums in a huge flowing list makes it much more difficult to find the album and song that I’m looking for. Even worse, if I like a particular artist and have a lot of their music stored on my device, the list only gets longer. That means that the music I enjoy the most is hardest to find. And this problem is compounded even further if you have iTunes Match and have a lot of music stored in the cloud as it will all be listed making your music even more difficult to find.
Fortunately, I’ve found an easy workaround for the problem that will allow you to regain the classic (and much easier to use) Artist/Album view. First, navigate to the Artist tab. Next, pull down on the screen to expose the hidden search box located above the list of artists. Tap on the box and enter the name of the artist you wish to play (as an example, we’ll use George Winston). This will bring up Artists, Albums, and Songs lists. You’ll notice that in the Albums list, all of George Winston’s albums are listed in alphabetical order. You can then tap on one of the albums to access its track list and play it through, just like in previous versions of iOS.
Hopefully Apple will bring the classic Album/Artist view back to the Music App in a future version of iOS 7. Until then, this is a useful trick that can help you find your music more easily.