Making Sense of TV Show Sequences

I’ve recently been grappling with the sequence of a particular show, Blackadder, as it relates to my TV Rotation Technique. Each season was named differently, which is unique as far as I’m aware. The Blackadder, Blackadder II, Blackadder the Third and Blackadder Goes Forth. In iTunes, these equate to Album names (Show is just Blackadder). As you can see, if you alphabetise the album names, you get a mess, in the season sequence 1, 4, 2, 3.

This would be immaterial if you could select a number of items by Show order in Smart Playlists, but you can’t. Choosing Album order works only if the show has logically named albums such as Seinfeld, Season 1, Seinfeld, Season 2, etc. So it messes up my Rotation Technique.

To compound the problem is the need to work specials such as The Cavalier Years and Blackadder: Back and Forth into the sequence. I tried organising them as a completely separate “show” called The Blackadder Specials but these episodes slot into history in two points, after series 2 and 4, respectively, so it seemed a pity to keep them separate. I made The Cavalier Years the seventh episode of series 2 and Blackadder: Back and Forth one episode in a fifth series.

Blackadder Smart Playlist

I limited my Smart Playlist to 6 items selected by least recently added, because, as covered above, selected by album doesn’t work and selected by show is not an option. I still got a mess because when I had originally copied the batches of files into iTunes, the order in which they were copied didn’t exactly match the episode order. I had to delete them all from iTunes, then add them back, one at a time in correct sequence, in order to get this to work. I’ve since realised that selected by least recently played could also be used, if you’ve played all episodes strictly in sequence. I’ve told Apple that they should add a selected by show option.

Luckily, you normally won’t have this much trouble, but this is my current handling for those uniquely named shows.

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4 Responses to Making Sense of TV Show Sequences

  1. James C says:

    Sometimes through my iPhone, sometimes through Front Row, sometimes just through a smart playist in iTunes itself. The problem mainly lies when you combine multiple shows in a smart playlist and you end up with a list of ‘Episode #’ titled episodes all together. I know you can still bring up the show and season in the list, but I guess from my perspective I think it’s better to have a unique title for a show in that circumstance.

  2. tunegardener says:

    That’s an excellent example. I’m envious that you’ve got these.

    I consider my job one of reproduction, of translating the work into a usable organised form without altering the names of things, so in this instance I think I would do the same. Each series would have a different, appropriate album title, but the Show title would be the same for all three series.

    I’m not so sure regarding the episode names. I guess it depends on how you interact with them. On Apple TV, the menu structure is TV Shows > Show > Episode, so it’s pretty clear to see the relationship between the show and the episode and not likely to confuse. I’d be interested to know what you are using. Front Row?

  3. James C says:

    Here’s a double whammy of a confusing show title along with equally difficult episode names. The Micallef P(r)ogram(me)! Firstly, the season titles follow the sequence of: The Micallef Program Series Un, The Micallef Programme Series Deux and the Micallef Pogram Series Trois. Then, on top of that the episodes have no name, but are referred to as #1.1, #1.2 etc etc!

    Here’s my strategy – I am naming the show ‘The Micallef P(r)ogram(me)’ as a whole, entering each specific season into the album names. I am really loathe to title an episode as simply ‘#1.2’ or ‘Episode 1’ or whatever because it ends up horribly confusing when you have many shows, all with the same episode title (is this Episode 1 of Peep Show or Episode 1 of That Mitchell and Webb Look?) Here’s my solution: the episodes I am naming ‘The Micallef Program #1.1’, ‘The Micallef Programme #2.1’, ‘The Micallef Pogram #3.1’.

    I think Micallef would be rightly proud of this mess. Cheeky bugger.

  4. […] you still can’t make a smart playlist select items by Show, as covered in this post. Hopefully this will come. The inclusion of the elusive “least recent” feature above, […]

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