Use natural sorting

I have the Use natural sorting option enabled, hoping to emulate the numerical sorting default found in Windows 10 File Explorer.

However, when I sort by %_folderpath% the results are not as expected.

e.g. in File Explorer, sorting 3 folders appears as expected:
Help! (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [2014 US Remaster]
Help! [2009 Remaster]

in MP3Tag the sort order is different:
Help! (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [2014 US Remaster]
Help! [2009 Remaster]

I'm not sure if this is a bug. Please can anyone advise further?

I think that the natural sorting means that the case of a letter is ignored and certain internal characters like the apostrophe also.
In respect to the folder ... I can only suspect that "Help!" is not just "Help!" but actually "Help!" - and the backslash is further down the character code table than the space character in

Here is an example if you sort by the full path:
The solo "Notorious" comes after the "Latin Rascal Mix"

According to Wikipedia the "natural sort order" is an ordering of strings in alphabetical order, except that multi-digit numbers are treated atomically.

There is no hint about the sort order of special charaters like [ or ] or ( or ) or others

The natural sort order helps to sort strings like


more human-friendly.

I don't see any logical reason to prefer a ( before a [

BTW: I found this interesting answer on

Correct. Backslash at the end of folders is the problem here.

Replacing backslash with $char(32):
e.g. $left(%_folderpath%,$sub($len(%_folderpath%),1))$char(32)
or $regexp(%_folderpath%,^(.+)\x5c$,$1 )

provides the expected sort order, but slows down the sort. Surely, this can be done by the internal code, if the Use natural sort option is enabled?

You could use the property "Sort by" in the column definition and sort by a string that got removed all the common path separators:
$replace(%_folderpath%,/,, ,,_,,:,,\,)