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I detest the iTunes UX, so I'm a fan of any competition :-) The 'conventional' way to sort is by clicking on the column headers. So I think any solution should attempt to be compatible with this behavior. For multi-column sort, things become more difficult. Columns can quickly get cluttered with tiny arrows or badges. The tiny directional arrows can be ...


Number all the items I have used numbers to customize the order of an otherwise alphabetized list which works well because it is still clear later on or even to newcomers. This also uses a minimal number of characters and can be used in combination with letters to create groups like so 1A dog, 1B cat, ... 5A jello, 5B cake, etc. The down side being that ...


Ω (Alt 234) will push an item to the bottom in windows file folders; I like it because it's intuitive.


I agree that idea 2 is better, in that it keeps the idea of sortability of the other columns visible but idea 1 makes a better distinction between sorted or not. The difference between the double gray triangles and the single black triangle is still pretty subtle. You could go with idea 2 but add a little more to emphasize the distinction: Change the ...


With Option 1 there is no indication that the columns are sortable - it just states that one of the columns is sorted, but that doesn't have to mean that you can click on the other headers as well. So definitely option 2

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