I like to use the "play all" function, and this throws in all the music in alphabetical order, so if you have albums which have songs the like of "01 music.mp3", "01 song.mp3" it'll play them in numerical order, instead of album order.
Now it doesn't:
Artist A - albums by year, in tracknumber order
Artist B - albums by year, in tracknumber order
This has been discussed to death. People actually get pissed off on here when you point out this glaring shortcoming of the x3. It is a problem, everyone (including fiio) is aware of it. It is NOT a problem in the chinese market, apparently. No one has any real plans to fix this at Fiio. According to them, it is too hard and too time-consuming of a process, and since they cannot open source the fw or anything like that, this will likely remain a problem with the X3 firmware.
So here's how you fix it yourself.
If theres a certain way you prefer to view your "all files", you need to change your TRACK TITLE to that, and remove any TRACK NUMBER information from it. Your song name should be : "Year Tracknumber Title.mp3".
In your actual SD card, sort the tracks the usual way, however you like. Either dump everything into 1 directory or keep it organized by X:\artist\album\track title.mp3.
This way, when you do "category view", it will automatically sort by year/track number/title. This will be a completely unique sort order, because of track number. I would go 1973.track.title.
The problem with this category view sort order is that the text will have a huge padding applied to it: there will be at least 7 characters across the screen that arent used, so you have no way but waiting to control this if you want to look for a specific song in "all songs" or in any of the categories.
In browse mode this wont be a problem because your file names can remain ## title.mp3.
The real problem arises when the player sorts everything based on ID3 tag instead of only by file name or relative location in the directory or some other way like that. For example, if "Artist" listed artists based on their file name rather than listing SONGS based on their ARTIST field, this problem would be aleviated somewhat.
But what it really boils down to is a difference in the way browse works and the way categories works. A difference that personally, I would have implemented exactly the same way. It makes sense to do browse by file and category by id3 tag.
Fiio, hope you read this. Start ignoring the track number field in id3 tags when you sort.