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How To Make iTunes Smart Playlists: Intelligent Playlists For Any iTunes Library

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How To Make iTunes Smart Playlists: Intelligent Playlists For Any iTunes Library
Courtesy of Apple

If you update your iTunes song library and/or sync to your iPod, iPhone, or iPad on a regular basis, then creating Smart Playlists is a good way of automatically updating your playlists and saving a lot of time too. When creating normal playlists, the songs in them remain static and don't change until you manually edit them. Using iTunes, you can create smart playlists that automatically update themselves based on customizable criteria that you define. If you want to create a playlist that contains a particular Artist, or genre for example, then you can define rules to suite your needs.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Setup time - 5 minutes max per Smart Playlist.

Here's How:

  1. Creating a Smart Playlist

    To begin creating your first Smart Playlist, click the File menu tab on the iTunes main screen and select the New Smart Playlist menu option.

  2. Editing Your Smart Playlist

    On the pop-up screen you will see a series of configuration options that you can use to customize how your Smart Playlist will filter the contents of your music library. If for example you want to create a Smart Playlist that contains a particular genre, then click on the first drop-down menu and select Genre from the list. Next, leave the next box as Contains, and then type in your chosen genre in the provided text box - the word Pop for example. If you want to add more filter fields to fine tune your Smart Playlist, then click on the + sign.

  3. Limiting a Playlist's size

    If you want to set a limit on the size of your Smart Playlist in terms of storage requirements, play time, or number of tracks for example, then click on the check box next to the Limit To option and select a criteria using the the next drop-down box along - i.e. - MB if you want to limit the size based on the capacity of your iPod/iPhone, etc. When happy with your Smart Playlist, click the OK button. You'll now see under the Playlists section in the left pane of iTunes that your new playlist has now been created; optionally you can type in a name for it or just keep with the default name.

  4. Verifying Your Smart Playlist

    Finally, to check that your new playlist has been populated with the music that you expect, click on it and look at the list of tracks. If you need to edit your playlist further then right-click the playlist and choose Edit Smart Playlist from the context menu.

What You Need

  • iTunes 8.x software or higher
  • Populated iTunes library
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