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Top 5 Ways to Use Playlists in iTunes: Best Uses for iTunes Playlists

A list of ways to enhance how you use iTunes through the use of playlists

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If you thought that you could only use Apple's software media player, iTunes, for creating standard playlists, then think again! iTunes offers several ways to use the power of playlists to enhance how you listen to digital music. For example, using Smart Playlists enables you to have dynamically changing song lists that automatically adapt as you add or remove songs from your iTunes library. If you like listening to Web radio, then iTunes also has the facility to make radio playlists that make it easy to tune into your favorite stations. Read on to find out some of the best ways to use playlists in iTunes.

1. Make Your Own Mixtapes

Playlists (often referred to as mixtapes from the old analog days), are a great way of making your own custom music compilations. By creating them, you can vary the way you enjoy your music library. For instance, you might want to make a playlist that contains all the songs in your iTunes library that fit a particular genre, artist, etc. They are also essential if you've got a large library and want to organize your songs more effectively. Above all, they make using and listening to your music collection far easier and more enjoyable -- not to mention saving a great deal of time when trying to find something specific. This tutorial will show you how to generate a playlist in iTunes using a selection of songs in your music collection.

2. Listen to Internet Radio

Creating iTunes Radio Playlists
Image - © Mark Harris - Licensed to About.com, Inc.

For most digital music fans, the most useful aspect of using the iTunes software is for accessing (and purchasing) the millions of songs that are available on the iTunes Store. However, did you know that Apple's jukebox software is also a great Internet radio player too? It's not always apparent, but hiding in the iTunes left menu panel is the facility to instantly connect to an abundance of radio stations that broadcast over the Internet using streaming music. There are literally thousands of stations to tune into, and so to make it easier, you can use playlists to bookmark your favorites. This tutorial will show you how easy it is to make an Internet radio playlist of your favorite stations so you can listen to free streaming music 24/7!

3. Smart Playlists That Self-update

Tired of constantly editing your normal playlists? The trouble with standard compilations is that they remain static and only change when you manually add or remove songs. Smart Playlists on the other hand are dynamic which means they automatically change when you update your iTunes library -- this is a great timer! They are also particularly useful if you listen to music on the move and want to keep the playlists on your iPod, iPhone, or iPad up-to-date with the changes to your music library. If you update your library on a regular basis, then creating Smart Playlists makes a lot of sense when you need to keep the playlists you work with automatically in sync with your music collection. To find out more, be sure to read this tutorial.

4. Automatically Skip Songs in Playlists

Playlists are uber useful when if comes to cherry picking songs from your iTunes music library. But is there a way to skip songs without having to manually remove them from your mega-playlists? Fortunately there is a way using a simple iTunes playlist hack. Read on to find out how to automatically skip individual tracks without having to delete them from your compilation lists!

5. Sync Music to Your iPod

iPod Classic
Image Courtesy of Apple

Creating playlists with iTunes can help you to organize your songs while they are on your computer. However they are also a stellar way to quickly transfer music to your iPod too. Rather than transferring multiple songs one at a time, a far quicker and easier method is to use playlists to take the hassle out of syncing songs to your iPod. If you're not sure how to do this, or simply need a refresher, then follow this short guide.

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