One of the greatest things about iTunes is the Smart Playlists feature. One of the worst things about iTunes is figuring out how to do things.
One thing I always had difficulty with was figuring out how to create Smart Playlists for the music on my iPod. Sure, I could create Smart Playlists and sync them directly with my iPod, but sometimes that ends up throwing in music I don’t want. And when you’re dealing with limited storage capacity, you have to be ruthless about what gets on your iPod.
So, I looked everywhere, but didn’t really have much luck (not even through Apple’s Support site). After many hours of fussing, I finally hit jackpot and figured out how. Detailed instructions after the jump.
Note: for this trick to work, you need your iPod set up for automatic sync to a playlist.
Things you need:
- iPod (and data cable)
Things you need to do:
Part 1: Setting the stage
Note: if your iPod already syncs to a single playlist, you can skip this step. If you sync to multiple playlists, you need to unify all those playlists together. To do that, simply create a Smart Playlist that combines all the playlists (call it “iPod Music”)¬† and skip to Part 2. (Pictorial Help)
- Connect your iPod.
- Create a new playlist (File > New Playlist). Let’s call it “iPod Music”.
- Add the music you want to sync to the iPod to this new playlist.
- Set up the iPod to Automatically Sync with the “iPod Music” playlist.
Part 2: Getting on stage
- Create a new smart playlist (File > New Smart Playlist).
- Set the following rules (pictorial help below):
- Enable “Match all of the following rules”
- Set the following rule: Rating >> is greater than >> 3 stars
- Add another rule by clicking on the little plus sign
- Set the following rule: Playlist >> is >> iPod Music
- Enable “Live Updating“
- Click Ok and give your new playlist a name. Let’s call it “iPod Top Rated”.
- Now, set your iPod to sync with the new “iPod Top Rated” Smart Playlist.
- Apply and Sync, and now iTunes will do its thing.
Part 3: Rocking out!
- Rinse and repeat Part 2 for any and all additional Smart Playlists.
- Rock on!
Just a few handy tips that may help:
- I’d recommend creating a folder for all your iPod Smart Playlists — that way, you can group them all together.
- More to come as I think of them…
Questions? Praise? Confused looks? Email me at email@example.com or leave me a sweet comment.