Removing a song from multiple playlists in iTunes?
September 17, 2008 10:08 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way to remove a song from all playlists in iTunes without having to delete the actual song?

I'm wondering if anyone knows of a method or 3rd-party tool (that works on Windows XP) that can remove a song from all static playlists in iTunes without having to delete the actual song itself? I often find myself working manually through multiple playlists to remove a song, when I don't actually want to delete the song itself and would love it if anyone can suggest a way to make this easier.
posted by planetthoughtful to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
The best workaround I can think of is to delete the song from your iTunes library but specify not to move it to the Recycling Bin. Then simply re-add the song to the library.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:39 PM on September 17, 2008

Wouldn't it work to simply un-check that song? Then it would never play, even though it is in all the lists.
posted by slightlybewildered at 3:45 AM on September 18, 2008

Response by poster: @shakespeherian: this is what i've been doing, but it has the downside of forcing me to find that song again on my harddrive, and i also lose playcounts, skipcounts, rating and so on.

@slightlybewildered: not a bad suggestion, but I still can't help thinking this is a small but annoying hole in iTunes' management of playlists.

I had hoped, for example, that I could just edit the "iTunes Music Library.xml" file, but I think this is a one way export from the "iTunes Library.itl" file, which appears to be in a binary format.
posted by planetthoughtful at 5:58 AM on September 18, 2008

seconding slightlybewildered, or just add a filter to the playlists in which you don't want the song to appear. I think those two options are much easier than trying to find some specific software to meet your needs.
posted by chara at 2:16 PM on September 18, 2008

I mailed the OP this yesterday hoping they would test it out for me, but I didn't hear back, so here you go random googlers!

I wrote a little program that I believe does what you want. It makes a list of all the songs in any playlist (ignoring smart playlists and the purchased playlist) and lets you select them (CTRL + Click to select lots) then hit delete and it will remove them from all of the playlists (but not the library).

I've done minimal testing and it works for me. I think you'll need iTunes 8.0 but it might work with older versions, I'm not sure.

If you'd like to play around with it, you can download it here:

You should extract all the files to a directory and then run the application. It takes a few seconds to load as it queries iTunes for all the song information before it starts.

It requires .NET 3.5.
posted by mge at 2:34 AM on September 21, 2008

Response by poster: Hi mge, unfortunately, I didn't get your email. I'm curious to know how you went about doing this, since my hope was to also write a .NET solution to managing these playlists.
posted by planetthoughtful at 7:21 PM on September 21, 2008

Response by poster: Actually, mge, perhaps I should have asked from where did you get the interop.ituneslib.dll ? Googling just seems to show a list of sites that deal with whether or not it's malware.
posted by planetthoughtful at 7:33 PM on September 21, 2008

You need to go to your references list and click on add a reference, then click the COM tab and pick iTunes from that list. This will add a reference to iTunesLib. When you build, VS will copy that DLL to the output directory, I'm not sure were it copies it from or if it auto generates it itself.
posted by mge at 8:06 PM on September 21, 2008

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