Can iTunes Automatically Fill MOST of the Free Space?
September 30, 2010 12:47 PM   Subscribe

I like that iTunes will automatically fill the free space on my iPhone with music, but I'd like it to do so only to a certain point, leaving a few hundred MBs available in case I want to shoot a quick video or download a particularly large app. Is this possible?
posted by moviehawk to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
There's an option in the settings (a slider) for how much disk space to reserve when autofill is used (described here).
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:00 PM on September 30, 2010

lmdba, that seems to be for iTunes 9 and, as we all know, Apple changes damn near everything with even a dot release. Do you know how I might find it in iTunes 10.1?
posted by moviehawk at 1:09 PM on September 30, 2010

I'm noticing that the article specifies "Autofill is available only if you manage the music on your iPod manually." I don't manually manage the music because, y'know, Smart Playlists and all that. Any options for automatic syncing?
posted by moviehawk at 1:14 PM on September 30, 2010

You can set up a smart playlist that is limited in size like this, use a criteria like song length greater than 10 seconds or something, something that encompasses your whole library, then have it select by all.

Tell it explicitly how much size it can take, unfortunately as you add more apps and take other space you may need to be mindful of that. Then you choose to sync from that size-limited playlist, rather than the whole library which will fill it up.

I've done this when I was on an iPod shuffle, I'm guessing an iPhone can be synced from a playlist rather than from the whole library.
posted by artlung at 1:32 PM on September 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Can you delete videos from the iPhone? You could just record something for 30 minutes or however long you want to reserve and leave it on there. Then delete it if you need the space.
posted by smackfu at 1:51 PM on September 30, 2010

artlung, that's a brilliant solution! You can select playlists to sync. I'm creating a "Filler" smart playlist now.
posted by moviehawk at 2:31 PM on September 30, 2010

I do something similar, except I also include rules to not put songs on the list that have been played or skipped in the past X amount of time. It helps to minimize hearing the same stuff over and over.
posted by owtytrof at 3:33 PM on September 30, 2010

If you make a playlist that selects based solely on "random," it won't refresh until either each song in the playlist has played at least once or you manually refresh it (or at least this was the behavior in iTunes 9). This may or may not be a problem for you, but if it is, you may want to consider something like what owtytrof describes above.
posted by crosbyh at 4:09 PM on September 30, 2010

Smart Playlists are the way to go, I think. I do something similar to this smart playlist setup, which is most useful if you rate your music library.

Basically, I make a smart playlist that contains everything I wouldn't want to encounter on random: spoken word, Christmas music, short filler tracks, etc. Then I do a series of other playlists: one for brand new tracks I haven't heard yet, one for the tracks that I listen to the most, one for ones I love but haven't heard in a while, etc.

Once I have all of those playlists created (and you can put them into a playlist folder to keep them out of the way), I make a new smart playlist that excludes the first playlist but includes all of the other ones.

You can tweak for each playlist what quantity of tracks or amount of space you want dedicated to each, so you end up with a final smart playlist that plays your perfect mix of music. You can hear your favorite songs, listen to ones you didn't realise you missed, and discover the ones in your library that you haven't had a chance to hear yet, in whatever kind of ratio makes you happy.
posted by sascha at 5:51 AM on October 1, 2010

« Older Help me choose my thesis topic, which exists...   |   Runners! Help me buy or make a foam roller! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.