Getting a smart playlist on the iPod
November 23, 2005 9:01 AM   Subscribe

Yet Another iPod Question: I want to have a smart playlist that sorts the music on my iPod. But if I create a smart playlist and drag it onto the iPod playlist, it adds all the music from my entire library that fits that smart playlist.

The problem: That's more than my iPod holds. So I want my iPod to contain some classical and some audiobooks, but I want a smart playlist that will play all non-classical and non-audiobooks. If I create such a playlist and drag it to the iPod playlist, it drags like 70 gigs of music in with it.

I thought of creating a smart playlist that has the properties I want, and says "Only include tracks on 'Ipod Playlist' already", but if I dragged a playlist like that to the iPod playlist, it would re-add all the tracks, resulting in double trackage.

posted by pornucopia to Technology (7 answers total)
Response by poster: Oh, this is on Windows XP, by the way.
posted by pornucopia at 9:01 AM on November 23, 2005

When you create/edit a smart playlist, there's a setting that lets you limit the size of the playlist. For instance you could set it to

Limit to 20 GB selected by random

You could go one step further by going to

Edit > Preferences > iPod

and choosing Automatically update selected playlists only, and just choosing your new 20 GB playlist. Then it will automatically update your iPod based on that playlist, and you won't have to manually drag things onto it.
posted by chrismear at 9:12 AM on November 23, 2005

Best answer: Are you using "auto-sync these playlists" mode or manual mode to update your iPod?

What I do, using auto-sync mode -- I have a smart playlist called "zPod" which, using various criteria, contains all the tracks which are synced to my iPod. (i.e., it contains all the tracks from "zPod Included", (a regular playlist that I drop tracks I DEFINITELY want into), plus some other playlists, plus XXGB of random tracks.) This playlist is synced to my iPod. Then when I want to make a new Smart Playlist for my iPod, the first criterion is always "Playlist is zPod".

If you're using manual mode -- well, first of all I'd strongly suggest using Auto-Sync mode -- it gives you just as much control over what's on your iPod (if you use inclusion / exclusion regular playlists to determine what's in your main "Sync" playlist), keeps all your playcounts synced, and is substantially smarter about dealing with Smart Playlists.

If you want to stick with manual though, I'd hazard a guess that, if instead of drag-dropping the playlist onto the iPod, you created the Smart Playlist on the iPod (click on it, then select "New Smart Playlist"), it would only contain those tracks that are actually on your iPod. I haven't tried this, but I'm pretty sure it will work.
posted by tweebiscuit at 9:14 AM on November 23, 2005

Best answer: Wait a minute, I think I misunderstood you. You've already got a manual playlist called 'iPod playlist', is that what you're saying? And you want to create a smart playlist that's based off that master iPod playlist?

There's nothing wrong with that. Just get the iPod to sync to both of those playlists. It won't add the songs twice.
posted by chrismear at 9:16 AM on November 23, 2005

Response by poster: Chrismear: Unfortunately, I want more than just this smart playlist on the iPod. I want a playlist that excludes classical and audiobooks, and I also want some classical and audiobooks.

tweebiscuit: I'm using "Automatically update these playlists only: iPod Selection".

Maybe if I add another one that says "iPod rock only" and exclude classical and audiobooks, then check that on the list of synched playlists..

That seems to do it. Thanks for inspiring that idea, tweebiscuit.
posted by pornucopia at 9:27 AM on November 23, 2005

Response by poster: On preview: chrismear wins.
posted by pornucopia at 9:27 AM on November 23, 2005

Yup. Sorry, didn't realize that there was that confusion -- yeah, if you sync playlists with the same tracks to your iPod it won't copy them twice. I personally sync 10 or so playlists to my iPod, most of which are based on my zPod playlist -- all the others are manual playlists of things I DEFINITELY want to include (like my "Party" playlist, etc.) Of course, after a point it takes a lot of mental energy to keep track of exactly what's being added, since the dependencies can get rather hairy, which is why I try to base as many of my playlists off a single SP. Glad I could help, though! (My first "Best Answer", even if it was deservedly second best. ;)
posted by tweebiscuit at 10:47 AM on November 23, 2005

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