How do smart playlists work on iPod Touch?


stutes

New member
I'm new to iTunes and my iPod Touch and I'm trying to figure something out: when I create a smart playlist in iTunes and select the playlist for transfer to my Touch, what exactly is transferred? Is it the songs that iTunes has selected matching the smart list criteria, or is it the criteria itself?

What I mean is this: if I have a smart playlist in iTunes that is set to create an hour's worth of songs rated five stars, does iTunes transfer over 60 minutes of tracks, selected at the time of syncing, or does iTunes simply transfer the creation of a playlist with the given criteria, in essence telling my Touch to find an hours worth of five star tracks that are already on my Touch?

The results would be different. In the first example the playlist on the Touch would be static, always the same. In the second example the playlist would be dynamic (just like it is on iTunes) and would give me different results every time I opened the playlist on my Touch.
 

Mr. E.

Barca Lounger
Do a search of Smart Playlists in the iTunes forum. I don't remember who, but someone did a very thorough document on what does and doesn't work with smart playlists on an iPod.

I think what will happen in your case is that the list will be static, containing the songs that were in the list in iTunes when you did the sync, but I'm not sure. I found that I could get certain playlists to update by building in logic that made songs no longer fit into that playlist, if that makes any sense. For instance, if I said, "No songs that have been played in the last day." then every time I started the playlist fresh it would replace those songs that had been played in the past 24 hours. I don't know if a simple "make this playlist random" checkmark will have the same effect. Also, I only got this to work on my 5G iPod because I was syncing my entire library. One part of having smart playlists that self-update is that all the dependent playlists also have to sync. With the iPod touch, some of my dependent playlists are not synched, so my playlists only refresh when I sync back up with iTunes.

But find that document. I think it will have all the info you want and them some. It helped me set up a very nice playlist that refreshes automatically on my 5G and whenever I sync on my Touch. Unless there's specific song I want to hear, it's pretty much the only playlist I use anymore.

stutes said:
I'm new to iTunes and my iPod Touch and I'm trying to figure something out: when I create a smart playlist in iTunes and select the playlist for transfer to my Touch, what exactly is transferred? Is it the songs that iTunes has selected matching the smart list criteria, or is it the criteria itself?

What I mean is this: if I have a smart playlist in iTunes that is set to create an hour's worth of songs rated five stars, does iTunes transfer over 60 minutes of tracks, selected at the time of syncing, or does iTunes simply transfer the creation of a playlist with the given criteria, in essence telling my Touch to find an hours worth of five star tracks that are already on my Touch?

The results would be different. In the first example the playlist on the Touch would be static, always the same. In the second example the playlist would be dynamic (just like it is on iTunes) and would give me different results every time I opened the playlist on my Touch.
 

Mr. E.

Barca Lounger
Also another thing I've been able to do for a fresh playlist without synching to iTunes is use the Genius feature. If there's one song you're in the mood for, and there's enough "Genius data" available, you can create playlists on the fly and refresh them from the iPod. I know it's not exactly what you wanted, but I've found that to be a good way to get a fresh playlist without resyncing, and it often pulls up music that I didn't even know was on my iPod, which is kind of neat.
 
As long as all important situatinos are set, the smartplaylists transfered to the iPods are dynamic there. It will start out with what is available in iTunes, but will look to the iPod for changes.

There are some criterion that break this live updating though, so you have to watch out for them.

Some we've found are: Podcast is true/false, Video Kind, and a few others.
 

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