Creating Smart Playlists for Purchased items
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: Is it possible to edit the ‘Purchased’ playlist that comes already set up in iTunes? It must be a Smart Playlist set up for a certain amount of songs or for a preset amount of time. I’d like it to include all the songs I’ve ever purchased. If that isn’t possible, how do I make a list that does?
A: The Purchased playlist that comes pre-defined in iTunes is basically just a standard playlist with a special position in the source list. Tracks you purchase are added to this playlist automatically, of course, but it otherwise behaves just like any other standard playlist, meaning you can sort it, re-arrange the tracks in it manually, and even add and remove tracks. If you delete the Purchased playlist, iTunes will simply re-create it the next time it’s needed (ie, the next time you purchase something from the iTunes Store).
You cannot change the behaviour of the default Purchased playlist, but you can easily create your own Smart Playlist to track your purchased music. This can be particularly helpful if you’ve ever deleted your Purchased playlist or removed tracks from it.
The key to creating a Smart Playlist to track your purchased music is that all music purchased from the iTunes Store has a “Kind” of either “Protected AAC Audio File” (standard iTunes Store tracks) or “Purchased AAC Audio File” (iTunes Plus tracks), so you can create a simple smart playlist that searches on either of these criteria:
If you want to include ALL purchases in your Smart Playlist, including video files, you can refine the Smart Playlist slightly to only look for the word “Purchased” or “Protected” at the beginning of the “Kind” field:
You can also build a Smart Playlist that contains only your purchased video content. Videos will be listed with a “Kind” of “Protected MPEG-4 Video File” so you only need to search on this criteria and you can add additional restrictions for different kinds of video, so if you wanted to create a Smart Playlist that shows only your purchased movies, for example:
Note that with Music Videos there is one additional exception to be aware of: iTunes Plus Music Videos do not contain any reference to “Purchased” or “Protected” in their “Kind” field, so the above Smart Playlists will not include these music videos. Since iTunes Plus music videos have an audio bit-rate of 256kbps, the following Smart Playlist may help to identify these tracks, but only if you have not created any of your own music videos with a 256kbps audio track:
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Walgreens adds digital coupons to Apple Pay
- China orders Apple and others to monitor, report on app users
- South Korea regulators investigating Apple
- Apple Q3 earnings call set for July 26
- Apple’s UK tax bill under scrutiny
- Apple lays out ‘differential privacy’ plan for data collection
- Report: New iPhone’s space gray to be ‘much darker color’
- Incipio to acquire Skullcandy
- Apple confirms iOS 10 kernel was left open to improve performance
- Apple leaves iOS 10 kernel open to scrutiny
- Philips Hue White Ambience Starter Kit
- Naim Audio Mu-so Qb Speaker
- Phiaton BT 460 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Slim Book for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
- JBL Clip 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
- Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Flex Arc Wireless Earbuds + Speakers
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app