Smart Playlists and iTunes Match | iLounge Article

Article

Smart Playlists and iTunes Match

Author's pic

By Jesse Hollington

Social Media & Software Editor, iLounge
Published: Friday, November 25, 2011
Articles Categories: Ask iLounge, iTunes

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.

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

Q: I subscribed to iTunes Match for all of my music. I have a number of Smart Playlists where I include only the songs that have not been played in the last 45 days. How are these handled with iTunes Match? When I play a song from this playlist on my iPhone will the song automatically drop off of that playlist, do I need to sync, or is it ignored altogether? I haven’t seen anything posted on this yet and am curious.

- Matthew

A: The good news is that iTunes Match syncs all of your metadata, including things like ratings, play counts and last played dates and times. THis means that the information for your Smart Playlists is synced to the cloud and becomes available on all of your devices.

Smart Playlist updating, however, is a slightly more complicated issue, as live updating of Smart Playlists has been at least somewhat broken on iOS devices for a few years now. This means that with a standard music library synced directly from iTunes, not all of your Smart Playlists will update in the manner that they should; there are several threads in our iLounge Forums discussing this issue, and sadly it is has not really been fixed even in iOS 5.

The good news, however, is that iTunes Match and iCloud seem to do a better job of handling Smart Playlist updating on Apple’s iCloud servers. Synchronization with iCloud is automatic provided you have an active data connection, so as long as you’re online you should see your Smart Playlists update properly, although it may sometimes take a minute or two to synchronize the changes with iCloud. Unfortunately, while listening to your music offline, you’ll still be relying on iOS’ own ability to update your Smart Playlists, in which case your mileage will vary depending on how complex those playlists are. Your metadata and playlists will synchronize with iCloud once you do return to data coverage, however, at which point everything should update correctly.

One important caveat to all of this: Apple has not yet worked all of the bugs out of iTunes Match, so the above describes how things should work under normal conditions. Unfortunately, with iTunes Match being in its early release stages, it is not uncommon to see scenarios where information doesn’t sync properly with iCloud, in which case Smart Playlists will not update properly either.

The most asked question at iLounge.com:

How do I copy content from my iPod/iPhone onto my computer?

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, Apple TV and iPhone Video Formats

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Mac)

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Win)

Best Speakers?

Best Headphones?

Best Case?

Best In-Car Solution?

Best Battery Extender?

Find more answers in the latest publications in our Library. Free downloads developed by the editors of iLounge!

Ask iLounge Archives:

1-24-14: Viewing only downloaded iTunes Match tracks

1-22-14: Splitting purchased content between two iPads

12-13-13: Non-Bluetooth Lightning dock speakers

12-11-13: Shared Apple ID and switching away from iPhone

12-6-13: Syncing multiple iCloud data with a family Mac

Read more recent Ask iLounge articles...

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

« Syncing MP3s to an iPod nano

Removing music after activating iTunes Match »

Related Stories

Comments

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.

Email:

Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Shop for Accessories: Cases, speakers, chargers, etc.