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Syncing selected items to iPod

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Q: I have an active playlist in my iTunes library that includes both purchased music and uploaded music for my old iPod nano. I recently plugged in a new 5G iPod and was successful in setting up a different user account, however the new iPod synched music on the new iPod that I don’t want. Question is: How do I delete the songs from the new iPod but not remove them from my music library folder?

- Diana

A: There are a couple of ways that you can prevent songs in your iTunes library from transferring to your iPod in automatic synchronization mode.

If there are only a few tracks or specific categories of music you want to exclude (holiday music is a common example of this), then you can use the checkmarks that appear beside each song, and simply tell iTunes to only synchronize those songs that have a checkmark beside them.

To do this, simply connect your iPod, and select it from the iTunes source list on the left-hand side. You should be presented with a screen similar to the following, from which you can simply choose the “Only sync checked items” setting, and hit the “Apply” button.

You can then go back to your iTunes library and simply UNcheck any tracks that you don’t want to have placed on your iPod. You can also UNcheck ALL displayed tracks at once by holding down the CTRL key (Windows) or CMD key (Mac) while clicking on a check box. This can be useful if you wanted to deselect all tracks within a specified playlist or a specified genre—simply filter the iTunes display using the browser or search box to show only the tracks that you want to select or deselect, and then CTRL/CMD click on one of the checkboxes to select or deselect ALL displayed tracks.

This method of using checked items works best if you simply want to exclude a few specific tracks from synchronization. If on the other hand, you would prefer to only sync a sub-set of your library, you can do this by telling iTunes to sync only selected playlists to your iPod. To do this, select the iPod in the iTunes source pane, and choose the “Music” tab:

You can then change the option to only synchronize “Selected playlists” and choose the specific playlists that you want to transfer to your iPod. Only tracks that are in these playlists will be transferred, and you can either use a combination of both standard playlists that will let you specifically add the tracks you would like, and smart playlists to automatically select music matching certain criteria that you specify.

In either case, since the iPod operates in automatic synchronization mode, mirroring the changes you make in the iTunes library, those tracks that are excluded from synchronization will be removed from your iPod on the next synchronization.

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