Creating Smart Playlists based on other playlists

Q: Is there a way that I can create a playlist with in a playlist? I have the latest version of iTunes and because three iPods are managed on my one PC I have created a standard playlist for each one so that when each individual iPod is connected iTunes recognizes it and knows which playlist to sync to the appropriate iPod. The problem with this is that although all the music I want is on my iPod, it means I don’t have the usual options of showing playlists like “My Top Rated” within my own playlist.

– Mark

A: You can accomplish what you’re looking for simply through the use of some more advanced Smart Playlist features. Playlists like “My Top Rated” are Smart Playlists which select tracks based on search conditions that you specify in the Smart Playlist settings. By default, a Smart Playlist will select music from your entire library, but you can easily limit this to selecting music from only a single playlist or group of playlists by using the “Playlist” criteria:

Creating Smart Playlists based on other playlists

To edit an existing Smart Playlist, simply select it in iTunes and choose File, Edit Smart Playlist. You can also create a new Smart Playlist from scratch by choosing File, New Smart Playlist.

Note that you can also nest your playlists in folders if you want to keep them grouped together, so you could have your own “My Top Rated” Smart Playlist in a folder alongside your standard iPod playlist just to keep things better organized. You can create a new folder by choosing File, New Playlist Folder from the iTunes menu. Any folder structure you create in iTunes will be reflected on the iPod classic or iPod nano (third-generation or later), but will not appear on the iPhone or iPod touch—any playlists on these two devices will simply appear as a flat list.

While most users only use playlist folders to keep things visually organized, there is an added benefit to them: You can specify a playlist folder as a “Playlist” criteria when building a Smart Playlist. In this case, any tracks contained in any of the playlists within that folder will be included in the Smart Playlist. This can be a much more effective way to select tracks from a group of your favorite playlists.


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