Deleting iPod content

Q: When I loaded my iTunes onto my computer, it added a bunch of songs that I did not want. Now I am in iTunes editing, how do I get the songs off of my iPod? I also changed the genres, how can I change them on my iPod?

– Renee

A: How to go about this depends largely on whether you’re using automatic synchronization or manually managing your iPod content. This is normally determined by whether you selected the “automatic” settings when you first setup your iPod and iTunes, but can also be changed later via the iPod settings in iTunes.  To access these settings, simply connect your iPod and select it from the left-hand source list where it appears in iTunes. The settings for synchronization and what content you are automatically transferring to your iPod can be controlled from the various tabs that appear in the main window. 

Deleting iPod content

To check whether you’re using automatic synchronization or managing your content manually, look for the checkbox labelled Manually manage my music and videos on the Summary tab.  You can also change this setting by clicking on the checkbox and then clicking the “Apply” button in the bottom-right corner of the iTunes window.

If you’re using automatic synchronization, removing the songs from your iTunes library will also remove them from the iPod automatically the next time you connect the iPod. Likewise, any other changes made to track information such as genre will be automatically synchronized to the iPod in much the same way.  This is the main benefit of automatic synchronization.

Further, if there are songs you want to keep in your iTunes library but do not want on your iPod, this can be accomplished by choosing to synchronize only selected playlists from the Music tab (again in your iPod settings within iTunes). Any tracks that are not in the selected playlists will not be transferred to the iPod, and in fact will be removed from the iPod if they are not in one of your selected playlists.


Deleting iPod content

Basically, the important thing to remember about automatic synchronization is that the content of the iPod will always mirror what is in your iTunes library, or within your selected playlists.  If you remove something from your iTunes library (or one of the selected playlists), it will automatically be removed from your iPod during the next synchronization.

On the other hand, if you have chosen to manage the content on your iPod manually, you will need to add and remove content from your iPod yourself.  To delete tracks from the iPod, simply connect your iPod, and then click the small triangle that appears next to it in the right-hand source list to expand the list of categories and playlists for the content that is on the iPod:


Deleting iPod content

From there, you can simply manage the content in much the same way as you would within your iTunes library.  Select a category (such as “Music”) or playlist, and then simply edit and/or delete tracks as you otherwise would.

Note that if you’re making changes to track information like “Genre” within the main iTunes library and want those changes reflected on your iPod, you will either have to switch to automatic synchronization mode (which will automatically update the information), or remove the tracks from the iPod and re-add them manually (via drag-and-drop).  Simply re-adding a track manually to the iPod after changing the tags will frequently result in duplicate tracks.  Alternatively, you could of course just make the same changes to the tracks individually in both the main library and on the iPod.

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