Q: I have been using iTunes for a long time on my G4 iBook. Most of my library is imported from my CDs, however I have about 90 tracks that I have purchased from the iTunes Store. I recently realised that not all of the purchased tracks appear in the built in ‘Purchased’ list – which is a bit of a pain since I only backup purchased music. Is these something I can do to make these appear properly? The ones I have noticed, I have manually added to the ‘Purchased’ list. Does this mean that they’ll be included in a backup?
A: If your primary concern is simply ensuring that your purchased tracks are backed up, and you are using iTunes’ built-in backup functionality (found under File, Back Up to Disc), then there’s no need to be concerned about the purchased playlist
iTunes’ built-in backup feature backs up purchased music on the basis of the file type, and doesn’t concern itself with the playlists that these tracks are contained in, so in this case all purchased music that is anywhere in your iTunes library will be backed up regardless of whether or not it appears in the “Purchased” playlist.
That having been said, the Purchased playlist is actually just a standard iTunes playlist with a special icon. You can add and remove tracks as with any other playlist, or even delete it outright. If you delete it, iTunes will simply re-create it automatically the next time you purchase music from the iTunes Store.
If you want to create a playlist that tracks all purchased music anywhere in your iTunes library, then the simplest solution is to use a Smart Playlist. Simply create a new Smart Playlist by using the File, New Smart Playlist menu option, and specify the criteria for “Kind” contains “Protected” OR “Kind” contains “Purchased” similar the following:
Ensure that you set the “Match” option to “Match any of the following rules” since you want this to be an either-or condition. It is necessary to search for both “Protected” and “Purchased” tracks since traditional iTunes tracks are listed as “Protected” whereas iTunes Plus tracks show up with a file type of “Purchased” instead.