Q: Is there an easy way to identify all songs in my iPod that are NOT contained in any of my iPod playlists?
A: There is no way to do this directly on the iPod itself, but it is possible to do in iTunes by creating a Smart Playlist. Essentially, you build a Smart Playlist that includes all tracks that are not specifically listed in your other playlists but using the Playlist is not… criteria.
As you can imagine, this could get cumbersome if you have a lot of playlists, but one useful trick here is that you can use a playlist folder as criteria in the Smart Playlist. So, if you were to organize all of your playlists into a single folder called “My Playlists” you could simply specify a criteria of Playlist is not “My Playlists”.
Note that this can be a bit tricker if you’re trying to get this information specifically for music on your iPod rather than in your iTunes library. You can set your iPod to manual mode and then create the Smart Playlist right on the iPod itself, however iTunes does not allow you to manually create playlist folders on the iPod, so you will either need to use automatic synchronization to sync your folders from iTunes or simply create the Smart Playlist and list all of your playlists individually as in the first example above. See our Beginner’s Guide to iTunes for more information on managing content on an iPod manually.