Omitting specific playlists from iPod


Q: I use some smart playlists as “building blocks” for other playlists, giving me some extra logical flexibility. Is there any way I can prevent these intermediate playlists from displaying on the iPod? I have quite a few of them. I tried using the “Only Update Selected Playlists” option and unselecting my building block playlists, but it promptly removed the three quarters of my music library that isn’t in any playlist at all.

Omitting specific playlists from iPod

– Richard

A: If we were to solve this problem, we’d do it quite like you… with the “Only Update Selected Playlists” synchronizing method.

How would we remedy the side effect you’ve noticed? Unfortunately, you’re going to need to create one more smart playlist and include it on the iPod in order to hide the rest. This single playlist will encompass your entire library, so that all songs will transfer properly.  Set up this smart playlist as follows:


This playlist will continually update as you add new songs to your library.

With this (otherwise useless) playlist added to your iPod’s selected playlists, your entirely library will be transferred to the iPod. Unfortunately, however, this method requires that you manually check (in the iPod panel of iTunes’ Preferences) any new playlists you may later create in iTunes.  Still, it’s really the only way to semi-conviniently exclude a specific playlist from the iPod and still retain some degree of automation.

Clearly, this method is only worthwhile if you have more than one “building block” playlist you’d like to hide.

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Jerrod H.

Jerrod was a contributing editor at iLounge. He mostly wrote articles about iTunes and iPod accessories. He was known for his in-depth knowledge of both topics and was often able to provide readers with unique insights into the world of Apple products.