Q: I have a third-generation iPod touch with the latest software. I cannot find a way to initiate the “On-the-go” playlist. On my older iPods I simply pressed the middle button and that was it. An instructor at the local Apple Store looked online with me and was unable to find any information; he thinks this feature is no longer available. Any comments/answers/solutions? Many thanks.

On-The-Go Playlists with iOS 4

– Carol

A: Although the iPhone and iPod touch did have an On-The-Go playlist feature in prior iOS versions, although it worked a bit differently from the click wheel iPod models—instead of picking a track from anywhere and adding it to the On-The-Go playlist you had to start by selecting the On-The-Go playlist first and then browse through and add your tracks from there.

However, with iOS 4 you can now create and edit standard playlists directly on the device, eliminating the need for a special On-The-Go playlist.

To access this feature simply tap “Add Playlist” from the top of the Playlists menu in the Music app on the iPod touch. You will be prompted to enter a name for the new playlist using the on-screen keyboard and then select songs to add to the new playlist

On-The-Go Playlists with iOS 4

Initially, a listing of all of the songs on your iPod is displayed, but while in add mode you can browse through your entire music content as you normally would to add tracks by artist, album, genre and so forth. Once you’ve finished adding tracks, simply tap the “Done” button in the top-right corner to save your selections to your new playlist.

You can also edit not only your newly-created playlist but any other standard playlist on the device, even those initially created and synced from your iTunes library. Simply scroll up to the top of any standard playlist and you will see buttons to edit, clear or delete the playlist. Note that Smart Playlists cannot be edited on your device.


On-The-Go Playlists with iOS 4

Also keep in mind that if you are using automatic synchronization with your iTunes library, changes to playlists made on your iPod touch or other iOS devices will automatically synchronize back to iTunes even for playlists that were originally created in iTunes. Be particularly careful when deleting playlists on your device since they will be removed from iTunes during the next automatic sync as well.



Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.