Only one song plays at a time in iTunes

Q: I have a weird problem with playlists on iTunes. When I try to play a playlist, it only plays the first track and then stops. Using the “next track” icon doesnt work either. The only way I can get it to play the next song is to explicitly click on that particular song and click the play icon. Also, Party Shuffle, regardless of which playlist I choose for its source, complains that “the playlist does not contain any playable songs.” I have just downloaded the latest iTunes, but the problem still occurs. What on earth am I doing wrong?

– Anonymous

A: Every part of your issue suggests one possible problem: we’d bet that every song in your iTunes Library has been “unchecked” accidentally. Check the checkmarks to the left of your song titles; for normal operation, these should be checked.

iTunes’ checkmarks allow users to do several things: dechecked songs are excluded from play without explicit intervention (as you’ve noticed), and thus prevent the files from showing up in Party Shuffle. Also, checkmarks can be used as a way to prevent songs from transferring to an iPod if you’ve checked the “Only sync checked items” in iTunes’ iPod Summary window. Finally, the checked status of songs can be a valuable smart playlist condition.

The good news for you is that the checkmarks are easy to restore en masse – you don’t need to check thousands individually. Simply open your “Music” library so all songs are visible simultaneously, and click one empty checkbox while holding down Command (The “Apple key” on a Mac) or Control (PC).

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