Resolving discrepancies between iPod and iTunes smart playlists


Q: I am trying to put a smart playlist on my iPod so I can listen to my newest tracks. However, after trying various methods, it seems my iPod cant handle any smart playlist based on the condition “Date added is in the last XX days.” These playlists work fine on the computer but once on the iPod, trying to select the playlist result is an empty playlist. Is there a solution?

– Jackie

A: While manual playlists transfer to the iPod as static lists of tracks, smart playlists transfer to the iPod solely as a set of logic, allowing your iPod to determine it’s own list of tracks which fit within the conditions. For example, the tracks most recently added to your iTunes library are not necessarily the tracks added most recently to your iPod. Thus, the fact that the playlist works in iTunes but not on the iPod could indicate several things:

  • The iPod hasn’t been synchronized for some period of time. This would clearly explain the difference in the content between iTunes’ and the iPod’s playlist content.
  • The iPod’s date is somehow set incorrectly, throwing off the date condition. Check your iPod’s date.
  • The smart playlist condition, if it involves a specific date, is not formatted as MM/DD/YY. The iPod is sometimes less forgiving than iTunes in this regard.

Double-check these items to help find the source of your problem.


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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.