Q: I recently installed iTunes 7.0. I used to have a playlist under the Store menu that was labeled “Purchased.” For some reason it is no longer listed. Can you tell me how I can bring that playlist back?

– E. Caribe

A: Unfortunately, the “Purchased” playlist is a fairly special playlist, in that only iTunes can properly create it – if deleted by the user, there’s only one way to appear again under iTunes’ “Store” source area: download more items from the iTunes Store.

Once you’ve downloaded another item from the store (whether paid, or free content), the Purchased playlist will reappear, but there’s one problem: older purchases are no longer collected there.

How can one restore the contents of this playlist? Unfortunately, there’s no perfect way to exactly recreate it. Here’s how we approximately restored ours when we accidentally deleted the playlist – it’s the best way we can think of:

Create a new smart playlist with the following conditions:

When you see the contents of this playlist, you’ll be mostly pleased: all of them will have been purchased from the iTunes Store. This will capture both iTunes’ audio and video files, as well as digital booklets. Next, simply drag the contents of this file into the empty “Purchased” playlist iTunes just created, sort by “Date Added,” and you’ve mostly restored your Purchased playlist.

Why then, do we claim this to be a sub-optimal solution? This method of collecting purchased content doesn’t exclusively single out music purchased with your iTunes account, as does iTunes’ standard “Purchased” playlist. Instead, if you happen to share iTunes-purchased content with your family under iTunes’ 5-computer allowance, this playlist will capture these items as well.