Syncing playlists to iPod

Syncing playlists to iPod 1

Q: I just purchased the newest generation iPod which has less storage than my iTunes library. After I manually choose which artists, albums, etc to sync with the smaller iPod, can I then sync all of the playlists in my iTunes and still have them work even if many of the tracks on the various playlists were not transferred to the iPod? If not, do I have to go to the trouble of making all new playlists from those songs I choose to sync?

– Josh

A: Your iPod will only display playlists that you have specifically chosen to put on your iPod either via automatic synchronization or by manually copying them when using your iPod in manual mode. However, when synchronizing or copying a playlist to your iPod, iTunes will also transfer all of the tracks that are contained in that playlist.

Although iTunes 9 allows you to select tracks to sync to your iPod by Artist or Genre, playlists that contain these tracks are not transferred as part of this process. Likewise, transferring tracks to a manually-managed iPod via drag-and-drop does not transfer the playlists containing those tracks.

Basically, if you want to include a subset of an existing playlist on your iPod, you will need to create a separate playlist for synchronization purposes. Although you can simply create a standard playlist for this purpose, another idea would be to use a Smart Playlist to automatically select a sub-set of your existing playlists, limited to an appropriate size for your iPod’s capacity. In the simplest form, a Smart Playlist that chooses content that is in another playlist and limits by size would work, although you can get more sophisticated by choosing additional criteria such as rating, play counts, and last played times.



  1. I have seen the same problem as Justin, but on a Mac. If you don’t manually edit the tags, iTunes will keep adding the track number to the song title until you can’t read the song title. iTunes seems to get caught in a loop of checking the filename, adding the file number to the song title, renaming the filename, re-adding the file number to the song title…

  2. I have 2 questions.First I don’t understand how to do a playlist.My next question is I want to put a cd on my I POd but why do I have to put it in my library first.I don’t want the music in the library.I have a 120 gig I Pod classic.
    Thank You
    Tom Evans

  3. Just a quick question. Say you have a 1TB External Drive, along with a 500GB External. Is it possible to Consolidate to both external HDD’s so either or works? cuz the TB needs a power cord whereas i could strictly use the MUCH smaller 500GB one for travel. is this possible?

  4. I have 3 ipod touches in our family. we share same account. i want a different playlist from my daughters. when i connect my ipod to the computer it syncs it automatically, however it syncs it up to the last playlist that was created, which was my daughters. my question is how do i keep the playlist separate from each ipod touch when i connect it to my computer?? thank you so much for your help..

  5. I have a IPOD TOUCH 3rd GEN. when i charge in the car and plug in the Aux cord there is static. when i pull out the charger, the static goes away completely. I am guessing the data/charge port is too close to the headphone jack. this also happens to when i use Griffen tunebase(no fm trans) dock where the Itouch is connected directly through port and AUX cord is away from the power and connected to the portion that goes in the cigarette lighter adapter. is there any fix for this static or an explanation why this is really happening? pls help. (design flaw putting the headphone jack on bottom.)

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