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How to Create Playlists in iTunes

How to Create Playlists in iTunes

It wasn’t all that long ago when mix tapes were all the rage. People would create playlists on cassettes for any occasion you care to mention and copy tunes onto the cassette they felt were appropriate. Nowadays very few people use cassettes to create playlists and the era of mix tapes is slowly dying out.

Most MP3 players these days allow you to create playlists very easily. iTunes gives iPod users the opportunity to create home made combinations of tracks that they can play on their home computer or iPod, burn onto a CD or even publish online. The main benefit of creating a playlist on iTunes as opposed to a cassette or CD is the ability to create the playlist instantly. They can be as short or as long as you desire and as long as the quality of the track you have in you library is good, the quality will be exactly the same in the playlist.

First Things First

A playlist in iTunes doesn’t actually contain any music! What? That’s right; a playlist in iTunes only contains pointers to where the music can be found. This means that it doesn’t matter how many playlists you create or how long each of those playlist are as you will not be using up any more room on your iPod or your computer. If you decide to remove a track from your playlist it will only be removed from that playlist and the actual music file will not be deleted from your library.

How to Create a New Playlist

Creating a playlist is easy. To create a new one all you have to do is click on the + button in the bottom left hand corner of iTunes or you can press Ctrl+N (PC Users) or Apple+N (Mac Users). A new playlist icon should now be visible in the Source List (left hand column), highlighted and waiting for you to rename it and fill it with music. To rename a playlist you should click on its name once and then again for a second time (slowly). If you wish to delete an entire playlist all you have to do is click on the playlist you wish to remove and once it is highlighted press the delete button on your keyboard.

What are Smart Playlists?

Smart playlists are similar to normal playlists except iTunes does most of the work for you. You let iTunes know the conditions you require and iTunes will do the rest. For example, you may only want songs of a certain genre in your playlist, songs that you have played in the last 30 days or songs that has a specific word in the title or a combination of any of these. The good thing about a smart playlist is that the content of a particular smart playlist will change over time as the criteria that has to be met will change. Smart playlists give you the chance to be creative with the way that you arrange the songs in your library. There are many websites dedicated to the subject of smart playlists, do a search for them for more information.

Creating a Smart Playlist

In order to create a smart playlist you can click on the file menu or you can click on the new playlist button while holding down Alt (Mac users) or Shift (PC users). The + sign will then change to a cog. A smart playlist box should now open and you may select the rules you would like iTunes to follow.