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Working with Playlists

There are a number of things you can do with your playlists, such as listening to them, keeping them organized in folders, changing their contents on-the-fly, and so on.

Listening to Playlists

After you have created a playlist, you can listen to it by selecting it on the list of playlists and using the same controls you use to listen other music in your iTunes Library. For example, you can browse playlists using the three views (except for genius playlists, for which you are limited to the List view), shuffle them, set them to repeat, use the Up Next list, and so on.

Organizing Playlists in Folders

As you use iTunes, you are likely to create lots of playlists. Over time, your list of playlists can get huge, making it long and unwieldy. Fortunately, you can create folders to organize your playlists and then drag your playlists into the folders you create to organize them. By doing this, you can keep your playlist list neat and tidy and make your playlists easier to use.

To create a folder, choose File, New, Playlist Folder. A new folder opens; its name is highlighted, indicating it’s ready for you to give it a name. Type the folder’s name and press Enter to save it. It remains open and appears on the playlist list.

To place a playlist within a folder, drag its icon onto the folder until that folder’s icon becomes highlighted; then drop the playlist on the folder. The playlist is moved into the folder. As soon as you add at least one playlist to a folder, a triangle is added to the folder’s icon. You can click this to expand or collapse the folder so that you see or don’t see the playlists it contains (see Figure 7.11).

Figure 7.11

Figure 7.11. The folder Best Playlists contains five playlists (one is a genius playlist and one is a smart playlist).

A folder can contain different kinds of playlists (including genius and smart playlists), and they can even contain playlists containing different types of content. For example, you can create playlists of rock music videos and include them in a folder you’ve created for your playlists that also include rock music.

When you select a folder’s icon on the Source list, the contents of all the playlists it contains are displayed (refer to Figure 7.11). You can play all the content in a folder just as you can a playlist; select the folder and use the playback controls to play it. You can also sort it, choose its view options, and so on.

Within folders or not, playlists are listed based on their type (genius, then smart, then standard). Within each group, the playlists are in alphabetical order based on their names. You can make your playlists and folders be listed in another order by appending numbers before their names, such as adding “1.” before the name of the playlist you want to appear at the top of the list. You could add “2.” to the one you want to be listed next, and so on.

Adding Songs to a Playlist On the Fly

As you are listening to music, you may decide you want to add specific songs to a playlist. There are several ways to do this:

  • Hover over a song’s name and, when the right-facing arrow appears, click it. Choose Add to and choose the playlist to which you want to add the song (if the playlist is within a folder, you can expand the folder to see the playlist).
  • Perform a secondary click (right-click) on a song, choose Add to Playlist, and choose the playlist to which you want to add the song.
  • Drag the song from the Content pane toward the right side of the iTunes window. The Playlist pane pops open. Drag the song onto the playlist to which you want to add it.

Deleting Playlists

If you decide you no longer want a playlist, you can delete it by selecting the playlist and pressing the Delete key. A prompt appears; click Delete and the playlist is removed. (Be sure to check the Do not ask me again check box if you don’t want to be prompted in the future.) Even though you’ve deleted the playlist, the songs in the playlist remain in the library or in other playlists.

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