iTunes Library larger than iPod...what's the best way to do it?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by millerrh, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    #1
    Right now I just have only the songs I want on my iPod in my iTunes Library and have it automatically sync everything. But that means I have some songs on my hard drive that aren't in my library. What is the best way for me to put everything in my library but only sync a certain section?

    I see two ways and I don't like either of them. Tell me if I'm missing something:

    1) Create one main playlist of songs that I want in my iPod. Problem 1: playlists allow duplicates, so I might accidentally make things appear more than once, which annoys me. Problem 2: Sub playlists will pull from the main library, not the main iPod playlist, so if I remove songs from the main playlist, they won't be removed from the iPod...I have to go into every single playlist that songs appears in to remove it from my iPod...and that is damn impossible to do if you have lots of playlists.

    2) Check mark all the songs you want synced. I would actually like this method if there was a smart playlist setting where all checked songs would go to. Then I could make my sub-playlists from this master smart playlist.

    So how do you all do it? There's got to be a better way than just limiting the size of your library to the size of your iPod and still have control of the many playlists you want on your iPod.
     
  2. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Cuidad de México
    #2
    1. Smart Playlists
    2. Regular Playlists
    3. Checking Boxes

    I suggest using Smart Playlists. I only need around 200 of my songs as it is.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    #3
    Problem is I've got a bunch of smart playlists and other random playlists that I would like to pull from some main grouping of songs that I know will go on my iPod. That's basically what I am trying to accomplish and I want to have control over which songs are going into my iPod.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #4
    A playlist can allow duplicates, but it won't sync songs twice. Sync from a playlist, you'll be all good.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    #5
    What about this situation:

    I have one main playlist that syncs to my iPod, but I also want to have another playlist of only some of those songs that also syncs (like a playlist just for working out).

    Now my iPod is full and I want to remove some songs to make room for others. Ideally, I'd like to just remove them from the first playlist and they'd automatically be removed from the others and therefore from my iPod. But it doesn't work that way. I'd have to go into each playlist where a certain song appears and remove it in order for it to get off my iPod.

    The way I do it now (where my whole library syncs), if I want to make room for new songs, I just delete others from my library and they are automatically deleted from my iPod. I want that same behavior within playlists if possible.

    Seems like the closest thing is the checkmark thing and make a smart playlist to find all the genres I use that also have a checkmark. Then only sync songs with a checkmark.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #6
    Wait... why would you delete them from your library? Then you don't have them at all. I'm confused. :confused:
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #7
    Edit: I changed my original post to use only two playlists so if you read the last one, my apologies.

    What you could do is have an ordinary playlist containing all the songs you don't want to sync (called, say "Don't want to hear"). Then you create a smart playlist for syncing with the iPod, with the conditions "playlist is not Don't want to hear" (add some more conditions if you want Music only etc)

    If you want to omit a song from the sync playlist, drag from the Library to "Don't want to hear". If you want to add it back, delete it from the "Don't want to hear" playlist.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    #8
    If I delete them from my library they are still on my hard drive. I have iTunes point to where I store them instead of store them in my library directly. So deleting them from iTunes only makes them not visible in iTunes, but doesn't actually get rid of them.

    I like the fact that removing them from my library now removes them from my iPod automatically. That there is a central library that my iPod references and if I remove anything from that central library, the iPod will respond the same way.

    What I don't like is now those songs I don't care as much about are buried in my hard drive. The best thing would be for everything to be in my main library, but also have some other playlist that behaves the way my current library does...where I can remove a song once (or uncheck it) and it removes it from all the iPod playlists it happens to appear in.

    The more I think about this, the more I think the checkboxes are the way to go. Just have to find a way that works for me.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    #9
    Oh...playlists referencing other playlists....that might work too if you could combine Smart Playlists with regular ones.

    For instance: A new playlist called "workout songs" where Condition = must come from Playlist "To iPod", but then allows me to manually drag in any of those songs. Then as soon as they are removed from the "To iPod" playlist, they are also deleted from "Workout songs" automatically. I don't think that's possible though.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #10
    Dragging to and from an ordinary playlist referenced by a smart playlist does add/remove them from the smart playlist.

    I do this. I have a smart playlist called "Music only" that's based on some conditions that mean video, podcasts and audio books are omitted. Then I have an ordinary playlist called "Songs I hate" to which I drag songs I've come to hate but don't want to remove from my library. Then I have a second smart list for syncing to my iPhone, that references "Music only" and omits all songs in "Songs I hate", and limits it to 3GB chosen at random. If I add a song to "Songs I hate" it disappears from the syncing playlist if it's there already. If I remove it from "Song I hate" it may or may not show up on the iPod depending on whether the random choice picks it.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    #11
    Plinden, thanks for this...I think this is getting to where I need to go. I just need to wrap my head around it a little.

    Take a look at the image below. This in very simple terms what I would like to do. From my iTunes mega-library, I take 6 GB to fill my iPod and put it in a playlist called "iPod Sync." Since it is certain songs I hand choose, "iPod Sync" is not a smart playlist. All these songs will now go to my iPod.
    Out of the songs in "iPod Sync" I would like a subset-playlist that consists of certain songs I hand select that I would like to workout with, so I create a playlist called "Workout Mix." Since I would like to hand select these songs, it is also not a smart playlist. Now the problem is that as I remove songs from "iPod Sync" they aren't necessarily removed from "Workout Mix" or any other playlist I might have and therefore remain on my iPod.

    My goal is to have one primary pool of songs that my iPod syncs with and reference that pool to other playlists that I can hand pick songs to go into. Is that possible? It is if your library isn't any bigger than your iPod, which is what I do now. But then of course your library is pretty small and music is buried away on your hard drive.
     

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  12. macrumors 68000

    kuebby

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    SFV
    #12
    ^^that's pretty much what I do. I have 2 special iPod playlists one called Nano and one called 30G that are the basis for syncing to my two iPods.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    #13
    But do you have other playlists that are subsets or reference those two playlists? That seems to be what I don't understand...how to have multiple playlists all branched off of one playlist unless that one playlist is your master library. Check out this image below. Maybe it will explain what I am after.
     

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  14. macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #14
    This is my method as well. But what I do is narrow my songs down by songs that haven't been heard in 30 days or more. After a song is listened it is removed and only allowed back in the Playlist after 30 days. Naturally I can listen to the song from the library, but on the go I tend to try and cycle through music that hasn't been heard in a while.
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #15
    Ok, I see what you want to do. Try this.

    Create a normal playlist for songs you don't want in "iPod sync" (call it, say, "Don't sync"). Then create "iPod sync" as a smart playlist with the condition that the songs are not in "Don't sync". You can then move songs into and out of "Don't sync", and hence out of and into "iPod sync", without worrying about duplicates and without having to remove the songs from your library. Make sure the "Match only checked items" is deselected.

    Create a second smart playlist called "Workout Mix" with the condition that the songs are in "iPod sync" but with "Match only checked items" selected. Uncheck songs in "iPod sync" that you don't want in "Workout Mix".

    Any songs you move into "Don't sync" will be removed from both "iPod sync" and "Workout Mix". Any songs you uncheck will be in "iPod sync" and not in "Workout Mix"
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    #16
    That would work, but is a little bit convoluted. I'd rather be able to just drag songs I DO want into playlists. And what about if you have two playlists with some of the same songs? Now this method doesn't necessarily work.

    For instance, if I have a workout playlist that has hard rock and electronic music in it and another playlist of certain rock songs I particularly like right now, and another smart playlist that grabs all recently downloaded rock, they might all contain the same song, but will require different criteria, so a smart playlist won't work in this case.

    I might have multiple playlists that all contain the same song and I want them all to reference my "Sync to iPod" master playlist. So if I remove that song from "Sync to iPod" it actually gets removed from all the playlists that sync to my iPod and therefore won't sync to my iPod anymore all by just removing one song.

    So far the only way I can see this happening is if your "Sync to iPod" playlist is actually your iTunes library.
     

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  17. macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #17
    Well, there's a disconnect between what you want to do and what you can do. I've used the "don't sync" method a few times and once you get the idea that dragging a song into it is conceptually identical to removing the song, it's not convoluted at all.

    I'm not sure what you mean. If you want Rock in a separate playlist, you can create another smart playlist, with the conditions that it's in "iPod sync" AND "genre is Rock". It gets a bit more complicated if you want electronica and hard rock in the same playlist ... in that case you need to create two new smart playlists, one with the conditions "genre is Rock" OR "genre is Electronica" and one with "playlist is 'iPod sync'" AND "playlist is 'Electronica Or Rock'"

    But no matter what, it's going to get complicated if you want to be able to do complex matching on your library. There's no way you'll be able to do it "easily", mainly because you can't mix "Match any" and "Match all". The "easiest" thing to do is just to manually create your playlists.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    kuebby

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    SFV
    #18
    That's kind of what I do but less officially. My library is just barely bigger than my iPod cap. and I have a few gigs of stuff I want in my library but not on my iPod at all.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    #19
    I think what I am trying to do can't be done. I'm looking for one extra level of hierarchy that doesn't exist in iTunes. To get around that now, Windows Explorer/Finder acts as my main file storage area - Then the iTunes Library acts as all the songs that sync to my iPod - then my playlists are all generated based only on stuff that syncs to my iPod and update as I change what is in my library/iPod.

    I was hoping to maintain that hierarchy, but all within iTunes. Could be that the way I've been doing it is the only way to do what I want it to do. Which would explain why I've been doing it so far.
     
  20. macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #20
    Well prior to getting my iPod Classic, I had my original first gen iPod with 5gigs on it. And i had set a playlist that held just enough to fit on that iPod. Now that I have more than enough room on my Classic I still keep this playlist of 30 days or more, but I also have room for my entire library. I love these things.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    Tom B.

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #21
    What I would do in your situation is this:
    1. Make the main playlist that your iPod will sync with
    2. Make a smart playlist for your workout music. The conditions could be "must be in main playlist", and "comment is 'workout'.

    This way, whenever you want to add a song to your workout playlist, just add 'workout' to the comments. I know it's not quite as good as dragging and dropping, but it will work.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    #22
    Thanks Tom,

    This is probably the best way to do it that I've seen. Although I'm thinking of just sticking with my small iTunes library scheme for the simplicity of it. Would sure be nice if there was a way to have a smart playlist that allowed you to drag songs into it. For instance, the conditions are: must be in folder "iPod" but only applies to songs you try to drag in. So if you try to drag in a song that isn't in that "iPod" playlist, it wouldn't let you. And if you remove a song from "iPod" it also removes it from that pseudo-smart playlist.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    Dustman

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    #23
    I used to just convert all my music to 112 kbps to get it all on. I dont really mind the drop in quality, but I speak for myself.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    #24
    I think I've got a way that will work for me.

    1) The check box is how I determine whether something goes in my iPod.

    2) I make a smart playlist of all of the genres in my library and limit it to only those songs that are checked. Now I've got one playlilst that dynamically changes as I check or uncheck things and always represents what I have in my iPod.

    3) I create sub-playlists (not smart playlists) from that master playlist. If I uncheck something it will still remain in those sub playlists, but the missing checkbox in a smaller playlist is rather obvious. I'll have to manually remove those, but at least they won't sync to my iPod anymore.

    Now with the checking or unchecking of one box, I can adjust what syncs to my iPod and always have a current playlist of what those songs are. Probably seems rather obvious to all of you, but for some reason I couldn't figure this out right away.
     

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