Itunes 9 breaking iphone smart playlists?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Farplaner, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. Farplaner macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2008
    I updated to Itunes 9 last night, and everything was fine (the only thing I noticed was that Itunes U is now a separate category from podcasts). The smart playlists still exist in itunes, but after syncing with my iphone today...

    I noticed that all my smart playlists on the iphone are gone.

    I haven't had a chance to play around with the problem yet, but this is a huge bummer as I put all my podcasts in smart playlists so I can listen to them while driving (the ipod/iphone integration in the car only works with playlists).
  2. daihard macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Sounds like you have a Bimmer. :)

    As for the problem, I still seem to have my smart playlists intact on my iPhone. Some might be broken or gone, as I have a lot of smart playlists and can't check all of them now.
  3. rssfed23 macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Southampton, UK
    Not sure if it's related, but for the life of I can't seem to keep the play list order matching in iTunes and on the phone after updating!

    For example, I have the smart playlist "recently added" ordered by newest songs first, but when synced over to the phone it has them all in a completely random order!

    All shuffle functions are off.

    Any one have any ideas?

  4. Farplaner thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2008
    Well, I found out what my problem is.

    Apparently itunes 9 will not sync podcasts in any type of watchlists anymore.

    It's easy to test:
    - Create a smart playlist containing podcasts. Doesn't show on iphone.
    - Create a smart playlist containing regular songs. Shows on iphone
    - Create a regular playlist containing podcasts. Doesn't show on iphone.
    - Create a regular playlist containing regular songs. Shows on iphone
    - Create a regular playlist containing both regular songs and podcasts. Only the regular songs show on iphone.

    WTF, Apple?
  5. Deadman64 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    Same here! How can I fix this? I always like to listen to my newest added songs first, so this is really annoying.
  6. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005
    For smart playlists, UNCHECK live updating.

    For podcast playlists, you need to have playlists checked in the podcast tab of your device.
  7. NekoFever macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2005
    I have a 'new podcasts' smart playlist that worked fine on 3.0.1. The podcasts were arranged by release date and if they go in this order in iTunes...

    5 now does this on the iPhone...


    With this and the lockup issue, 3.1 has been a great update so far...
  8. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2007
    Bristol, England
    Is this itunes 9 or 3,1? I have iTunes 9 and 3.0.1 on my phone, I still have podcasts in a smart playlist on my phone...
  9. Farplaner thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2008
    I'll have to try unchecking live updating for smart playlists after work today. But doesn't that really defeat the point of smart playlists? So when new podcasts arrive the playlist will automatically update?

    This is with itunes 9 and 3.0.1. I wonder what's different with your version vs mine... Are you using OSX's itunes?
  10. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005
    Yeah, it's just a work around for now.

    Interestingly, some of my smart playlists update automatically even with it unchecked, so I'm confused at watt live updating really does anyway.

    REgarding podcasts, have you tried selecting playlists under the podcasts tab on your device? I understand podcasts won't sync in a playlist unless you do that.
  11. Deadman64 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    Auto updating unchecked seems to have fixed it.

    Only downside is you gotta refresh the playlists, which is kind of annoying.

    But thanks for the work-around!
  12. Farplaner thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2008
    Yes, they were already checked.

    Oh and one more thing. The podcasts themselves are actually syncing to the iphone. As in, I can go to the podcast section by going to "Ipod" -> "More" -> "Podcasts" and listen to them.

    It's just that the podcasts playlists won't show up.
  13. colorblindpicas macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2009
    Similar problems here, anything (at least podcasts and audio books) in a smart play list is appearing randomly ordered. Also, it doesn't have the same number of items (fewer in the phone compared to itunes).
  14. Farplaner thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2008
    I just tried it and neither unchecking a smart playlist, nor checked in the podcast tab for a regular playlist worked for me :(

    Wonder what's wrong...
  15. SmackBookUser macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2009
    Under the podcast tab in itunes 9, try unchecking the Automatically include checkbox. This worked for me on my next sync. Hope this helps
  16. Farplaner thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2008
    OMG This worked for me! Thanks a bunch!

    This is so strange...
  17. sgibson macrumors regular


    Mar 24, 2008
    Managed to get a workaround for my particular case. I have a smart playlist of unplayed podcasts in order of date, which was in order of whatever it felt like with 3.1/iTunes 9.

    In the smart playlist I kept live updating on, but also set a "limit to" and selected by "most recently added". Set the limit to 1000 or something ludicrously high so it wouldn't impact the actual playlist.

    Synced it across and it's all in the correct order again.

    Hopefully this will help people sort their own out until Apple does another update, or at least give you some ideas of things to try in the limit options to get things back to where they should be.
  18. pooryou macrumors 65816


    Sep 28, 2007
    Smart Playlists on the iPhone that are supposed to be randomized are coming up with a bunch of songs from the same album, anyone else have this problem?
  19. dday408 macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2009
    It works but certainly not the best solution

    Uncheck the live updating box in each individual smart playlist and your iTunes and iPhone playlist should sync. This problem has been on and off since early 2007 and Apple apparently hasn't found the solution yet.
  20. owf macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2009
    Workaround Script for Smart Playlist Sorting

    I've come up with a semi-solution for the sorting problem with Smart Playlists when syncing.

    The script below looks for iTunes playlists whose names end with "[source]" and copies the tracks, in the same order, to a normal playlist with the same name minus "[source]". These normal playlists sync to my iPhone with the right sort order. Non-existant destination playlists will be created.

    Run this before a sync, then deselect the [source] podcasts in the Podcasts sync settings, selecting the corresponding normal playlists instead. By default, track order will be the same as in the [source] playlist, but you can override this by fiddling with the destination playlist's sort settings.

    This runs on Snow Leopard (Python 2.6) and should also run on Leopard (Python 2.5), but you must install the Python appscript module.

    DO NOT run this script from the iTunes script menu. This will lock up iTunes. Run it from the generic scripts directory or via a LaunchAgent.

    #!/usr/bin/env python
    # encoding : utf-8
    import sys, os
    from appscript import app, its, k, CommandError
    iTunes = app('iTunes')
    source_lists = [p for p in iTunes.playlists() if'[source]')]
    for playlist in source_lists:
        target_name =[:-8].strip()
        print "Copying tracks from '%s' to '%s'" % (, target_name)
        dest_playlist = iTunes.playlists[target_name].get()
        if not dest_playlist:
            # Create playlist
            print "Creating new destination playlist :", target_name
            iTunes.make(new=k.user_playlist, with_properties={ : target_name})
            dest_playlist = iTunes.playlists[target_name].get()
        print "Clearing destination playlist :",
        for t in dest_playlist.tracks():
        print "Updating destination playlist :",
        for t in playlist.tracks():
            iTunes.duplicate(t, to=dest_playlist)
    Perhaps someone could come up with an AppleScript version.
  21. pb1300 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 29, 2008
    Aigio, Greece
    How do you do that? Is that available in "My Top Rated," because I dont seem to see that anywhere?

    I have the same issue as Top Rated, which was copied from my iTunes to iPhone, is in a totally different order on the phone.
  22. TheCookie macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2008
    I was having a similar problem. I have several smart playlists that are ranked by play count (top 25 most played, top 200 most played, top 1000 most played, etc.). They were all coming up as identical playlists on my iPhone, with the wrong songs and in a completely random order.

    It seems that unchecking live updating in the smart playlist itself fixed the problem on the next sync.

    But my question is: does this mean iTunes will stop updating the playlists as my play counts change?
  23. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Just noticed this myself.

    "Recently added' no longer works at all on my iPhone: I get a random selection of NON-recent songs. Maybe it's using the date the songs were copied to the phone, rather than the date from iTunes. A definite bug, but unchecking Live Updating was a helpful tip.
  24. thewolverine macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2009
    Thanks mrkgoo


    Thanks for your post - the uncheck fixed 2 major issues for me. It fixed my smart playlists on my 3gs and it also fixed a major issue I was having with my 5th generation iPod video. I spent almost 6 hours with Apple support on this and they could not figure it out.
    Essentially when I synched all my music on my iPod nano video after the synch the device would hang for about an hour. I eventually figured out that my Top Rated playlist was showing 656K songs, while I only have 1921 songs in total. So I was unable to synch that smart list and it fixed the problem, though the problem was that My Top Rated is what I like to listen to the most.
    Your solution fixed that issue for me as well and my smart playlists still update in iTunes.
    Appreciate your help and your post - now only if Apple support can get their act together!

    Cheers mate!

  25. endlsdremr macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2007
    Smart playlist FINALLY playing in order!

    You ROCK! I have been trying to figure out how to get my "recently added" playlist to play in the correct order for a while now. Your little uncheck live updating did the trick! thanks so much!!!!


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