May 5, 2010

Smart Playlists

So, this has been a thing for a while now, but it’s really starting to drive me nuts and I’m curious whether I’m just doing it wrong or whether syncing Smart Playlists [to an iPhone] is really and truly useless.

Here’s the thing: You create a Smart Playlist in iTunes. The rules you define determine the stuff that appears in your playlist. Since your entire library is in iTunes, the rules are run against your entire library. So you get exactly what you expect in your Smart Playlist and all is right with the universe.

With me so far?

Then you sync that playlist to your iP(hone|od|ad) [iPhone (or, presumably, iPod touch)] and it all goes to shit. The stuff in your Smart Playlist on your device is different than the stuff in the same Smart Playlist on iTunes. I think this is because the rules are getting synced, but the stuff isn’t. And, since only a subset of your entire library is on your device, the rules are run against that, leaving you with an “accurate” rule-based playlist which is completely useless.

I want the rules and the stuff synced.

Why aren’t the contents of a Smart Playlist synced along with the rules? It seems like that would make so much more sense. You’d get the stuff you want from your library on your device, and the rules would reflect any changes you made on the device.

Anyway, like I say, I may be doing this all wrong in which case please feel free to let me know in the comments. :)