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Create Your Own Playlists

A playlist is your customized collection of audio and video files. You can create as many playlists as you like, and you can rearrange the items in your playlists by dragging selections up or down. You create playlists so you can play custom collections of songs and videos on your computer, download them to a device, or burn them onto CDs.

Create a new playlist and add songs to it

  1. Type Command N, or click the “New Playlist” button (the plus.jpg) in the bottom-left corner of the iTunes window. A playlist icon appears in the Source list with the default name “untitled playlist.”
  2. Change the name of the new playlist to something descriptive by typing over the highlighted default name.

    You can change a playlist name at any time: Click once on the title to highlight it, click a second time to make the text editable, then type a new name in the highlighted field.

To add selections to the playlist from a CD:

  1. Insert a CD whose songs you want to add to a custom playlist.
  2. Click the CD icon in the Source list to open its song list.
  3. Drag desired selections from the “Name” column and drop them on your new playlist in the Source list, as shown below.

    When you drag a song directly from a CD to a playlist, the song is automatically encoded (imported) to the AAC format, or whatever format you last chose in the Importing preferences pane. The song is placed in the iTunes Library and added to the playlist.

To add an item from the Library to a playlist:

  1. In the Source list, click “Music” to display your entire Library.
  2. Drag a selection to a playlist in the Source list.

There’s another method for creating a new playlist that’s even easier:

  1. In the Source list, click “Music” to display your entire Library.
  2. Select all the songs you want from the “Name” column (see how to make multiple selections below).
  3. From the File menu, select “New Playlist From Selection.” iTunes automatically creates the playlist and adds the selected songs to it.

You can drag multiple selections all at once to a playlist:

  • To make a contiguous selection of songs (songs that are next to each other in the list), Shift-click the song names. Or single-click on one song, then Shift-click on another song; all songs between the two clicks will be selected.
  • To make a non-contiguous selection of songs (songs that are not next to each other in the list), click a song, then Command-click additional song names you want to add to the selection.

Smart Playlists

Smart Playlists are collections of songs and videos that are generated automatically when imported items meet certain conditions that you define. iTunes provides several Smart Playlists (indicated by the gear symbols) in the Source list: ’90s Music, Music Videos, My Top Rated, Recently Added, Recently Played, and Top 25 Most Played. You can create new Smart Playlists that meet other conditions, such as your favorite African songs, punk music, or certain artists.

To create a new Smart Playlist:

  1. From the File menu, choose “New Smart Playlist....” Or Option-click the “New Playlist” button—the “plus” symbol on the button changes to a “gear” symbol (Smart Playlist) when you press the Option key.
  2. In the Smart Playlist window that appears (shown below), use the menus and text fields to set conditions for the new Smart Playlist.
  3. Click OK.

A new Smart Playlist appears in the Source list (shown above-right). Any items in your Library that meet the conditions you set are now listed in the “Name” column of the Detail window. Rename the playlist something descriptive.

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