iTunes for Mac: Create a Smart Playlist

Create a Smart Playlist

iTunes can create playlists based on rules you specify, and then update these playlists automatically as your library changes.

For example, you could create a Smart Playlist that’s no more than 5 gigabytes (GB) in size and includes your most highly rated jazz songs. Or you could create a Smart Playlist of songs by a particular artist. When you import a new CD by that artist, the songs are added automatically to the Smart Playlist.

If you want to create more complex rules—for example, with some criteria matching all rules and others matching any—you can create sets of rules, or “nested” rules. You can have up to five levels of nesting.

A Smart Playlist has the Smart Playlist icon next to it.

Create a Smart Playlist

  1. Choose File > New > Smart Playlist.

  2. Specify your rules.

    The Smart Playlist window: In the upper-left corner, select Match, then specify the playlist criteria (such as genre or rating). Continue to add or remove rules by clicking the Add or Remove buttons in the upper-right corner. Select various options in the lower portion of the window—such as limiting the size or duration of the playlist, including only songs that are checked or having iTunes update the playlist as items in your library change.
  3. To add another set of rules within a rule, hold down the Option key, then click the Nest button . (When you hold down the Option key, the Add button changes to the Nest button.)

View and edit Smart Playlists

  • View your Smart Playlists: Choose Music from the pop-up menu at the top left, then click the playlist you want to view in the sidebar on the left.

  • Change a Smart Playlist: Select the playlist, then click Edit Rules.

  • Remove a Smart Playlist: Select the playlist, then press the Delete key.

Published Date: Jan 12, 2018
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