Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating playlists, part of iTunes 10 Essential Training.
Up to this point, we've been working with our iTunes content by selecting our music library and playing music from there. And as we have seen you can do the same thing with movies, TV shows, podcasts, and so on. Now this is all fine if you only ever want to listen to albums in their entirety, in their original order. But most people at some point or another want to create their own mix of tunes to play in an order they themselves come up with. In iTunes you do this by creating a playlist. A playlist is basically for collecting specific songs together and playing them in a specific order. Now we are going to get into the different and more advanced types of playlists shortly but in this movie I want to talk about the basic playlist, which is again nothing more than a collection of songs that you arrange in your own order.
You can have as many playlists as you like and call them whatever you want. For example, you might create a playlist of workout songs or a playlist of songs to play while you do housework or playlist of tunes for a road trip or you can create playlists for any other innumerable reasons. Playlists are also used to create a collection of songs to burn to a CD so if you want to make a custom mix CD for a friend, creating a playlist is the first step. We will talk about burning CDs in the next chapter. Playlists can also be transferred to iPods and iPhones, so there's another reason you might want to use playlists.
So to create a playlist, you can choose File > New Playlist, or press Command+N on the Mac or Ctrl+N on Windows. There is also a New Playlist button in the lower left-hand corner of the iTunes window, looks like a little plus symbol, and that creates a new playlist in our source pane. And notice it's under the Playlists heading. In case your Playlists heading is not expanded, make sure you just click Show to see your playlist. So I am going to select my playlist that I have just created. It's currently called untitled playlist so I click it once to select the text. Let's rename this right away and call it Dinner Music, music to digest your food.
Now there is other items here with a gear icon next to them are Smart Playlists and we'll talk about them next. But let's keep working with our basic playlist right now. With the playlist selected I only see this description of what a playlist is and some things I can do with playlists. That's because there is nothing in my playlist yet, so I need to start adding songs to it and I do that by going back to my music library. Although I can also create playlists from movies, TV shows and audio books and even intermingle them, I am just going to work with music for this example though. So we can either grab songs one at a time, drag them to our playlist to add them, or you can hold down Command on Mac or Ctrl on Windows and select multiple songs to drag in.
I'm going to scroll through my library, pick some more songs, drag them in. Now it looks like I clicked a couple of songs that I already had selected, so iTunes has noticed this and asked me if I want to add them to the playlist anyway or just skip them. I will choose Skip in this case. It's no need for me to have two copies of the same song in a playlist. And now when I select the playlist, I see the songs are added to it and I can continue to add to this playlist at anytime I want.
So I can always go back to my library, find more songs, and drag them in. All right, so there are the songs I want in my Dinner Music playlist. I can see down at the bottom here that it's 51.2 minutes long, which should be plenty of time. If not I can always add more songs, and I can easily rearrange the order of these songs simply by grabbing them and dragging them up or down. And that's something you can't do in your library; you can only arbitrarily arrange songs while in the playlist.
Now it's important to understand that when you create a playlist, you're not duplicating or copying any of your files. Adding songs to playlist does not take up any significant amount of additional space on your hard drive. All I have done is here is create references to the songs that are already in my library. So what this means is if I decide I don't want one of these songs to be in this playlist, I just select it and delete it. Just say Remove and it's gone. But that song is still sitting safe and sound in my library. Only when you're in your library and you select songs and hit Delete, that's when the file itself will be removed from the library. So I am going to Cancel that.
But if you are working in a playlist, you can select as many songs as you like, delete them, and they are still going to exist in your library just not in the playlist. So that's a one way to create a playlist simply create a new blank playlist using the Plus button in lower left-hand corner or choose File > New Playlist or use the keyboard command and then just browse through your library and start Command+Clicking or Ctrl+ Clicking songs to drag them in. Now another way you can create a playlists is on the fly with your library selected. Just start selecting some songs, drag them towards the Source pane, and you can see a little number has appeared indicating how many songs I am dragging in.
And I am just going to drag it right on top of the Playlists header. Be careful not to drag it on top of other playlists unless you intend to add these songs to an existing playlist. So make sure you just drag it right on the header, release, and there it is. So we have a new untitled playlist already occupied by the songs I dragged in. I will just call this Random grabs. Now this might not be necessarily faster than creating a blank playlist first but it is an alternative method, and again if you want to add more songs to a playlist you can always do so at anytime by dragging them in or you can also go to your library and right-click on tracks, go to Add to Playlist, and then you can choose which of your existing playlist you want the song to be added to, which is kind of cool.
Similarly you can select one of those songs, choose Show in Playlist, and it will actually reveal any playlist that this song is currently a part of. So that's how you create playlists. You can create a playlist for any purpose or scenario you like, workouts, driving tunes, wedding receptions, or whatever. And again, we can also create them for burning CDs, which we will talk about in the next chapter, but first we are going to talk about Smart Playlists in the very next movie.
- Using the playback controls
- Setting preferences
- Understanding audio and video file formats
- Importing from a CD
- Managing multiple libraries
- Building playlists and smart playlists
- Creating playlists automatically with Genius
- Shuffling and repeating songs
- Burning discs to share
- Shopping at the iTunes Store
- Managing an iPod