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APRIL 18, 2008 7:27PM

HOWTO: Pick which songs go on your iPod/iPhone

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The iPod and iPhone gives you a choice: You can either have the device sync all your music automatically by playlist, or you can select "Manually manage music and videos," which lets you click-and-drag songs on to the Pod.

The trouble is, you can't do both. Say you want the Pod to automatically synch smart playlists -- maybe playlists of recent albums and recent podcasts and four-star songs -- but you *also* want to be able to drag songs onto the pod? Tough, Apple won't let you: If you select "manually manage," the playlists won't sync, and if you unselect it, the clicking-and-dragging won't work.

Here's the workaround:

1) If "manually manage music" is on, turn it off -- that is, uncheck it (you'll see this option on the screen that comes up when you plug in your pod).

iPod Manual Manage

2) Create a playlist for arbitrarily adding songs -- call it whatever you like.

iPod Arrow

3) In the music tab, sync the playlist you just created -- along with any others you want automatically updated.

Music Tab

4) Now you can have both worlds -- smart playlists (recent albums, top songs, etc) automatically go to the Pod, and whenever you want some other song to take on the road, just drag it in to the iPhone/iPod playlist you just created.


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iphone, ipod, itunes, apple

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This is extremely helpful. Thanks, Farhad!
Of course, if you get the 40 GB iPod, it takes awhile before lack of discretion catches up with you. With any luck, it won't catch up with me until the start selling a much bigger one. Like Ado Annie in "Oklahoma", I'm just a girl who can't say no.
Wouldn't it be easier to make a smart playlist that includes all the Group of (eg) "iPod" and simply change the Group of whatever song(s) you want? You can batch change. Sync to it. Put any other info you want in the comment section, so searches find it.