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Smart Playlists not Syncing to iPod touch

Recently I gave my 80GB iPod Classic (Generation 5.5) to my girlfriend to help her to concentrate more at work. Music does help tune out unnecessary distractions that is typical of a cubical-style workplace (and open plan workspaces are worse). That leaves me with the 1st get iPod touch that I also use to develop and test Basil Salad iPhone applications.

So I re-imported back my MP3 collection from my backup drive into the iTunes library into my laptop. Originally I only keep a very small collection of MP3s in my iTunes library and the bulk of my collection is in my 80GB iPod.

To my surprise, a lot of the smart playlists that I set up doesn’t synchronize to the iPod touch. The individual MP3 files were copied correctly but all of the smart playlists are empty in the iPod touch. After scouring Google it turns out that it’s probably Apple’s bug in the iPod touch OS. I’m using iOS 3.1.3 with iTunes 10 — it’s a first-generation iPod touch, so I don’t think Apple would bother fixing this bug for my iPod.

If you couldn’t see your smart playlists in your iPod touch but you can see that the individual songs within the playlists are synced, then try one of the following to the smart playlist:

  • Uncheck “live updating”.
  • Remove all Genre-based rules.
  • Add rule “Playlist is Music”.

Any one will do. What I did was I added the “Playlist is Music” rule in a “match all of the following” enclosing rule as shown below:


I added that rule to all of the smart playlists that are synchronized with the iPod touch.

Looks like Apple’s motto just works isn’t really true after all. Probably usually works is more appropriate.

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