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In iTunes Match, why are Smart Playlists messed up?

30382 Views 101 Replies Latest reply: Jul 7, 2013 1:48 PM by Luke Noel-Storr RSS
  • Guy_S Calculating status...


    1. Any Smart Playlist that refers to another playlist will not upload to iCloud.  That is COMPLETELY ABSURD!!! I have many smart playlists that use "builder" lists to help refine what they contain.  Makes me want my money back.



    This can typically be overcome by using nested rules which can in most case eliminat the need to use "builder lists".


    To create a nested rule, in the smart playlist rule dialog, press the option key, the + button will then turn into a ... button and let you create a nested subrule.

    Screen Shot 2011-11-19 at 2.32.10 PM.png


    And yes, I agree these are stupid limitations and a serious oversight on Apple's part. Like Steve Jobs like to say it should have just worked.

  • Mike Connelly Level 4 Level 4 (1,785 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2011 7:42 AM (in response to Guy_S)

    Apple definitely needs to fix both issues (along with many others), the smart playlist issues are a deal breaker.  And while some things can be worked around by doing the rules differently, that doesn't work for everything, some things just require nested playlists.

  • Rangeshooter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I agree, Apple shouldn't expect their customers to figure out a workaround to a deficiency in their software. If iTunes lets you create nested playlists then iCloud should work with the capabilities iTunes provides. If it does not, then it is not ready for prime time.

  • Christopher E. Calculating status...

    I completely agree. This is the primary reason I haven't signed up for Match. There's no way I'm redoing the smart playlists I've been crafting for years.

  • Happy Dad Calculating status...

    Smart playlists are totally f'd up.


    I have abandoned Match on my iTune and reverted back to syncing with USB/Wifi.  BUT, the Smart Playlists are still messed up.  They are correct on the computer but on the iPhone they sync the wrong content or none at all.


    Apple should be firing people over this absurb mess.

  • argussupply Calculating status...

    Avoid iTunes Match at this point because of this issue.  I created an "Adele" playlist on my iPad a couple of days ago.  Today, I noticed that this playlist had replicated itself over six thousand times!  I was not able to delete these empty playlists as they propogated to all of my connected devices (iPhone, iPad, MacBook).

    My only working solution was to turn off iTunes Match, and restore my devices by setting them up as new.  Major pain in the ....

    Anyway, until Apple resets the Match server and fixes this issue, it is totally unusable.  I'm a developer, and participated in the beta for this product.  Apple really should have not released this unstable product.

  • Rangeshooter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    To be completely fair, Apple has introduced a couple features in the smart playlist that removed my need to build nested playlists. I'm not saying that nested playlists are not needed but there are 'new' features that let me build a playlist without the need to reference another playlist. One of those features are "rules". As someone earlier suggested, rules let you do two things. One, they let you create a subset of conditions that are treated as one single condition in the parent. The second thing they do is actually very powerful; the ability to "include".


    One of the reasons I HAD to build nested playlists in the first place was because playlists were initially built by exclusion. Statements that contain "not" or "does not contain' conditional statements. For example, 'Genre is not Trance'. You could not build a playlist by including genres.


    Apparently now you CAN use "rules" to include genres. So I can create a "Rock" smart playlist that has a subset rule that says "any of the follow are true"; "Genre is Rock, Genre is Metal, Genre is Hard Rock (or you could say Genre contains Rock).


    In any event, with much effort, I rebuilt my playlists with the rule features which replaced my original playlists that referenced other playlists. The rebuilt playlists actually served the same function. Now all my playlists are iCloud compliant and they actually function very well in the iCloud. (Another useful feature is "media kind" which helped limit playlists to music only or any number of other types of media. This alone helped eliminate nested playlists)


    Having said that, I'm NOT happy that I had to spend several hours rebuilting my playlists using the added features to become compliant to Apple's "way" of doing things. It's very reminicent of the iphone antenna "you're holding it wrong" issue. In the end, I now have the exact same playlists (albeit, the logic behind them was changed) and they are iCloud compliant.  Granted, I haven't figured out how to make Genius playlists work yet.

  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,150 points)

    Rangeshooter, perhaps you can help me with a Smart Playlist I have. Here are the conditions I have set up:

    Screen Shot 2011-11-19 at 7.24.53 PM.png

    I use this Smart Playlist to sync to my iPhone and keep the music rotating. However, on my iPad and iPhone this same playlist has 7800+ tracks in it. Obviously not respecting the 1000 item limit I've specified.

  • Rangeshooter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Michael, unfortunately I'm in the same boat. While I rebuilt my playlists to be iCloud compliant, the iPhone/iPad music app apparently is not. I have playlists that are restricted to a particular MB size however on the iPhone/iPad they show ALL the songs within the playlist (ignoring the size limit on the playlist). They also do not follow the "media kind" condition because music videos are also showing up in the same playlist on my iPhone/iPad. The sliver lining is it does seem to work between my iMac and my MacBook Pro. I'm assuming that Apple will fix this issue on the iPad/Iphone in a future release.

  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,150 points)

    Drat! I had hoped you had found The Secret. Heh. Thanks for looking at my playlist, though.

  • Calbrecht88 Calculating status...

    *FIX: (well workaround for the length issue)- I added a "Date Adder is after" into my search criteria. While that may make your playlist become infinitly longer depending on your import habits, its better than having 5000 songs in one playlist, and with everything itunes, your mileage may vary. See picture below:

    Screen shot 2011-11-21 at 8.36.57 AM.png

    (yes I actually like country)

  • johnharbo Calculating status...

    I created new smart playlists that are pretty simple (not nesting) -- just "all classical music between 1820 and 1829" kinds of lists. On the IOS device, the sort order is totally random. Totally impractical for classical music which has more than one "song" in a work.

  • Christopher E. Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks for your comments, Rangeshooter. After saying I wouldn't sign up until they changed the way smart playlists work, my desire for OTA syncing won out. I invested the time to alter my playlists. Everything isn't exactly the way I had it, although some things are actually improved through rethinking the process. So far, things have been working quite well. I'm syncing an iMac, a Mac Mini, an iPhone 4, and an iPhone 3G that I just use as a music player now. The smart playlists seem to be syncing correctly, and aside from a few hiccups everything is working smoothly.


    I'm very glad I signed up for iTunes Match.

  • idrinkdeodorant Calculating status...

    hoffmanFamily4, can you please submit these to the Apple Feedback site? There's no other good way for Apple to know you are having these problems!

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