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Create iTunes playlists from a selection of songs

iTunes allows you to create a new playlist "on the fly", based on the songs you have currently selected. Before we show you how to create a playlist from a selection, we will explain how you can create complex selections on Mac and Windows. If you already know about complex selection, you can skip to the actual playlist creation.

Don't be discouraged if this feels intimidating, complex selections are actually quite simple despite their name. And this new knowledge can be applied anywhere else in Windows or Mac (to select some files in a folder, for example).

Selecting consecutive songs

Continuous selection in iTunesSelecting a group of consecutive songs works the same way on Mac and Windows: start by clicking the first song you'd like from the list; then, release the mouse button and hold down the Shift key; finally, while keeping the Shift key held down, click on the last song you would like to select. The first and last songs you selected, along with any song in between, are now selected, and ready to be dragged somewhere else, or used to create a playlist.

Making complex selections

Complex song selection in iTunesWhat if Using the technique described above. Then, manually deselect each song you do not want: hold down the Ctrl key (Windows) or Command key (Mac), and -while still holding down the Ctrl/Command key- click on each of the song you want to deselect from your group selection. Likewise, to add any other song to your selection, Ctrl/Command click each new song. If the selection falls down to a single item, you probably released the Ctrl/Command key by accident.

Making consecutive complex selections (Windows only)

This Windows selection technique allows you to combine the best of both worlds: by holding down the Ctrl key, select individual songs; if the Shift key is pressed, all songs between the song you selected last and the song you just clicked on will be selected. The selection below can be done faster with the technique we just outline, but can also be done by selecting songs 1 through 10, and then manually unselected songs 5, 6, and 7.

Song selection for iTunes playlist creation
- above: an example of consecutive complex selections -

Creating a playlist from your selection

Create an iTunes playlist from selected songsNow that you have selected all the songs with which to create a playlist, click New Playlist from Selection from iTunes' File menu. iTunes will create a new playlist, and name it either after the album name (if all selected songs/pieces come from the same album), or call it "untitled playlist" if the songs come from different albums.

New playlist created from selectionJust start typing over the name you would like for your playlist, and hit Enter/Return to accept it. To add new songs later on to your playlist, simply drag them from iTunes main song list to your playlist, or from another playlist into your newly created playlist.

Creating playlists from a selection is that simple. In one of the next tutorials, we will cover "smart playlists", or intelligent iTunes playlists which update themselves automatically: now try creating a smart playlist.

iTunes Tutorial

Unless specified otherwise, our free iTunes tutorials apply to both Mac OS X or Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

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