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iTunes Playlists Tutorial

Welcome to our iTunes playlist tutorial — These free tutorials assume no prior knowledge of playlists in iTunes, and will start at the beginner level by explaining what playlists are, and gradually move on to more advanced topics like creating and editing smart playlists, burning CDs from iTunes, etc. We'll start this tutorial by explaining what a playlist is.

What is an iTunes playlist?

iTunes default song list By default, all your iTunes music is located in the Music section; as time passes, managing your music can become quite difficult without some form of organization. This is where playlists come into play. Not only will your music become more manageable, any group of songs matching your mood will then be just a click away.

iTunes Playlists Tutorials

iTunes playlist naming convention Playlists are virtual folders you can create to "filter" different songs or types of music. Regular playlists are just that: folders. But iTunes also supports "smart playlists": these are intelligent folders which can keep their content updated, following some conditions you create. iTunes could, for example, place a reference inside your "Salsa" smart playlist to any song whose description contains the world salsa. Smart playlists let you enjoy your music while iTunes keeps it organized. The tutorials that follow will show you how to use these two types of playlists in iTunes: "standard" playlists and smart playlists: create an iTunes playlist by dragging and dropping songs inside the playlist, or create a playlist from a selection of songs . Create a smart playlist with filters, like email rules, and see how you can edit a smart playlist after the fact.

Any playlist you already created can also be changed later on: rename it, add or remove songs from it, skip songs in the playlist, etc. Learn how to efficiently manage your iTunes playlists with these few simple tips - as you see on the screenshot, you can use your own naming conventions to group music styles together, playing on the fact that iTunes sorts your playlists alphabetically. Moreover, iTunes lets you create folders and subfolders to organize your music and playlists.

You can of course delete an old playlist, and backup or export your playlists out of iTunes.

Any playlist you created can be used to burn CDs from iTunes; this makes the task of selecting the songs to burn much easier. We will show you three ways to burn a playlist to CD directly from iTunes - you don't even need a CD-burning software; as long as your computer comes with a built-in CD or DVD burner, iTunes brings everything else to the table.

Feel free to experiment with playlist naming conventions; by default, iTunes sorts the content of each folder alphabetically. Using pseudo-prefixes, you can group related playlists without resorting to a cumbersome subfolder system. By the end of this tutorial, you will have all the tools needed to make a creative use of iTunes playlists.

As shown above, creating playlists can be quite useful; all these very different kinds of music come from the iTunes online store under the all-encompassing "World" genre. Smart playlists make finding your music (and keeping it automatically organized) as easy as it gets, and spares you the endless scroll of song listing in iTunes' default Music library.

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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