Another Ipod synching question - "negative" playlist?

Okay, say I’ve got all my music grouped into the following playlists –

  • Rock
  • Pop
  • Blues and R&B
  • Classical
  • Jazz
  • World

I want my Ipod to synch all the content of these lists except for certain specific tracks which I have put into a new playlist

  • Don’t synch these songs

Any way to get this to work?

I don’t want to use the checkmarks to eliminate tracks, because that will screw up synching to other people’s Ipods.

I also don’t want to create a new genre for “Don’t synch”

I also don’t want to create a duplicate set of playlists whose only difference is that the “Don’t synch” songs aren’t in them.

So, is what I want to do possible? Is there any way to say “Synch A+B+C, but don’t synch any tracks in those lists that are also in list D”?

As far as I know, there is no way to do what you want. A wizard may come along and correct me, but I’m pretty sure that if “Hungarian Rhapsody” is in the “Classical” playlist, and you tell iTunes to sync the “Classical” playlist, the only way to not get “Hungarian Rhapsody” on your iPod is to uncheck it.

You can set some limits using smart playlists. But AFIK, there’s no boolean ‘not a member of playlist X’. You could kludge it by giving every member of playlist X some view option, say ‘season number = 99’, that nothing else shares, and then have your smart playlist filter such songs. As I said, it’s kludgery.

Actually, there is — at least in iTunes until OS X, and it’s hard to imagine it would be much different in Windows. Create a new Smart Playlist with the criterion “Playlist” “is not” “Don’t synch these songs”. Then go to the iPod control window, and under the “Music” tab tell the iPod to sync “Selected playlists, artists and genres”, and select just the new Smart Playlist you created. That should do the trick.

The one caveat, now that I look at this procedure, is that it will also synch any tracks in your iTunes library that aren’t on any of the six lists you mentioned. I don’t know how much of a problem this would be for your collection.

Thanks for the responses! This is quite a puzzle. As I said before, I don’t want to use checkmarks because it would make other synching complicated.

I’ve also tried what MikeS suggests. The problem there is that I just end up with one playlist on my pod. I’d still like to have all the other categories.

The only other thing I can think of is to duplicate all my playlists and eliminating the unwanted tracks from the second set. I’m not sure I’m going to do that though.

Could you do as MikeS suggests but when playing music on you iPod, select to play by genre?

In the “Grouping” or “Comments” field of your songs, enter the word “EXCLUDE” or some other tag. In your smart playlist enter the criteria “Grouping DOES NOT CONTAIN ‘EXCLUDE’”

For purposes of illustration in the OP, I gave the playlists the same name as my genres. In reality, I have a complex system of playlists, including playlists for every decade since the 1930s. And most tracks appear in more than one playlist.

This doesn’t seem to be any different than what MikeS is suggesting, does it? The point is that I don’t want to create a separate, single playlist for this pod.

I do appreciate all the effort. It’s good to see I’m not the only one obsessed with sorting on my Ipod.

Ah, good point. I had forgotten that would happen.

At the very least, you can use smart playlists to make this less labour-intensive: you can create a smart playlist called, say, “Rock (selected)” that contains tracks for which “Playlist is ‘Rock’” and “Playlist is not ‘Don’t synch these tracks’”.

Good point. That might be the best way.

I didn’t think you could exclude by playlist.

The checkmarks are there for that explicit purpose - excluding songs from synching to an ipod. I can only seeing this be an issue if you only want to exclude those songs from synching if they appear in certain playlists but not others. What are you using checkmarks for currently that they interfere with you using them for synching exclusion?

That’s pretty much the easiest way to do it. If you are worried about the labor involved in deleting the excluded songs, just make the second one a smart playlist instead. “Is playlist Jazz” + “Is not playlist Exclude-from-ipod”.

Those are pretty much the two easiest ways to do what you describe. It’s possible there are other ways, for example, if you are just trying to exclude music videos because they take up more room. But to be more helpful, maybe you could give us some idea as to why you want certain songs to appear in your playlists except if you are synching the songs to your ipod.

Actually, even if you don’t need more help, I’m super curious as to what you are trying to do exactly and why!

To put it simply there ismore than one Ipod involved and the owners have different requirements. I use the checkmarks only for tracks that shouldn’t be synched to any of the pods.

Shows how to set up a sync exclude smart playlist and then an auto playlist that by default has everything else in it. So you don’t have to always make sure your songs are included, you just confirm which ones to exclude.

Cool! I’ll check it out.