Apple: Smart Playlists stop updating

What do you know... Apple has posted a little TIL article entitled: "Smart Playlists stop updating dynamically on iPod." What a surprise...


by dfbills on Oct 07 | 10:30 pm


Notice how they say "this does not affect the iPod nano"!!
Anyone out there own a Nano? Perhaps they finally fixed it in the updated software in the Nano... and therefore the 5g's will also be fixed. Praise the lord!!

by genEric on Oct 08 | 11:23 pm

Oh, puh-leeeez, Apple! What's next?

"If you have an iPod with a battery, your battery may stop working after you update your iPod with iPod Updater 2005-06-26 or later. For example, if you plug your iPod into an AC outlet or a car charger it will work, but that same iPod won't have any power when disconnected from the power source.

To resolve this issue, connect your iPod to a power source such as an AC outlet or car adapter. This makes your iPod work again!

Note: This issue does not affect iPod nano (as continually going after new customers, and old customers who make new Apple purchases, is *much* more important to us than keeping our current customers happy!)

This document will be updated as more information becomes available.

*** COMING SOON: The disposable 'Bic' iPod. Use it once, throw it away! Just $49.95.

by Scott on Oct 10 | 11:25 am

if it works with the nano i bet updating the playlists was making the hard drive spin up and eating battery life. so maybe no fix for 5g, unless there's a preference for it in settings.

by chromo on Oct 10 | 11:45 am

I find it hard to believe that Apple would intentionally reduce the functionality of SPLs on the iPod by no longer allowing them to dynamically update. . . My experience in playing SPLs on my iPod (3rd gen, 'old' - - still working - - software that still updates SPLs on the fly!) is that the hard drive only spins to queue up new songs (every several songs or so. . .)

by Scott on Oct 10 | 1:45 pm

it wouldn't be the first time somebody cut a feature to help stabilize another. not the first time for apple, either. not that i have inside info on this particular thing. it's a strange thing to let slide for more than a year and that leads me to guess there was a problem.

on the other hand. they may have thought it was a feature, to stabilize the lists on the ipod - maybe people found it confusing, for instance, that when they filled an ipod with songs that hadn't played in the last week, those songs started disappearing from the playlist on the ipod as they used it.

the answer's up for grabs, right?

by chromo on Oct 10 | 2:42 pm

I agree with Chromo here. Remember, the same update that took away the dynamic updating of SPLs on the iPod added the Podcast functionality.

by talking_animal on Oct 11 | 11:14 pm

People, I'm sure it's just a bug.

I have a Nano, and SPLs based on Last Played or Play Count criteria (e.g. Last Played not in last 2 weeks or Play Count = 0) do update when you exit the playlist and go back to it.

by japester on Oct 12 | 10:45 pm

Does anyone know if SPLs will auto-update on the new iPod (i.e., the iPod with video capabilities?)

by Scott on Oct 14 | 10:18 am

I have an iPod nano, and this problem JUST started happening to me. It worked fine before. I have version 1.0, and my recently played list just decided NOT to update anymore tonight... ugh!

by Hypersky on Oct 20 | 3:48 am

This is SUCH bullcrap! One of my absolute favorite features of the iPod is the fact that I have thousands of songs, but smart playlists keep me from hearing the same ones over and over again. Now my 4th Gen 40Gig iPod has been wasted of its best feature!

Well I searched online and on LimeWire and found the 3-23-2005 iPod updater. I uninstalled from my PC all iPod updates and installed this one. Ran it, plugged in my iPod, and Restored the firmware back to version 3.0.2. SMART PLAYLISTS ARE BACK! Granted Podcasts now don't have their own "special" Menu, but they still transfer over to the iPod and play fine. I'll just go to my podcasts via album name or genre of podcast.

On another note, if Apple doesn't send out an update to bring the dynamic ability of SPLs back to older iPods, then this is the first and last Apple product I will ever own. Screw you Steve Jobs, you suck.

by yourfault1 on Nov 11 | 11:03 am

I had a Ipod 4G with the issue, now I have the Ipod 5G video and for 2 weeks no issues, my smart playlist are working well which is relief, because recreating them every so was a pain.

by Scooby on Nov 30 | 5:11 am

Great, so the solution to this issue is to hand over Apple an additional $400 for the newest iPod. That's great marketing Mr. Jobs, take away functionality from older products when newer ones are coming out and force them to upgrade! Imagine if the windows on your car stopped functioning after your first oil change, and the only solution was to get a new car? There would be a MAJOR outlash towards that car company! But Apple? Nothing. I wouldn't be surprised if the Pause button stopped working after the next update. Who cares? Just buy a newer iPod.

by yourfault1 on Nov 30 | 11:07 am

Well my 2 weeks joy ended this morning, I plugged my ipod 5G video to my computer, and smartplaylist were no longer, they were simple playlist :((((( grrrrrrr
It's a real pain since there is no way that I know off to backup playlist, so I have to re create them 1 by 1, because using 2 pcs I can't synch.
Apple please find a way to enhance that, it's ennoying when bying a 399$ product !!

by Scooby on Dec 02 | 5:36 am

hi guys ,

i am really outraged at this. SPL is my fav. feature and i guess others like it too. how come not many speaking it out?

anyway screw apple .. i am not going to buy their product ever again..

is there ne way we can get the old software for 4G ipod and make it money agian?

by harry on Dec 09 | 12:56 am

People, giving up all Apple products just because a smart playlist isn't working is overreacting. Calm down.

I have an update. I've got a favourite playlist, Unplayed Music, which gives me all music added in the last month but not played (Play Count = 0). I play this list and once done, all new music is played and is supposed to disappear. On my 5G iPod, the playlist doesn't update if I get out of it and go back in. It does work on my Nano, however.

I thought maybe some of the many conditions I stipulated were causing problems (Kind does not contain video, Podcast is False, etc.), so I cut them out, but it still does not update. I think this is an isolated bug related to the Play Count field because other playlists with time-based criteria (e.g. Not Played in last 1 month) do update.

If you haven't told Apple about it yet, please do so so that we can get this thing resolved www.apple.com/feedback/ipod.html

by japester on Dec 09 | 5:00 am

Hi everyone,
I have a 4th gen ipod... and until recently, I hadn't noticed anything about the smart playlists until I was browsing the Apple Discussion boards and read something about the dynamic playlists. Then I thought, 'Golly, it did update by itself when I first got the iPod... now it doesn't...' So, I've been very unhappy with Apple for messing up the playlists...

I've had to downgrade the ipod back to v.3.0.2 so I could have dynamic smart playlists... the thing that irks me is that every time I hook up to my pc, itunes and the Ipod software updater reminds me that I do not have the latest software... Of course I don't update, but that message is so annoying.

I really think that Apple is forcing consumers to go through drastic lengths to keep this feature...

by illaia on Dec 19 | 2:07 pm

Hi Illaia,

I also would like to downgrade to version 3.0.2. where can i get the software?

by harry on Dec 24 | 5:46 am

Illaia, Edit > Preferences > General tab, uncheck "Check for iTunes updates automatically" will take care of the annoying message.

by Ben on Dec 31 | 4:37 am

I have become incredibly cynical about Apple's feedback form. I'm completely convinced that every one of those submissions (at least those about the iPod) goes off into the ether, without ever being read. If they cared at all, my and your and everyone else's feedback about smart playlist updating, resetting of the clicker function, the need for a useful shuffle setting on the main menu, etc. etc. would have been addressed by now. As long as iPods are selling like hotcakes, they just don't care.

by Chuck Manson on Jan 05 | 12:47 pm

They finally fixed it! Get the new patch and your 4th gen (or older) iPod will update independently of your mothership. Hurray!

by JJames on Jan 11 | 4:28 am

I would be very impressed if this is true (so much so that I'd come back from the Dark side and stop my abhorrence towards Jobs and the Apple). Can anyone else confirm this? I've got playlists that dynamically update from other playlists (that dynamically update)... Sure hope that functionality is back! JJames - What does the software version under the 'About' screen on your iPod say?

by yourfault1 on Jan 11 | 8:51 am

in reply to yourfault1. it does appear that this update has fixed the "dynamic updating problem". I have a 4GB ipod mini. the new firmware is version 1.4.1 and it seems to adding new songs to the smartplaylists i've created without going anywhere near itunes!! YIPPEE!!! I have set up a simple playlist (30 mins of least played tracks) and disconnected from itunes, so if this is working like it should in 30 mins i should have a new playlist? will post again

by Nadav on Jan 11 | 2:50 pm

yup. that works fine :0)

by Nadav on Jan 11 | 4:11 pm

That's the best news I've heard about my iPod in the past 6 months! When I get home from work I'll run the updater and test it out. I've got a 40Gig 4th Gen B/W iPod - will post again with an update in a few hours.

by yourfault1 on Jan 11 | 4:18 pm

I've done further experimentation and I've found the one type of smart playlist that will not update if you leave it and come back to it is one which includes the criterion Playcount = 0. Extremely annoying because I use this playlist to quickly run through all songs imported but not yet heard.

I updated both my 5G and my Nano and on neither of them is this bug fixed.

by japester on Jan 11 | 5:16 pm
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