iTunes sends unwanted parent playlists to iPod Video

I just bought an 80 GB fifth generation iPod. It's a nice step up from my previous 4 GB iPod Mini.

Just like with my Mini before, I have four smart playlists enabled on my iPod. They are set to auto-update with fresh music every day.

The four playlists all depend on another smart playlist I have set up in iTunes called "Do Not Copy To iPod". This is where I put all the stuff I wouldn't normally want to hear shuffled during the work day, like audiobooks, movies, and stuff that belongs to other members of my family. It also includes anything that's been played in the last few days.

The four playlists are then set to exclude anything in the "Do Not Copy To iPod" playlist. I've had my Mini set like this since I got it, and every day it refreshes with new music.

However, when my new iPod syncs, iTunes copies both the set of four checked playlists AND the unchecked and much larger "Do Not Copy To iPod" playlist. About half of the files on my iPod end up being stuff I don't want to listen to. My shuffle capability is no longer useful.

My Mini still works like a charm. It only copies the four playlists I tell it to, even though they reference the "Do Not Copy To iPod" playlist.

Apparently, the new iPod is trying to copy all "parent" playlists, regardless of whether you ask for them or not.

Does anyone know how to stop this from happening? Is anyone else having this problem?

by Louis on Dec 23, 06 | 4:01 am


This sounds simple, but have you checked to make sure that you're simply not auto-sync'ing all playlists to the video iPod?

by dfbills on Dec 31, 06 | 10:37 pm

I suspect dfbills has a point, but in addition, here's an idea to restore your shuffling. Create a new smart playlist that is made up of your four desired smart playlists, and then simply cue that up and play away while at work.

by RB3 on Jan 01, 07 | 9:34 pm

Thanks for your help. dfbills, I did check that I was not syncing all my MUSIC playlists (check the foreshadowing). I tried your suggestion, RB3, and had the same result.

I finally called Apple support. She told me that the software was written to do that (!), and that other people have been complaining about the same problem since the last software update. She didn't have any solution except to manually sync.

That seemed really weird, but I was about to give up and just use manual syncing from now on, until it hit me out of the blue...

What's the big difference between this new iPod and my Mini? Video. Hmm, I have two movies on the iPod. I turned off movie syncing just to see what would happen. Sure enough, the errant playlists vanished!

Then I saw the options: All Movies (which I always had it on), All unwatched movies (etc), Selected Movies or (hidden in a pop up menu) Selected PLAYLISTS. Since dealing with iPod movies is new to me, I never realized that the Movies and TV Show tabs have their own *%@# playlist lists. DOH! Changing from "All Movies" to "Selected Playlists" kept out all the errant playlists, including the "Do Not Copy To iPod" list (which specifically had MOVIES in it).

Sheesh. I would never make a "Movie Playlist" so it never occured to me that they would even exist or be an option. I assumed the video tabs were the same as the Podcast tab, which I was familiar with and which doesn't have a "Playlists" option. Boy, was I wrong.

So it was user error all along. At least I have the satisfaction of knowing it stumped the Apple tech too. :D

by Louis on Jan 02, 07 | 8:01 am

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