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How to Create a Playlist on iTunes

It’s projected that about 1.65 billion people around the world own at least one Apple device. One of the most influential parts of Apple’s popularity is their music service, iTunes.

But even though many of us have been using iTunes for over a decade, not everyone knows how to make a proper playlist. So how do you make a playlist on iTunes? And can you make a playlist on iTunes on Mac?

That’s what we’re here to look at today. Read on to find out more about how you can create a playlist on iTunes.

What Is an iTunes Playlist?

So what’s an iTunes playlist anyway? Why do we need to distinguish it from playlists on other platforms?

A playlist here is a set or compilation of songs, podcasts, shows, audiobooks, and other kinds of media that you want to group together. You might compile it based on artist, genre, theme, or even mood.

You can either set the playlist to play in a specific order or just randomly add songs that you want and let it play in a “shuffle.” Playlists are great ways to hear a specific set of songs instead of going through an album or single.

Why Do People Make Playlists?

A lot of people might make playlists to fit a certain activity or occasion. For example, a homeowner might make a “dinner party” playlist made up of classy and relaxing tunes on their iTunes account.

Many people compile a set of upbeat and exciting songs for a workout playlist. Alternatively, someone might cook up a bedtime playlist to listen to when they’re about to go to sleep.

Others might make iTunes playlists because they just want to hear a specific set of songs from different albums. These might be songs all from a single artist or ones that are in the same genre.

The point is that people make playlists to evoke a mood, fit an occasion, or simply optimize their music listening experience. With all that out of the way, let’s go over the different types of iTunes playlists that you can create.

Types of iTunes Playlists

There are five different types of iTunes playlists that are available to Apple users. The first one you can create manually, but the other four are generated by iTunes itself.

Let’s break down what each of these is and how they work:

Standard Playlist

A standard playlist is exactly what the name suggests. It’s a playlist that you’d make on practically any other music service made up of songs that you just want to be included in a compilation.

It’s usually done by manually creating a blank playlist and dragging the songs you want into that list. We’ll get into how to make these playlists in more detail later.

You can edit these playlists whenever you want and delete them just as easily as you create them. Users can also remove specific songs and change the name of the playlists as they choose.

Smart Playlist

Making Smart playlists is when we start to get into some of the more complex worlds of automation. You basically lay down the criteria for the playlists you want, and iTunes generates one for you.

You usually specify the genre of the music you want while also jotting down the time period of the music. You can even specify a few keywords if you want to really get into the nitty-gritty.

Genius Shuffle

Genius is a service that Apple’s been pushing on iTunes for a while. It’s basically something that recognizes your tastes and preferences to build a more personalized listening experience.

With Genius Shuffle, iTunes chooses a song to play for you when you can’t figure out what you want to hear. They then generate an entire playlist based on that shuffle.

Genius Playlist

Genius Playlist is similar to Shuffle, but you start out by choosing the first song yourself. Genius then automatically generates a playlist based on that song’s characteristics.

Genius Mixes

Genius Mixes gets more into the specific details of your genre tastes. You start out by choosing a specific genre, and iTunes creates a Genius Mix that fits into that genre similar to a radio station.

How to Create a Playlist on iTunes

We now know what types of playlists are available on iTunes, but how do we make them? We’re going to focus on the standard playlist here since they’re manually generated and have a few more steps than the Genius ones.

We’re going to look at how you can create playlists on different devices that support iTunes, including your phone, tablet, or desktop and laptop.

Doing It on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Android

If you’re using a phone or other mobile device with Apple iTunes installed, you first need to go to the Music app. You’ll find Library at the bottom of the screen that has all your downloaded songs.

Hit “Playlists” and tap “New Playlist” to create a new list. Name your playlist with whatever you want, then start putting in songs by hitting “Add Music.”

Apple lets you search for the music that you want through their search engine. You can then tap to add each song then hit “Done” once your playlist is good to go.

Creating Playlist on Mac or PC

If you’re on a desktop computer or laptop and have iTunes installed, start by opening the program. Once you do so, go under File, hit New, and select Playlist.

The sidebar on the left will show your new unnamed playlist. Put in a name and start adding music.

You can drag songs from your library straight into the playlist. By holding Cntrl or Command, depending on whether you have a Mac or PC, you can put multiple songs into the playlist at once.

Editing Your iTunes Playlist

If you want to tweak your iTunes playlist, there are many options available. Obviously, you can add songs as you see fit, but you can also change the ordering if you want the playlist to go in a certain order.

Deleting songs is easy, as you can just select specific songs to cast out of your playlist. If you’ve got a lot of duplicate songs in a big playlist, we have an article that lays out how you can delete those here.

Create a Playlist on iTunes Today

Playlists are excellent tools to boost an event or workout session, but it’s also just fun to vibe out to a specific musical mood. Use this article to help you create a playlist on iTunes today!

For more informative articles on iTunes and other topics, check out the rest of our site!

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