How To: Autofill Your iPhone with Music

iTunes 8.1 brought us some snazzy improvements to Party Shuffle iTunes DJ and the iPhone's Remote app. That wasn't the only iPhone-related improvement, however, as Ars Techica notes, there's a new feature that used to be reserved for the iPod Shuffle that you can now use for the iPhone: Autofill.

Autofill essentially lets you just fill up the empty space on your iPhone with some randomly chosen music (you can choose to leave some space open for installing apps and the like later on). As somebody who's not really into constantly creating playlists and managing albums, it's a nice option. A nice option that's squirreled away in a pretty difficult to find place.

After the break, we walk you through the steps (courtesy of the Ars Article) screenshot-by-screenshot.

Step 1: Set iTunes to manually manage your music on the iPhone

In the "Summary" tab for the iPhone, check "Manually manage music and videos." This shouldn't erase any of the previously-auto-synced music, but it will mean that your previous auto-sync settings won't work anymore.

Step 2: Find that darn Autofill button

Now that you can manually manage music on your iPhone, you're free to create playlists on the device, drag and drop albums, the whole shootin' match. Additionally, you can, yes, autofill the sucker. To do all that, just click the little triangle next to the iPhone to get a drop down of all your device playlists. Select the Music section and then you'll see your Autofill settings on the lower-right.

Step 3: Adjust Settings

Before you go ahead and auto-fill, you'll want to take a moment to visit the autofill settings:

The setting for "reserve space for disk use" is a little unclear, as you likely are already using plenty of disk space for your previous video, music, and apps. Adjust as you like to choose how much music you'd like to auto-fill with and then decide whether or not you'd like iTunes to give priority to highly-rated songs. Click ok, click "Autofill" and watch your music fly on into your iPhone.

Dieter Bohn

Dieter Bohn is former editor-in-chief of Smartphone Experts, writing across iMore, Windows Phone Central, Android Central, and more. You can find him on Twitter (and everywhere else) @backlon.

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There are 7 comments. Add yours.

Alex says:

Nice feature - thanks for bringing it to our attention. I'll never use cause I like having control over what I can download to the the teenie weenie amount of iPhone space I have left for music (vintage 8g gen1 iphone user here). Perhaps on the next 32GB iphone when there's more wiggle room...

Omari James says:

Um. I swear I did this for my friend 2 months ago when 8.1 wasn't even mentioned. I auto-filled her iPhone one day.

Richard says:

Omari, if you did thats great cause i've been waiting for something like this for a while. I love it with my Shuffle and its great for all iPods. The iPhone was missing it for some reason, it's a perfect feature when you have an endless library.

Angel says:

I find my phone works best when it isn't completely full. I usually leave at least 150 megs free... just in case.

thone maphixat says:

is it possible to load music from a media player if so how?

celebrityx says:

if we use autofill... are my voice memos gonna get synced!? ... dont think so now. why cant apple just make that seperate! grrr, communists ;P