iTunes Play Counts for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad


Apple's iTunes News feed offers some helpful advice on Play Count for Smart Playlist users, especially those with iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads:

In addition to the Internet and your local network, iTunes is also alert to a different kind of network -- the one made up of the iPhones, iPods (and soon iPads) that it runs on, as well as the computer you sync them with. Whether tracks have been played since the last sync is part of the information that gets updated when you sync. As a result, smart playlists using criteria such as "most often played" and "least recently played" update based on your overall experience and not just what you've done on any one particular device. By the way, if the play count for tracks ever gets out of whack, it's easy to reset it. Just select the track(s) in list view in your library, right click (or control-click on a Mac), and choose Reset Play Count.

I stopped using smart playlists because, the way I had them set up, they'd often remove a podcast I was only part of the way through listening too. If anyone has tried this method and gotten better results, let me know in the comments!

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iTunes Play Counts for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad


That's why playlists are under Music and are synced separately from Podcasts. Smart playlists are great, and the customization in the Podcast syncing is great, too. I use smart playlists with play counts, and it's very useful, but it has nothing to do with podcast syncing. You can, for example, sync the 3 most recent unplayed podcasts, and even select which podcasts from which it chooses the most recent 3 unplayed. Also, a half-played podcast is considered unplayed. All the syncing options in iTunes are so great that I fail to see why you are having problems.

It would be really great if this worked for everyone.
The smart playlists that I had set up, stopped showing up on my 3G iPhone after the most recent update. The smart playlists where not live updating when I synced my phone. I found a stupid work around in the apple forums but why doesn't it work right in the first place? Basically I have to have a smart playlist linked to my missing smart playlist that then allows the playlist to update on its own. It had something to do with "live updating" being checked. The podcast smart playlist I made was fixed in a whole different way. Apparently this has been an issue for some people for a while but not a large enough issue for apple to fix it. I agree with Muero that the syncing options are great, when they work...

Ok that's great and all but why do my smart playlists for 'Recently Added' and 'Recently Played' still sync in reverse order to my iPhone unless live updating is turned off????

I too was having the "Live Updating" problem for some time now but I seem to have cleared it. I selected the playlist (recently added) selected the Date Added column. Right cliicked the playlist and selected Copy To Play Order. I then added a few songs and they synced corectly.

I have a smart playlist of "Podcast" "Playcount less than one" "Kind not MPEG-4 or Quicktime" which gives me all my new audio podcasts in one playlist on my iPhone and they automatically delete once I have listened to them to the end. It works perfectly. Don't know why I bought a 32GB now - never use anything like that much, I just keep listening to podcasts!

The thing is, this should be fixed , screw workarounds, it was working perfectly, so they are capable of doing it right. end of discussion.

Was there anything useful in this post? Even an iTune noob could figure this out. What a wasted post.
The Live Updating bug that came with iTunes 9 is piss poor. A PITA that should never be. I thought the big deal was that Apple cared about it's users. It's been close to 9 months that this has been broke. As others have said, it used to work so it's not like we're asking for the moon.

Nice post, congratulations sire.When will the Turkish language? With love from Turkey, respects.

That's a good review. I don't want to messup with my play list if i had so many songs to play

Was there anything useful in this post? Even an iTune noob could figure this out. What a wasted post.

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