I have a 160GB iPod Classic that is almost filled to the brim with media: songs, podcasts, movies, tv shows, and photos. Just in music alone, I could fill my 16GB iPhone 3G many times over. I wish my iPhone had 32GB or, heck, since we're wishing, I'll go for 120GB or the equivalent of my iPod. Alas, I have 16GB to work with and I want to carry plenty of apps, photos, podcasts, and videos with me and there's little room around the edges to squeeze in some of my favorite tunes. However, there is a way to keep your music fresh and updated so it seems like you are carrying far more music on your iPhone than you may have thought. Read on to find out how!
The secret to making your iPhone feel like a 160GB iPod Classic juggernaut is just a few mouse clicks away on your iTunes. Just click on "File" in iTunes, then New Smart Playlist. See where this is going? When you select New Smart Playlist, you can customize a playlist and instruct your iTunes about what music to look for and then keep your iPhone updated with a constant flow of fresh material. It's a bit like rotating your entire music collection through your iPhone a 100 songs (or whatever you want) at a time.
You can get quite specific with your selection of music. You can instruct iTunes to seek out and load music that has been most recently played or least recently played. You can set the rules for iTunes to follow - like using the rating system in iTunes to select only music that you have given a 1 - 5 star rating. What, you mean you haven't rated your music?
Well, if you're like me, you haven't paid much attention to the rating system or even cared to know why it's there. If you take the time, though, and rate your favorite music, then your Smart Playlist can become much more meaningful as iTunes searches your music library for songs that you have rated. To rate your music, just click in the Rating column next to the songs you want to rate and then give them a rating, anywhere from one to five stars. In the Smart Playlist, if you set the range to include only your most favorite songs, then you can expect your Smart Playlist (and thus your iPhone) to always rotate your favorite songs each time you sync.
Smart Playlists aren't just limited to songs. You can instruct iTunes to select all kinds of media, like podcasts, to be added to your Smart Playlist and then synced with your iPhone for your enjoyment. In this manner, you can rotate your media from the vast reservoirs of storage on your desktop or laptop to the limited space on your iPhone, always keeping it fresh. If you haven't played around with your Smart Playlist, give it a try today and post your feedback in Comments. You might find a way to use this feature that works well for you and then feel free to share it with the rest of us!