Create Smart Playlists in iTunes to Identify Track Location: iCloud, Apple Music, Etc.

Since the launch of Apple Music, your iTunes library can contain several different types of music files, and they can be stored in different locations. You may have files that you’ve ripped from CDs, which are stored on your Mac. Your library probably holds some music that you bought from the iTunes Store, which may be on your Mac, or may be in the cloud. And if you’ve signed up for Apple Music, you might have added some music to your iTunes library. It may be local, or it may be on Apple’s servers.

All this can be a bit confusing. While you don’t always need to know which tracks or on your Mac or in the cloud, it can be useful. For example, if you decide to not opt for an Apple Music subscription after your three-month trial expires, you’ll want to check and make sure that none of the music you’ve added from Apple Music to your iTunes library remains there. Or, if you need to make space on your drive, you might want to find which of your tracks are Apple music tracks or purchased tracks stored in the cloud, and delete the local copies.

You can find out where any tracks are stored using smart playlists. Here’s how.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.

You can download these playlists here, and add them to iTunes by choosing File > Library > Import Playlist, and selecting each one. These files contain all the smart criteria for the playlists, so you don’t have to set them up yourself.

14 thoughts on “Create Smart Playlists in iTunes to Identify Track Location: iCloud, Apple Music, Etc.

  1. Hmmm. “Option-Shift-Delete”?
    Shouldn’t that have read “Command-Option-Delete”? I’m wondering if my muscle memory is wrong…

  2. Hmmm. “Option-Shift-Delete”?
    Shouldn’t that have read “Command-Option-Delete”? I’m wondering if my muscle memory is wrong…

  3. In the article you say “Make sure that Live Updating is checked; this means that each time you view the contents of this smart playlist it will show you the latest tracks you’ve added to your Music library.” That’s not entirely accurate.

    When Live Updating is checked it means that this smartlist also gets updated when you edit ANY track or ANY other playlist. Otherwise, nested smartlists would stop working pretty soon.

    Of course, this is a bit besides the point in said article, but it’s still somewhat misleading information.

    • You’re right, but you’re also wrong. That sentence you quote is correct. When you view that smart playlist, it will always show you the latest items in your library that match its conditions. Naturally, every smart playlist in your library gets updated whenever there’s any change, but you don’t see them until you look at them. (Schrödinger’s smart playlist?) I discuss what you see when you look at that smart playlist; it would be the same for another smart playlist that uses that smart playlist as a condition, but you may not always want such smart playlists to update automatically. Nested smart playlists would not stop working if one of the playlists wasn’t set to update; they just wouldn’t change.

      In short, in the context of that article, what I said is entirely accurate.

      • Oh, sure, you are absolute right. I worded it badly, and my aim was, as i said, beyond the scope of this article. What i meant to say was, it’s not the whole truth of what this setting does, which might confuse people, or at the very least, provide them with a half-truth.

  4. In the article you say “Make sure that Live Updating is checked; this means that each time you view the contents of this smart playlist it will show you the latest tracks you’ve added to your Music library.” That’s not entirely accurate.

    When Live Updating is checked it means that this smartlist also gets updated when you edit ANY track or ANY other playlist. Otherwise, nested smartlists would stop working pretty soon.

    Of course, this is a bit besides the point in said article, but it’s still somewhat misleading information.

    • You’re right, but you’re also wrong. That sentence you quote is correct. When you view that smart playlist, it will always show you the latest items in your library that match its conditions. Naturally, every smart playlist in your library gets updated whenever there’s any change, but you don’t see them until you look at them. (Schrödinger’s smart playlist?) I discuss what you see when you look at that smart playlist; it would be the same for another smart playlist that uses that smart playlist as a condition, but you may not always want such smart playlists to update automatically. Nested smart playlists would not stop working if one of the playlists wasn’t set to update; they just wouldn’t change.

      In short, in the context of that article, what I said is entirely accurate.

      • Oh, sure, you are absolute right. I worded it badly, and my aim was, as i said, beyond the scope of this article. What i meant to say was, it’s not the whole truth of what this setting does, which might confuse people, or at the very least, provide them with a half-truth.

  5. I don’t think it confuses people. But I do agree that setting a playlist to live updating can have an impact beyond just that playlist. It’s just not the topic of the article.

    I have written about that for Macworld: here and here.

  6. I don’t think it confuses people. But I do agree that setting a playlist to live updating can have an impact beyond just that playlist. It’s just not the topic of the article.

    I have written about that for Macworld: here and here.

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