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Use iTunes' Copy to Play Order to control iPod song order Apps
I am a heavy-duty iTunes/iPod user, and my life revolves around a couple of Smart Playlists. The following may seem obvious to some, but I have never read about it here or elsewhere.

Suppose you have a Smart Playlist that selects a bunch of tracks to play each day. You have certain options up front for how to organize your tracks -- such as Random, by Artist, by Album, by Genre, etcetera. A problem arises if you select by anything but Random. If you sync your iPod to your computer without completely listening to your Smart Playlist, then iTunes appends new tracks to the end of the playlist. That is, the originally chosen organizing element can seem to get lost.

However, if you use the column organizers at the top and select "Artist" (for example), you can reorganize the playlist how you want it. Then control-click on the playlist name in the Source column and select Copy To Play Order from the pop-up menu. The playlist order will now 'stick' the way you want it to.

I like to listen to my iPod with all the tracks by each artist played together. And alphabetical by artist helps me to identify what I am hearing without looking at the iPod screen. But with this hint, you can have one playlist and organize it differently every day. Such as reverse alphabetical, or by genres, or whatnot. Again this might seem obvious but I really never have seen it documented. Hope it helps somebody.
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Use iTunes' Copy to Play Order to control iPod song order
Authored by: jamieph on Aug 25, '05 10:04:40AM

I don't like to listen to my playlists in order, so I always shuffle by album. This way, even if the list gets out of order, my playlist still plays in order, at least by album.



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I don't get it...
Authored by: lullabud on Aug 25, '05 02:26:11PM

Am I the only one who really doesn't understand what's going on here? I use lot's of smart playlists and several ordinary playlists too, and I'm thinking this might be something I could use, but I'm actually not quite sure what it's doing. Can somebody paraphrase?



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I don't get it...
Authored by: genericuser on Aug 25, '05 04:20:38PM

"Play List Order" is the order in which songs are in a play list when not in a random order. When you right click on a playlist, the order of the songs as they *appear* in the playlist is copied to the "list" of songs that define how they are ordered.

It is most clear with random songs. I create a playlist, about 10 hours long. I want it to play in a random order on my iPod, but I want it in a *predictable* random order, so I can come back to the playlist later and pick up where I left off.

So I create my playlist, while browsing through the library. Good deal, playlist done. It is in alphabetical order by artist, because that is how I inserted all the songs into the playlist. So I tell iTunes to randomize it. Gee, looks random, but the playlist itself is still in the previous alphabetical order. "Copy to Play Order" copies the random ordering created by iTunes into the play list order, so when my iPod syncs, the "non-random" order of the playlist is the random order created by iTunes. Handy!

This is actually documented in iTunes help, but not very well.



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Play Order defaults to Displayed Order?
Authored by: lullabud on Aug 25, '05 04:43:43PM

So, let me clarify this...

The default play order is the order in which the items in the playlist appear within iTunes. You can override the default order by changing the playlist to the order you prefer, right-clicking on the playlist name and hitting "copy to play order". That order then takes precedence over the default displayed order.

Does that sound right? If so, that does sound very handy, and it would lead me to wonder why they don't let you specify a different default, such as alphabetical by song title, to be the default. I hate it when I forget to order my lists that way and then I go trying to find a particular song.



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I don't get it...
Authored by: sneeka2 on Aug 26, '05 08:46:45PM

That just solved an issue that started to bug me big time.

I am usually listening to my Top Rated playlist on my iPod. It's sorted by song name, so whenever I want to listen to a specific song and want all my other top rated songs after that, it's easy to pick it from the Top Rated list and have the rest played in random order. The problem arises when I rate songs on my iPod. They appear in the Top Rated playlist, but just tucked to the end. So the order in the playlist is now A-Z and all newly rated songs appear after that in the order they were rated. Which makes it impossible in the long run to easily pick a specific song, since I can't really predict where it is in the list.

But this hint just solved the problem. I still don't like that I need to manually resort them though.



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Use iTunes' Copy to Play Order to control iPod song order
Authored by: Serj on Aug 26, '05 12:22:22AM

Thanks a zillion for this hint ! It wil be very useful !



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Use iTunes' Copy to Play Order to control iPod song order
Authored by: darkbytes on Oct 29, '05 07:56:44PM

For weeks I've wondered why my CNN News podcasts don't show up in the same order in my ipod as they do when viewing the same smart playlist in my ipod through itunes. For weeks I also didn't know what "Copy To Play Order" meant. Now I know both. Thanks :)

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-kd



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Use iTunes' Copy to Play Order to control iPod song order
Authored by: rockr on Dec 31, '05 04:49:38PM

Thank you for this incredibly useful tip. For those who don't understand its purpose, when iTunes creates a smart playlist, it seems to add songs without rhyme or reason. You can manually arrange songs, but that's a gargantuan task when a smart playlist contains hundreds or thousands of songs. You can also sort using the various columns, but that defeats the purpose of having the number column. With this tip, you can sort by artist or any other column, and then have that order stick when using the number column. I personally like to keep songs sorted by artist. If I want random playback, there's always shuffle. Again, thank you!



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Does "copy to play order" ever not work for you?
Authored by: scstraus on Dec 01, '06 05:26:30AM

Hi, I've been using this functionality for years, but sometimes, especially lately, it just doesn't work. I do copy to play order, but the play order remains all disorganized. I try everything on certain playlists, selecting all tracks, etc. It just never changes the play order. Really annoying. Right now I'm using itunes 7.0.2

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I came into this game for the action, the excitement. Go anywhere, travel light, get in, get out, wherever there's trouble, a man alone.



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Does "copy to play order" ever not work for you?
Authored by: Unbathed on Dec 09, '06 08:19:14AM

My iPod Shuffle (original model) has been ignoring the play-order, too. My iTunes is 7.02, Mac OS X version. Something broke I guess.

I'm trying to work around the problem by setting up a non-smart playlist with tunes in the correct order, and then filling the Shuffle with that (with full replacement).



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Does "copy to play order" ever not work for you?
Authored by: scstraus on Dec 02, '06 05:18:18AM

Hi, I've been using this functionality for years, but sometimes, especially lately, it just doesn't work. I do copy to play order, but the play order remains all disorganized. I try everything on certain playlists, selecting all tracks, etc. It just never changes the play order. Really annoying. Right now I'm using itunes 7.0.2

---
I came into this game for the action, the excitement. Go anywhere, travel light, get in, get out, wherever there's trouble, a man alone.



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Does "copy to play order" ever not work for you?
Authored by: technolawyer on May 28, '07 01:02:48PM

I've been using this functionality for years, but sometimes, especially lately, it just doesn't work. I do copy to play order, but the play order remains all disorganized. I try everything on certain playlists, selecting all tracks, etc. It just never changes the play order. Really annoying. Right now I'm using itunes 7.0.2

This happens to me as well. Fortunately, I only use Smart Playlists in which case the solution is simple. Just delete and then recreate the Smart Playlist. Copy to Play Order will then work. Obviously, this solution is not acceptable for a manual playlist, but it may be your only option.



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Use iTunes' Copy to Play Order to control iPod song order
Authored by: Haven Sweet on Dec 10, '06 09:35:26PM

I should note that this works on any play list, not just smart ones. Anyone who does books on tape can use this hint to ensure that the chapters end up on the iPod in the correct order. All too often the chapters or sections become shuffeled when exporting.



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Use iTunes' Copy to Play Order to control iPod song order
Authored by: Hoffer on Jun 14, '07 05:08:59PM

Ok, I've read all these and searched everywhere and have not found any easy way to order a simple Playlist in an order I prefer. I don't prefer "By Artist" or "By Album" Or "genre" any of those. I have remixed songs that must play in a specific order like a syphony. The whole point is to tell a musical "Story" in 19 or 20 tracks by multiple artists. I've used "Copy to play list" which seems strange since you are copying to "nowhere" and it works sometimes but it is a real pain to have to rebuild an entire Playlist when one track needs to be changed. Especially when I'm in the creation phase of a new series of tracks, so here's what I do instead: This is quick and dirty and messes up the master Music Library but is easily fixed whenever the Playlist you've created becomes stale:
1. In the Master Music Library Select the "Artist" tab.
2. Create a new Playlist.
3. Simply copy any track you want into a new playlist in any order you choose.
3. Once your Playlist s complete go to it and select the "Artist" tab. You will notice that they are in alphabetical order.
4. Add an "A_" to the front (left) of the Artist's name you want at the top of the list.
5. Continue this by adding a "B_" to the front of the next Artist you want in order.
6. Repeat this untill you have a list with the letters A-Z preceeding the Artist's name. That's it.

Itunes will place your songs in order automatically and they will STICK forever. (Select Decending or Ascending order by selecting Artist Tab).
Ok, some may say "NO WAY" this messes up my other Playlists and also the Song Library and others may say it's lame.... Well..yes... That's why this is called a "Work around". Nothin' is for nothin' as they say!
If you want to fix your Song Library just remove the letters and all will be well once again.
My Playlists are less than 20 songs and I'm changing the content of my Playlist every few days. So this is a very quick and easy solution to the lack of a very basic sort function. Wish it would be fixed. I have the 30GB iPod and it is a very reliable little machine. Also, I use a PC so for those with a PC...don't get caught disconnecting your iPod without using the Windows USB dismount utility (Green arrow "Thingy" in the tray). Failure to do that will cause instability and corrupt files eventually. Also, I never leave "Disk mode" on, when I'm not using that feature.
Hope this helps everyone!



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Use iTunes' Copy to Play Order to control iPod song order
Authored by: mundie1010 on Jul 08, '07 07:43:31AM

Uh, can't you use the same technique but put the sort keys (A_, B_, etc) in the Comments field, instead of mangling the Artist field? Then sort on the comments field? Or am I missing something?



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