How to Sync Selected Playlists to an iPhone


Once you've created song playlists in iTunes, you'll want to transfer them over to your iPhone for your listening pleasure on the road. ITunes holds the key to accomplishing this in three ways. You can copy and transfer your playlists to your iPhone automatically or manually, or you can instruct iTunes to selectively transfer playlist songs according to certain preferences. In every case, the process of syncing selected playlists to your iPhone is fairly straightforward. Simply begin by launching iTunes and then connecting your iPhone to your computer using the cable that came with it.

Automatic Syncing

  • Select your iPhone under the "Devices" listing in the left pane of the iTunes window. Next, click on the "Music" tab above the main pane to the right.

  • Click to check the "Sync Music" checkbox at the top of the pane, then click to activate the "Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres" radio button.

  • Click on the checkboxes of the playlists listed within the "Playlists" section that you'd like to transfer over to your iPhone.

  • Click "Apply" on the lower right to synchronize your iTunes library and iPhone. You will now be able to enjoy your playlists on your iPhone.

Manual Syncing

  • Select your iPhone under the "Devices" listing in the left pane of the iTunes window. Next, click on the "Summary" tab above the main pane to the right.

  • Choose "Manually manage music and videos" or "Manually manage music" under the "Options" section toward the bottom. Then click "Apply" on the lower right.

  • Locate a specific playlist under the "Playlists" listing on the left pane. Click, hold and drag it over your iPhone icon under the "Devices" listing above. The playlist will then copy over to your iPhone for your listening pleasure.

Autofill Syncing

  • Click on the small arrow to the left of your iPhone listed under "Devices" on the left pane of the iTunes window. Select "Music" under your iPhone icon.

  • Select a playlist from the "Autofill From:" drop-down menu that now appears in a new Autofill section at the bottom of the right pane.

  • Click on the "Settings" button on the right to adjust how you'd like iTunes to select playlist songs for your iPhone. Check "Replace all items when Autofilling" for iTunes to empty your device of songs before filling it with new songs. Activate the "Choose items randomly" checkbox for iTunes to disregard the order of songs in your playlist. Select "Choose higher rated items more often" for iTunes to select songs based on the ratings you have given them. Finally, drag the "Reserve space for disk use" slider to specify how much iPhone space you'd like to allocate to your playlist songs. Click "OK" when you're done.

  • Click the "Autofill" button on the extreme right to fill your iPhone with your playlist songs. ITunes will add as many playlist songs as possible to your device based on your preferences and instructions.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the interactive "Capacity" bar at the bottom of the pane to gauge how much space each of your playlists will use up on your iPhone.
  • To manually edit your playlists rather than rely on Autofill, return to the playlist on iTunes' left pane to remove some songs before syncing.

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  • Photo Credit David Paul Morris/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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