Monday, July 14, 2008

Find unchecked songs in iTunes -- still need this workaround

Three years after this clever hint was written, there's still no other way to find all unchecked items in iTunes. You can't directly sort or filter on checked status.

This becomes important when your Library outgrows your iPod. Movies can do that to any iPod. (Note that the tip works up to 99,999 items and you need to first define all checked to find all unchecked.) - Use a Smart Playlist to see unchecked songs in iTunes

Part 1: Create a playlist with all checked songs in your library:

1. Create a new Smart Playlist in iTunes.
2. Uncheck "Match the following condition" in the new playlist dialog. This will cause all songs to be in the playlist.
3. Check the box by "Limit to" and fill it out with a very large number -- one that is much larger than the number of songs in your library (say, 300,000). Again, this will cause the playlist to include ALL songs.
4. Check "Match only Checked Songs" and leave "Live Updating" checked. This will only match songs that are checked.
5. Click OK and name the Playlist "Songs (Checked)".

This playlist now includes all the checked songs in your library.

Part 2: Create a playlist with all the unchecked songs in your library:

1. Create a new Smart Playlist in iTunes.
2. This time, leave "Match the following condition" checked.
3. As the condition, select "Playlist is not 'Songs (Checked)'"
4. Click OK and name the Playlist "Songs (Unchecked)".
Apple, please make the checkbox state a full fledged column/attribute.

PS. This tip surprisingly hard to find in Google. I first went through several forum posts that had no answers. Maybe this post will help. Comments also include an AppleScript alternative and some interesting workarounds to iPod management.


Anonymous said...

a huge thanks for figuring this out

Mike said...

For all I heard about mac being intuitive, there is certainly a lot lacking. Selecting checked songs is intuitively required. Thanks for the tip. I was able to create a playlist of checked songs in less than a minute but not sure I would have figured it out on my own.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this rockin´ tip.

Anonymous said...

Brill =D
Thanks for that,
It was a massive help!

Anonymous said...

You might want to add a rule for "kind contains audio" on both. That way it will only include songs and not TV Shows or Movies.

Ronen Rothfarb said...

This was very helpful.

I made a smart playlist for my mobile (checked items), and i wanted to know which songs were left behind.

problem solved.

Thanks! :)