iTunes 9 = empty smart playlists on portable devices

I upgraded Itunes to version 9 last week, synchronised my ipod nano, took it to the office and found no music in my “unheard podcasts” playlist. This is a playlist that consists of podcasts with a play count <1 and that are of type audio so it doesn’t try to sync the unwatched video podcasts.

It turns out that this seems to be a bug and all “smart” playlists can be blank on portable devices.  Thankfully it is easy to tell if you are affected – just create a smart playlist with content, sync it to your device and then look in itunes under the smart playlist for the device to see if it is empty.

There is an update to Itunes 9.01 – although this hasn’t fixed the issue – I see that they didn’t rename the playlists feature to “stupid playlists”. The other work around of turning of the liveupdate function in the playlist setting didn’t work for me either.

For those of you who are wondering why I even have this playlist, it’s so that I have all the unheard podcasts in one location so when driving it will automatically switch to the next podcast (or I can skip to the next one). If I use the podcast feature and get to the end of the podcasts from that particular author, I would have to switch to the next podcast manually – not something that is easy or legal to do whilst driving.

In another rant, why did they make the option to mark items as new/not new now watched/unwatched? I don’t know that many people who watch mp3’s and I think most people have far more mp3’s than they do video files.

Oh – and stop offering me the iphone configuration utility, safari4 and MobileMe. If I’ve unchecked it once that probably means I don’t want it – grrr.


  1. Post

    This is actually the forum post I also posted in. It looks like the culprit is the selection of mediatype=podcast. However if I remove this option I end up with far too many files in the selection list. I’ve logged a bug report at

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