My Hint

My moment of infamy. I submitted a hint* for managing iOS screenshots to Mac OSX Hints and it was accepted and published today!

*Actually my second submitted hint. The first was never published and ironically a much more useful hint. (IMHO). It was regarding iTunes and how the sort order of Smart Playlists to iOS devices impacts the display order on said devices. Update: It did actually get published. I must have missed it. Here it is below for posterity.


Two of my favorite smart playlists are titled “Last 50 Added” and “Rated 5 Stars”. Which, as they sound, are  smart playlists of the most recent tracks I’ve added to iTunes and my top rated music, respectfully. The “Rated 5 Stars” playlist is handy to see what recently added music warranted another listen.

I’ve been using them for a few years without problem, then with the release of iTunes 9 (if I recall correctly) they appeared to stop working. The smart playlists and songs were syncing to my iPhone just fine, but not the most recent 50, nor the most recent rated 5 stars. It appeared to be a random selection and I could not figure out what was going on! Lo and behold it wasn’t anything to do with the new release of iTunes. What had happened is that while viewing my smart playlists in iTunes I had changed the sort order from “Date Added” to a different column!

When syncing playlists to your iOS device (wether their ‘smart’ or not) the order in which you have the playlist sorted by in iTunes will determine how they are displayed on the iOS device. So if you set up a playlist and have it sorted by a column such as “Plays”, “Tracks”, etc that is how they will appear on the iOS device. It can be quite confusing especially when using smart playlists to determine the criteria for the sort order.