To really be a Jedi-level iTunes guru, you must master the art of the Smart Playlist. The most enlightened of all the playlists (don’t let Genius Playlists fool you), Smart Playlists can be used to quickly create genre playlists, sort out your least favorite tracks, or keep your kid’s insipid music from infecting your iPhone.
Since the launch of Apple Music, your iTunes library can contain several different types of music files, and they can be stored in different locations.Apple Music, your iTunes library, iCloud Music library, iTunes Match…where are your tracks being stored?
You can find out where any tracks are stored using smart playlists. Here’s how.
Apple Music tracks
To find which tracks in your iTunes library come from Apple Music, go to your Music library, and then click Playlists in the navigation bar. Choose File > New > Smart Playlist (or press Command-Option-N). Create a playlist with the following conditions:
Media Kind is Music
iCloud Status is Apple Music
(Click the + button after the first condition to add the second.)
Make sure that Live Updating is checked; this means that each time you view the contents of this smart playlist it will show you the latest tracks you’ve added to your Music library. Click OK to save the playlist.
You’ll see, when you look at this playlist that it contains all of your Apple Music tracks, and that some of its tracks display cloud icons; this tells you that the tracks aren’t on your Mac, but that you can download them if you wish.
If you only want to find which of your Apple Music tracks are on your drive, taking up space, you can alter the smart playlist by adding the following condition:
Location is on the this computer
If you want to delete some of these tracks from your Mac—but not from your iTunes library—select one or more tracks, right-click, and then choose Remove Download.
If you want to delete all your Apple Music tracks, press Command-A to select all the tracks in this playlist, and then press Option-Shift-Delete. iTunes will ask you to confirm that you want to delete these tracks.
Tracks in the cloud
If you’re using iCloud Music Library or iTunes Match, you can create a smart playlist to show you which of your tracks are stored on your Mac, and which are in the cloud. You might want to do this to delete some of the local tracks to free up space on your Mac.
Create a smart playlist with the following condition:
Location is on this computer
Press the Option key and click the + button to add another, nested condition, then click the + button to add two more:
iCloud Status is Matched
iCloud Status is Purchased
iCloud Status is Uploaded
Make sure that
Match All of the following rules is selected at the top of the playlist, and that
Any of the following are true is selected for the second group of conditions.
As above, you can delete the local copies of these tracks by selecting one or more of them, right-clicking, and then choosing Remove Download.
Smart playlists are quick and easy to create, and they help you free up space, or delete Apple Music tracks.
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