Introduction: Automatically Remove Unwanted Songs From Your IPod

Picture of Automatically Remove Unwanted Songs From Your IPod

This tutorial will show you how to use your iPod to mark songs for automatic deletion so you won't have to remember to do it later. It's the next best thing to having a "delete" button on your iPod. And don't worry this won't delete songs from iTunes, just from your iPod.

Now when you hear a song on your iPod you don't like anymore, you won't have to remember to delete it when you get back to your computer.

This method also comes with some other nifty benefits, I'll describe later on.

Step 1: Create Two Very Special Playlists

Picture of Create Two Very Special Playlists

The first playlist we're going to make is for all the music you want to have on your iPod, a good name for this playlist is "For iPod." Then add everything you want to have on your iPod to this playlist. Go nuts!

The second playlist we need is actually a "Smart Playlist" which is a playlist where songs are automatically added based on criteria you set. Create a Smart Playlist by choosing "New Smart Playlist" from the "File" menu. Then setup the Smart Playlist like this:

- "Match 'all' the following rules" should be checked
- The first criteria should be "Playlist is 'For iPod'" (or whatever you named the first playlist)
- The second criteria should be "Rating is not 1-star"
- Make sure "Live updating" is checked and the other two options are unchecked.

It should look pretty much just like the image below.

That's it, click "ok." All that's left is to name it, a good name for this playlist is "Sync iPod." This smart playlist will now contain everything that's in "For iPod" but nothing with a 1-star rating.

Step 2: Turn on Sync Music and Sync Your IPod

Picture of Turn on Sync Music and Sync Your IPod

-Connect your iPod to iTunes.
-Click the iPod icon under "Devices" and select the "Music" tab in the main screen.
-Set your iPod to Sync selected playlists, and choose the "Sync iPod" playlist. If you have other playlists that you also want on your iPod make sure you check those too. Just don't check the "for iPod" playlist.

Now all that's left is to Synchronize your iPod. Just click the "Sync" button.

Remember all the songs that are currently on your iPod will be deleted, and all that will be left is what's in the "Sync iPod" playlist. So if you have some songs on your iPod that you don't have on your PC, you'll probably want to back it up first.

NOTE: iTunes may complain that the Sync Playlist relies on a playlist that isn't on the iPod. Just ignore this message it should be fine.

Step 3: Rate Unwanted Songs

Picture of Rate Unwanted Songs

So just listen to your iPod normally. But now when a song comes on that you just don't like anymore, give the song a 1-star rating on your iPod. Yes, you can rate music from your iPod. It's easy.

To rate the currently playing song on your iPod press the center button repeatedly until you see 5 little dots in a row. Then use the scroll wheel to give the song a 1-star rating.

On the iPod Touch and iPhone, tap the track listing icon in the upper right. You should then see 5 dots right below the song title Tap the dot furthest to the left to give the song a 1-star rating.

Also, feel free to leave a comment with your model iPod and the number of center button clicks needed to get the ratings interface.

Apologies to !!! and Atmosphere...

Step 4: Sync!

Picture of Sync!

The next time you Sync your iPod to iTunes, all the music you gave a one star rating to will be removed from your iPod. You see, when you Sync music, your ratings transfer to iTunes. Because the "Sync iPod" playlist doesn't accept songs with 1-star, they'll be removed from the playlist. And because we set the iPod to synchronize with the "Sync iPod" smart playlist, it removes anything with 1-star rating from the iPod. Pretty nifty. And don't worry, songs aren't actually deleted, they're just not transfered to your iPod.

The other cool thing about the "For iPod" playlist is that it allows you to manage your iPod even when your iPod isn't connected. Nothing will happen until you connect your iPod of course. But by using the "For iPod" playlist, you can add a new album or delete an old one anytime you're using iTunes and all your changes will synchronize the next time you connect your iPod.

Also, don't feel like you can only use ratings for music you don't like. Go ahead and give music you really like high ratings. Then later on you can make smart playlists based on these ratings. Here's a great primer on Smart Playlists by Andy Budd that's absolutely inspiring.


cubyrop3 (author)2011-07-23

Dont delete Dani California! AWESOME SONG!

paperairplanecreator (author)2010-07-14

dude thats not right dani california is a good song along with the song snow.

dombeef (author)2009-04-10

Hey don't delete Dani California!

rollback (author)2008-05-13

Will this work with my Zune?

Wafflicious (author)rollback2009-02-12

if you can use itunes with it and rate songs on it

Flumpkins (author)rollback2008-08-11

I love my zune! Which one do you have?

Owenmon (author)Flumpkins2008-11-10

i gotz a 4gig black. though ima get the zune touch when it comes out ( cough cough )

mg0930mg (author)Owenmon2008-11-25

COUGH*A copy of the iPod touch*COUGH

Owenmon (author)mg0930mg2008-11-25

wtf? ipod doesnt own the touch screen idea =P
touch screen mp4s have been around for a LONG time, macentosh fanboys just say ipods own it

mg0930mg (author)Owenmon2008-11-25

I didn't say they owned it, just said they had it first is all.

Owenmon (author)mg0930mg2008-11-26

NO they dident, touch screens have been around for a while, ipods just made them popular =P

mg0930mg (author)Owenmon2008-11-26

I meant for an mp3 or mp4 player, not counting phones. I'm not a macintosh fanboy btw. I just wanted the ipod touch 'cuz it seemed cool.

Owenmon (author)mg0930mg2008-12-01

No, not even for the mp3/4s they've been around seince... i think the first time i saw one was 05' where i-touchs came out around late-07'

and i was'nt calling you a mac fanboy i'm just saying that they do say that crap =o

Flumpkins (author)Owenmon2008-11-10

I don't wanna read it, but looks awesome! When does it come out?

Owenmon (author)Flumpkins2008-11-10

it doesent say =( but it does say that its coming out soon. so mabye christmas? i hope =)

Flumpkins (author)Owenmon2008-11-11

Yeah! Me too!

Owenmon (author)Flumpkins2008-10-19

yea me 2

Flumpkins (author)Owenmon2008-10-20

it's great

x7319808 (author)Flumpkins2008-08-11


Flumpkins (author)x73198082008-08-11

omgomgomg!!! Me too! What color?

Wafflicious (author)2009-02-11

wait if I add everything to my for ipod playlist will i still be able to delete if they are 1 star ?

Wafflicious (author)Wafflicious2009-02-12

nvm figured it out

Wafflicious (author)Wafflicious2009-02-11

so can I still delete stuff on that playlist?

Wafflicious (author)2009-02-12

Very cool! I can't believe I didn't figure this out!

mysteryturtle (author)2008-11-02

Cool lol thnx for info

KlM0 (author)2008-03-16

Awesome! I have the iPhone. I will be applying your technique to it this afternoon. Now if you would create a way to unlock and block open my iPhone so I can add software and make any other personal adjustments to my iPhone and my music too :) Thanks again! Cheers, KIMO+

Monkeybo1 (author)KlM02008-03-17

Actually its called jailbreaking, a quick search on youtube shows tons of wonderful how-to guides.

cormac3050 (author)Monkeybo12008-08-22

or even an even Quicker scroll to the end of this page

righthandofthedevil (author)2008-03-11

thats really cool, thanks for the tip

zwhite93 (author)2008-03-05

I'm not one who usually cares about voiding warranties, but with an iPod its iffy. You might consider just adding the song to your "on the go" playlist by finding it in the menu and holding down the center button. I have a 3rd generation; do they have this on the newer ones?

ld3300 (author)zwhite932008-03-06

How would this void a warranty? It is using iTunes and the iPod exactly as they were designed to be used. It doesn't have anything to do with the iPod, all the work is done in iTunes.

zwhite93 (author)ld33002008-03-06

I was referring to those recommending installing rockbox. I'm pretty sure thats not kosher, but who knows. I'm not about to go read the legal stuff. Great instructable.

mtxe (author)zwhite932008-03-06

If my memory serves me right: You can uninstall Rockbox & it is like it was never installed.

RichardBronosky (author)mtxe2008-03-07

You are sort of correct. You can run the iPod Updater software, on you computer and RockBox will be gone.

icy_tm (author)zwhite932008-03-07

Rockbox is, as far as I know, within the limits of your warranty. The Apple warranty only says things about modification of hardware, but nothing about installing third-party firmware. Plus, you can always just delete the files and restore the bootloader.

zwhite93 (author)icy_tm2008-03-07

Thanks. I didn't realize that. I surrender ;)

Zujus (author)2008-03-07

Really useful , unless you have 160gb ipod like I do.

Wasagi (author)2008-03-07

Dani California Rules! I've got both Stadium Arcadium discs on my IPod!

HOMEPIE64 (author)2008-03-07

is there any way to record from camcorder directly to ipod without a 100 dollar piece of crap??

Bluemini (author)2008-03-06

very simple and genius

********** 10 out of 5 Stars!!!

King Will (author)2008-03-06

got ta' love !!! (Great idea)

jimmyd58 (author)2008-03-03

How about installing rockbox and actually having delete? I always got upset when I was on a 5+ hour flight and wanted to do some pruning, but couldn't delete on the ipod. Rockbox fixed everything!

Guittarman10 (author)jimmyd582008-03-04

i had rockbox on my 80 gig video for almost a year. it was running great, then 5 days ago i noticed the hard drive staring to skip. i could hear it acting funny and i could feel it through the case. well i thought to my self, "i will just restore it from iTunes". i went to plug it in and it said could not access drive. next i went on and opened up the iPod case. i smelled burning plastic. a component melted and burnt right into my hard drive. despite all this i still would recommend rockbox. its sick.

DudeMG (author)Guittarman102008-03-06

its not the hard 30gb 5th gen video had the same symptoms...its the battery i left it in my ihome a lot and the battery deteriorated now i have a touch

deth2all (author)Guittarman102008-03-05

that must be whats going on with my ipod, its got the SAME symptoms. So do you need to get a new hard drive now? or is this fixable?

jimmyd58 (author)Guittarman102008-03-04

I've got a 2nd gen ipod mini. My first one had a bad drive just before the warranty was up. The replacement just died about a month ago. I hacked it with a new CF card and am hoping it goes for more than a year now that the moving parts are gone. Both drives failed during cold weather, so I'm thinking they are not made for Minnesota winters. If you live in a colder climate, get a solid state player and rockbox it.

gbosbiker (author)jimmyd582008-03-04

i have the same iPod but i'm in massachusetts and it still works fine....

Arbitror (author)jimmyd582008-03-03

rockbox doesn't work on 3rd gen nanos... : (

dudeguy1234 (author)Arbitror2008-03-06

i know :(

Notbob (author)jimmyd582008-03-05

I simply must agree! I put rockbox for my sansa e250 and I never ever went back to the original software.

About This Instructable




More by getgreg:Setup iPhone to Fetch Gmail and Push Google CalendarAutomatically remove unwanted songs from your iPodHow to mount a power strip (and power bricks) under your desk
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