This week, I take an in-depth look at just one question. I get a lot of emails about syncing music to an iOS device, and many people find it difficult to sync when their music library is larger than the space available on their iOS device. So here's a question about checked tracks, playing albums, and syncing.
Q: I have a lot of music and an iPod. I can't fit all the music onto the iPod, so I uncheck the tracks I don't want to sync. This works fine, except when I want to listen to an album in iTunes on my Mac.
I might have the three best songs checked so they get synced to my iPod, and when I go to play the full album in iTunes, it will only play those three songs, unless I check the others. If I do that, however, the next time I sync the iPod, those other tracks will get copied. Even if I create a playlist, it will skip the unchecked songs, so the only way to listen to music that I don't want on my iPod is to check the boxes and hope to remember to uncheck them again.
How can I get around this problem?
I know how you feel. I long used the 'Sync only checked songs and videos' option to only copy tracks that I want. However, over time, this became problematic. Like you, I'd find myself checking and unchecking tracks to listen to albums.
First, let me provide an overview of syncing options available. If your music library—and any other content you want to copy, such as videos, apps, and so on—takes up less space than you have on your iPod or iOS device, the easiest thing to do is just sync everything. If you have a lot of videos, you probably don't watch them often, so selecting which ones you sync is fairly simple. When your iOS device is connected to your Mac, click it in iTunes, and then go to the Movies or TV Shows tabs to choose which items to sync.
But if your library is larger than your iOS device's storage capacity, then you have to make selections. And there are two (OK, two and a half) ways to do so.
The first, as you describe, is fairly simple as far as the sync process goes. You merely check and uncheck tracks in your Music library, and check the appropriate setting for the iOS device.
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