Apple Music Playlist Questions (Answered For Beginners)

Apple Music playlists are a neat way to organize your music, although it can be a little tricky for new users. In this article, I’ll share with you what you need to know about Apple Music playlists.

Types of Apple Music Playlists

On Apple Music, a playlist is a custom compilation of songs and music videos. Based on my research, there are three different types of playlists you can create on the Apple Music app.

1. Standard playlist

A standard playlist is a playlist on Apple Music where you’ll need to manually add songs or tracks to create it. Basically, you create these playlists by dragging items to them.

To create a standard playlist on Apple Music, open the Music app.

On iPhone or Android, tap Library, tap Playlists, then tap New Playlist. On the iPad, scroll to the bottom of the sidebar and tap New Playlist. Give your playlist a name, then tap Add Music.

To create and add music to a playlist on your Mac or PC, open the Apple Music app or iTunes. In the menu bar, choose File > New > Playlist.

Give your playlist a name, then drag and drop music to a playlist in the sidebar.

2. Smart Playlist

A Smart Playlist is a type of playlist on Apple Music that automatically organizes songs and other forms of media into the playlist based on the criteria you specify.

A Smart Playlist is a playlist you assign rules to. When you add an item to your music library that matches your rules, the item is automatically added to the Smart Playlist.

Basically, a Smart Playlist lets you define a set of rules (such as songs you’ve never played or songs of a certain length) to automatically generate an auto-updating “smart” playlist.

For example, you can create a rule for the Smart Playlist to add songs last played in the last 3 or 6 months to prevent Apple Music from playing the same songs over and over again.

Apple only provided the steps to create a Smart Playlist on a Mac computer. However, if you don’t have a Mac computer, you can learn how to create a smart playlist on your iPhone

3. Genius Playlist

Genius Playlist is an advanced form of “shuffle” feature on Apple Music.

It creates a playlist of songs that sound great together. All you have to do is select a song and Apple Music will select other similar songs in your library to make a Genius Playlist.

Once the Genius Playlist has been created, you can take advantage of the Genius Shuffle feature, which lets Apple Music choose a song, then plays songs that go great with it.

Genius Playlists can be created on iPhone or iTunes. However, if you don’t have a computer at the moment, you can create a Genius Playlist right on your iPhone.

Do Apple Music playlists have a limit?

There is no documented limit on how many songs you can add to an Apple Music playlist, which suggests you can add as many songs as you’d like inside an Apple Music playlist.

Other than the 100,000 song limit on the Apple Music library, I can’t find anything on Apple’s website that states there is a maximum playlist size on the Apple Music app.

Of course, I was curious so I decided to test this limit.

I created a playlist on the Apple Music app and added as many songs as possible. After adding about 50,000 songs to one of my playlists, it seems I could no longer add more songs.  

There was no error message – the songs were added at first but then disappeared. It seems like an Apple Music playlist won’t go over 50,000 songs based on my experiment.

This isn’t something to complain about since no one in their right mind would add close to 50,000 songs to an Apple Music playlist, it’s just a fun little experiment to do.

Do Apple Music playlists sync between devices?

All of your playlists on Apple Music will sync between devices, as long as you enable the Sync Library feature and all of your devices are signed in with the same Apple ID.

For example, if you use Apple Music on a Mac computer and an iPhone, you’ll need to make sure both devices are signed in with the same Apple ID that you use with Apple Music.

You’ll also need to turn on Sync Library on both the Mac computer and the iPhone.

After you turn on Sync Library on your Mac, PC, iPhone, or iPad, you can access your music library, including your playlists, on any device that has the Apple Music app.

You can learn how to turn on Sync Library right here.

Do Apple Music playlists take up space?

Apple Music playlists take up space whether you’re listening online or offline. If you download your Apple Music playlists for offline listening, they’ll take up your internal storage space.

Even if you’re only listening online (without downloading), Apple Music playlists will take up space in the form of “System Files” such as album art and other forms of cache.

Related: How to clear Apple Music cache

Do Apple Music playlists automatically update?

With the exception of standard playlists, all Apple Music playlists automatically update. 

As I’ve touched upon earlier at the beginning of the article, there are three types of Apple Music playlists. All of them automatically update except for standard playlists.

Standard playlists don’t update automatically because they are playlists where you’ll need to add or remove songs manually. It will stay the same unless you add or remove something.

Smart Playlists, on the other hand, automatically update based on the specific rules you’ve set. 

This means that whenever you add an item (or several items) to your music library that matches the rules you’ve set, the item is automatically added to the Smart Playlist.

The same thing goes for Genius Playlists, which update periodically. In fact, your Genius results are automatically updated once a week when iTunes is open.

The Genius data that make up your Genius Playlists constantly updates its data based on new information from the iTunes Store and the library of Apple’s customers.

Are Apple Music playlists public?

By default, Apple Music playlists are public. 

You can choose to make a playlist public so anyone can find it when they search Apple Music. Alternatively, you can also choose to make a playlist private.

When you create a new playlist, turn on Show on My Profile and in Search to make a playlist public or turn the toggle off to make a playlist private.

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