A recent message in our Playlist forums got me thinking about the iPod’s video playlists—you know, the first entry on the 5G iPod’s Video screen that sometimes has videos and other times not? Not surprisingly, lots of people wonder what it takes to create a video playlist. Here’s the answer:
In order for the iPod to place a playlist in the Video Playlist screen, that playlist must contain at least one video. It can also contain music. Under some circumstances the music tracks will appear in the video playlist. Under others, not.
Specifically, both music and video files will appear in the playlist if you configure iPod Preferences so the iPod synchronizes the playlist as both a music and a video playlist (by either setting both the Music and Videos tabs so the iPod is updated with all playlists or by enabling the Automatically Update Selected Playlists Only in both tabs and, in each, selecting the same playlists that contains both music and video). The opposite isn’t quite true. You’ll find listings of music videos in a music playlist but not other videos. This is iTunes’ way of letting you listen to a music video’s music track without having to purchase that music track separately.
If you’ve configured iPod Preferences to automatically update selected playlists in both the Music and Videos tabs but are synchronizing a playlist that contains both music and video only in the Videos tab (you haven’t chosen it in the Music tab) the playlist will display only the video files it contains when you select it on the iPod within the Video Playlists area.
The advantage of creating video playlists is that, like with audio playlists, the videos in these playlists will play one after the other. When you play a video found in the Movies, Music Videos, or TV Shows screens, once the video ends, the iPod returns to the screen rather than plays the next video.
And how do you create a video playlist in iTunes? Pretty much as you would a music playlist. You can create playlists manually by clicking the Plus button at the bottom left corner of the iTunes window and drag your videos into it. You can click the Videos entry in iTunes Source list, select a group of videos, and choose File > New Playlist From Selection. Or you can create a smart playlist that reads something along the lines of:
Match any of the following rules
Kind contains video
Kind contains movie