Here is something I've been trying to get to work on an off for a very long time. I have a ton of music and I like to cycle through things I haven't heard in a long time. I also like to listen to albums beginning to end primarily.

Here is my latest setup iTunes 12.2 on Windows 7

Iphone 5S, IOS 8.4

I add music to my phone with a standard playlist "iPhone playlist". I manually add and remove songs when I sync the phone to the computer. In between syncs I'd like another smart playlist to only include the songs I haven't played yet.

So I attempt to do this:

Playlist is iPhone playlist

Last played is not in the last 60 days

live updating is checked

This works on the PC, but the smart playlist is never updated on the phone once a song is playyed.

Any advice?

updated: I may not have explained it clearly. Try this example: 1- in iTunes, add new standard playlist called "Temp" 2- add three songs to temp that haven't been played in a few months 3- next add a new smart playlist called "Temp not played" 4 - add this criteria to the "Temp not played" playlist a- playlist is temp b - last played is not in last 30 days 5- both playlists should now contain three songs 6- sync these two new playlists to your phone and disconnect the phone from your computer 7- on the phone, listen to playlist "Temp not played" 8 - when finished, does "Temp not played" still contain the three songs (even though you just played them)

That's what is not working for me. "Temp not played" is never updated until I sync with the computer. Other smart playlists work fine. Say for example you created a list of no plays. Once the song is played it disappears from the smart playlist immediately on the phone.

I think the problem is when the criteria for a smart playlist contains the "Playlist is xxx" criteria.


2 Answers 2


I've run into the same problem and I too have narrowed it down to the "playlist is xxx" criteria. Live updating works for every other criteria I have, but it doesn't like either a reference to alpha text or the reference to another playlist for some reason. This seems to be a bug with iOS 8.4, because it worked fine for me before the update. (I think it has more to do with the use of alpha text because I ran into the same problem when I tried to use "category is".)

I have figured a work around. Not the ideal solution, but it works for me.

  1. I took a field I never use, in my case BPM, and cleared it out for all songs in my library.

  2. In standard playlist XXX, I entered "1" in the BPM field for all the songs in that playlist only.

  3. Then in my smart playlist I add the criteria "BPM is 1".

This works. It draws only from songs in the standard playlist XXX, and live updating works as it should on the phone.

The only thing I have to remember is to clear the BPM field when I delete a song from standard playlist XXX.

Hope that helps. And I hope Apple fixes is this in their next update along with some other annoying smart playlist issues I've encountered.


I think that the smart playlist aren't updated on the iDevice even if the content is synced between the computer and the iDevice.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .