I work while playing Apple Music in iTunes ( on my Mac (macOS 10.13.6). I would like to add all the songs in various playlists to a single playlist so I can shuffle across them. These are generally Apple's "Essentials" playlists for an artist.

I tried going to each "Essentials" playlist, clicking the ellipsis button in the top right, and selecting "Add to Library." Here's a couple of the "Essentials" playlists I added.

Faith No More Essentials Foo Fighter Essentials Green Day Essentials

None of the tracks for these playlists is greyed out.

I then created a smart playlist.

Apple Music Essentials Playlist

So, 15 songs in Faith No More's playlist, 25 in Foo Fighters, and 25 in Green Day's. Total of 65 songs, but...

Track Count

Only 27 songs, less than half, made it to my smart playlist.

Perhaps I'm going about this in the wrong way. If this method can work great, but if not, is there some way to say to iTunes, "Shuffle all of the songs in these playlists?"

  • I didn't find a direct solution, but I think the problem may have to do with attempting to add a playlist that contains music that's already been downloaded. When I deleted any songs in the playlist or added the songs from already downloaded music, and then added the playlist, and then added the music to a manual instead of smart playlist, I got what I wanted. Just took a lot more work than I would have thought.
    – Chuck
    Aug 28, 2018 at 1:06

1 Answer 1


You can create a new Smart Playlist, and add in the rules to pick from each of the playlists you've already defined.

From your music library: File --> New --> Smart Playlist

Then set it up using rules similar to these: enter image description here

You want to match music for any, and then click the + to add as many rule entries as you want, one for each playlist.

  • That's the first thing I tried, but it doesn't include the "greyed out" items. I created such a playlist from three others, which had a total of over 60 songs, and only about 25 were added to the smart playlist.
    – Chuck
    Aug 25, 2018 at 1:25
  • Do you have an example playlist? Normally songs that are greyed out like that are so because they're not available to buy or download.
    – Alex
    Aug 25, 2018 at 4:06
  • I've edited the original question to provide a concrete example.
    – Chuck
    Aug 25, 2018 at 19:15
  • Great answer Alex. For @Chuck - I wonder if the problem is that these Apple playlists are not part of your library. Can you confirm you’ve added them to your library and then this next step fails?
    – bmike
    Aug 25, 2018 at 19:30
  • The three playlists shown in my edited question were created by searching for an artist in "All Apple Music" in the search field in the top right of iTunes, clicking the artist, clicking the "<Artist> Essentials" playlist, clicking the ellipsis button in the top right of the playlist, and selecting "Add to Library."
    – Chuck
    Aug 25, 2018 at 19:40

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