I'm using iTunes 11.0.1 on 64-bit Windows 7, and occasionally my smart playlists (with live updating set to on) stop updating.

I've got a series of podcasts subscribed to via iTunes, and I have a smart playlist to collect all the newest ones I haven't yet heard, and play them in the order of publication ('Release date'). This has worked for me since iTunes 7 IIRC.

With the latest version of iTunes, occasionally this automatic updating stopped working.

I tried switching off and on the 'live updating', restarting iTunes in between. No luck.
I copied the playlist, and the copy showed the same stale set of podcasts, not the newer ones I verified existed.
I changed the filter settings for the smart playlist, but no change.

I have the same issue with a smart playlist for 'music' (in this case, podcasts downloaded as regular MP3s, where iTunes doesn't recognize them as podcasts but as music, where I filter-out 'songs' I've already heard at least once).

When I recreate the smart playlist from scratch, it has been working again, for a time, but my main playlist has stopped updating now for at least the fourth time since iTunes 11 came out. I'd not consider that acceptable.

Googling this issue has not brought any usable answer, most people seem to have a problem that the smart playlist in iTunes is not properly synced to their device.
Syncing is not my problem, just that the synced playlist is just as stale as in iTunes.

Is there a way to get smart playlists with live updating to work again, or is this a bug for which I have to wait on Apple to fix it? Or might it be a problem with my Windows 7 installation?

1 Answer 1


As a workaround I found out the following: If I switch off 'live updating', then sync my iPod, terminate iTunes, disconnect my iPod, restart iTunes again, and switch playlists, I can switch on 'live updating' again, and it seems to work.

If then (after "fixing" one playlist) I go to a different 'live updating' playlist, I just disable, then enable the 'live updating', and the playlist seems to work again.

This is very tedious, but better than recreating the playlist from scratch every time.

I'd be very interested in hearing other experiences.

  • I have the same problem - years ago my iPhone used to live update smart playlists (I have one called Recently Played), but since then it no longer updates and my Recently Played remains stale and useless on the iPhone. iPhone 5, iOS 6.1.4, Synced to certain Playlists. (Not manually managed - although I used to do that in the past, and its possible that coincides with when live updating used to work?) May 20, 2015 at 20:26

You must log in to answer this question.

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