I'm looking to use iTunes to load entire albums onto an iPhone, then pick out the best tracks from the albums by deleting other tracks, and preserve the collection of best tracks.

Here's my ideal music sync / workflow:

  1. Create a playlist in iTunes, add albums to it, sync to iPhone.
  2. Delete tracks on the iPhone
  3. Sync iPhone to iTunes, and have iTunes remove the deleted tracks from the playlist.
  4. Add new albums to iTunes playlist, sync to iPhone.

Is this possible?

Currently if I delete tracks and sync, iTunes does not track the deletions. So the tracks get copied back on to the iPhone.

1 Answer 1


Ensure you are removing the tracks from the playlist on iPhone and not deleting the actual music files from iPhone entirely. I can't tell from your description whether this is what you are doing.

Assuming you have iTunes set to only sync that playlist (or collection of playlists), by removing the tracks from the playlist on iPhone, next time you sync, the process should update the playlist in iTunes to reflect the changes made on iPhone, and remove the corresponding music files from iPhone.

  • I'm deleting the actual music files, not from the playlist. Deleting from the playlist is very painful as it's a flat list with no artist or album navigation. Do you know if the actual files can be synced, or if I get better navigation controls on the playlist? Aug 6, 2013 at 21:13
  • There's a couple of ways to sync. One is the way it sounds like you are doing - tell iTunes to only sync a playlist, and you manually add music to that playlist in iTunes. You can also tell it to sync certain artists/albums/songs. Unfortunately I don't think there's any way to do what you want, without some manual effort on your part. And in fact (without testing), if you tell it to sync certain artists/albums/songs, and then delete them from iPhone, iTunes might just put them right back on the phone next time you sync.
    – tubedogg
    Aug 7, 2013 at 0:34

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