A smart playlist for all your purchased iTunes songs…

I would like it if that “Purchased” playlist they give you in iTunes actually listed all the stuff I purchased in iTunes. That would be nice. Then I could just select that list to backup all those purchases on a DVD. Unfortunately it doesn’t do that for me as I keep messing around with it, and changing computers, and *cough*. Whatever. It’s Apple’s fault. Right.

It would be extra nice if Apple added an obvious choice to pick iTunes purchased music when you’re making a smart playlist. But it doesn’t. Oh well, after searching in vain for a solution on Google and messing around with iTunes for a bit I finally just opened up the iTunes library XML file in BBEdit and looked for something in the protected files that would identify it to the smart playlists. Lo and behold there was.

To list all your iTunes purchased songs, do this:

  1. Select File » New Smart Playlist…. (or use Command+Option+N)
  2. Select Kind from the first drop down box.
  3. Select Contains from the second drop down box.
  4. And type Protected AAC audio file in the text field.
  5. Hit OK and you should have a new playlist with all the iTunes purchased songs that are in your library.

Now I’m sure someone has figured this out before I have, but I couldn’t find it so I thought I’d share.

Edit: Corrected some grammar mistakes.

About dan

designer, gamer, drinker
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14 Responses to A smart playlist for all your purchased iTunes songs…

  1. big phil says:

    great tip! just what i was looking for.

  2. Misty says:

    Add “Audible File” to a second “Kind” field if you use Audible. :)

  3. Ben says:

    That’s just awesome, thanks a bunch!

  4. Mike says:

    Great tip! It may be obvious, but I’ll point out that you can get the opposite effect if you just change “contains” to “does not contain.” I’m behind a pretty strict firewall at work, and I simply cannot get any of my protected files to authorize.

    Making a playlist of my ripped CDs lets me skip around at will without getting that annoying “authorize” screen.

  5. Angela says:

    THANK YOU! Finally…

  6. Mike says:

    Awsome , simple and really quick! Thx for finding!

  7. Another Ben says:

    This is really helpful! Thank you so much! I never would have figured this out on my own.

  8. Paul says:

    Searching for simply “Protected” will also find protected videos.

    To also find iTunes plus purchases, which do not use a protected file format, search for “Purchased” in the kind field.

    You can also find purchases from the Amazon MP3 store by searching for “Amazon” in the comments field.

  9. Tyler says:

    Great tip, thanks!

  10. Jennifer says:

    Hey Dan,
    After spending the last three days calling Apple, visiting Apple stores and Best Buys (desperate times), googling like crazy and crying (yes, actual crying – I am a girl) because iTunes magically deleted my purchased folder with over 2700 songs that I had lovingly organized for maximum awesomeness, I found your site.
    Three minutes after reading this page, I had my playlist back.
    And I cried again.
    Good, good times.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  11. Thanks! I just realized that I wanted a smart playlist like this on my ipod instead of the default one for the itunes instance. I’d found “Kind” myself but asked the great google before bothering to figure it out myself. You were the first hit.
    Thanks again.

  12. A quick update: some of my purchased files identify themselves as “Purchased AAC audio file” I added that to smartlist and it picked up a bunch of recently purchased music.

  13. Marcus says:

    TO GET ALL SONGS do like this.

    Select File » New Smart Playlist…. (or use Command+Option+N)
    Select Kind from the first drop down box.
    Select Contains from the second drop down box.
    And type “Protected AAC audio file” in the text field.
    Hit Plus
    Select Kind from the first drop down box.
    Select Contains from the second drop down box.
    And type “Purchased AAC audio file” in the text field.
    In the top select match any of the following rules.
    Hit OK and you should have a new playlist with all the iTunes purchased songs that are in your library.

  14. Mike P. says:

    Thanks for the original tip. To add a final note if you just limit the two entries in the smart playlist text fields to “Purchased” and “Protected” you’ll get all purchased items including video items.

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