How to Create On The Go Playlists on the iPod

On the go playlists on iPod
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iTunes isn't the only place you can make playlists to enjoy on your iPod. You can make playlists right on your iPod using a feature called On The Go Playlists. With On The Go Playlists, you create a playlist from the songs on your iPod and can then sync them back to iTunes.

This is a great feature if you’re away from your computer and want to DJ a party or just make a mix that suits your mood or locale while you're out and about.

How you make an On the Go Playlist depends on what model iPod you have.

6th and 7th Generation iPod nano

Making playlists on the 6th and 7th Generation nanos is more like making them on the iPhone or iPod touch than on other iPods. That's because these nanos have touchscreens instead of Clickwheels. Here's what you need to do:

  1. From the home screen of the nano, tap Music
  2. Tap Playlists
  3. Swipe the screen down from the top to reveal the Add and Edit buttons
  4. Tap Add
  5. Navigate through the music on your nano to find a song you want to add to the playlist
  6. When you find the song you want to add, tap the + next to it
  7. Repeat this process for as many songs as you want to include in the playlist
  8. When you're finished, tap Done to save the playlist.

The nano automatically names the playlist for you. If you want to change the name, you'll have to do it in iTunes since the nano doesn't have a keyboard.

iPods with Clickwheels: Classic, Older nanos, and mini

If your iPod has a Clickwheel, the process is a bit different:

  1. Begin by browsing through the music on your iPod until you find a song (or album, artist, etc.) you want to add to your On The Go Playlist

  2. Click and hold the iPod’s center button down until a new set of options appears 

  3. In the new set of options, use the Clickwheel to select Add To On-The-Go and click the center button. This adds the song to the playlist

  1. Repeat these steps for as many items as you want to add

  2. To view the On The Go Playlist you’ve created, browse the iPod menus and select Playlists. Scroll to the bottom of the list and highlight On The Go. Click the center button to see the songs you’ve added, listed in the order you added them.

Even after creating the playlist, it's not permanently saved. In fact, if you don't save your playlist and don't listen to it within 36 hours, the iPod deletes it. To save the playlist:

  1. Use the Clickwheel to scroll to Playlists and click the center button

  2. Select On The Go and click the center button

  3. Scroll to the bottom of the list and select Save Playlist. This saves the playlist in your Playlists menu as New Playlist 1 (or 2 or 3, depending on the other playlists in the section).

  4. To edit the name of the playlist, sync it to iTunes and change the name there.

If you prefer to delete the playlist from your iPod yourself, follow these steps:

  1. Browse through the iPod menus to Playlists and select it
  2. Select On-The-Go 
  3. Highlight the Clear Playlist button and click the center button.

iPod Shuffle

Sorry iPod Shuffle owners. I have bad news: You can't create an On The Go Playlist on a Shuffle. To create this kind of playlist, you need a screen to see what songs you're picking and the Shuffle doesn't have one.

You'll have to content yourself to creating playlists in iTunes and syncing them to your Shuffle.