How to Create On-The-Go Playlists on the iPod

Create a playlist anywhere you go

On the go playlists on iPod

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You don't need iTunes to 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 of the songs on your iPod.

This is a handy feature if you're away from your computer and want to DJ a party or 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.

Information in this article applies to 6th and 7th generation iPod nanos and to iPods with click wheels: the iPod Classic, older iPod nanos, and iPod Mini. 

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 iPod nanos have touch screens instead of click wheels. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Tap Music on the Home screen of the iPod nano.

  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 the iPod 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 iPod nano automatically names the playlist for you. If you want to change the name, you have to connect your iPod to a computer and do it in iTunes because the iPod nano doesn't have a keyboard.

iPods With Click Wheels: iPod Classic, Older iPod nanos, and iPod Mini

If your iPod has a click wheel, the process is different:

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

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

  3. Use the click wheel to select Add To On-The-Go and click the center button. This adds the song to the playlist.

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

  5. 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.

How to Save an On-The-Go Playlist on a Click Wheel iPod

Even after you create the playlist, it's not permanently saved. 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 click wheel to scroll to Playlists and click the center button.

  2. Select On-The-Go and click the center button again.

  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 the iPod to iTunes and change the name there.

How to Delete a Playlist on a Click Wheel iPod

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: You can't create an On-The-Go Playlist on a Shuffle. To create this kind of playlist, you need a screen to see the songs you're picking, and the Shuffle doesn't have one. You have to content yourself to creating playlists in iTunes and syncing them to your Shuffle.