Match Songs and Playlists in iTunes

iTunes 12: Show in Playlist screenshot


There's more to building an iTunes library than just collecting a lot of songs. If you want to have any control over which songs you listen to and when you must create and manage playlists. A playlist is a group of songs that you put together based on some kind of theme. The theme could be a favorite artist or group, your favorite oldies, or the songs that motivate you to work a little harder on the treadmill or listen to while mowing the lawn or shoveling the snow.

You can build a simple playlist using the iTunes smart playlist feature, or you can build a very complex playlist that can even dynamically change over time.

If you're like most people, you'll quickly build up a long list of playlists, with many songs in common. It's easy to lose track of which songs you've put on which playlists. Luckily, iTunes has a method for finding out which playlists a song is used in.

Find Out Which Playlists Include a Specific Song

iTunes 11

  1. Launch iTunes, located in the Applications folder.
  2. Make sure you're viewing your music library by selecting the Library button, located in the iTunes toolbar. Note: The Library button is on the far right; it changes from Library to iTunes Store, depending on whether you're viewing the store or your music library. If you don’t see the Library button, but instead see iTunes Store, then you're already viewing your music library.
  3. Select Songs from the iTunes toolbar. You can also choose to view your music library by Album, Artist, or Genre. For this example, choose Songs.
  4. Right-click on a song's title and select Show in Playlist from the pop-up menu.
  5. A submenu will pop out, showing all of the playlists the song belongs to.
  6. Playlists are displayed with an icon showing how the playlist was created. A sprocket icon indicates a smart playlist, while a staff and note indicate a playlist that was created manually.
  7. If you wish to, you can select a playlist from the submenu, which will cause the entire selected playlist to display.

iTunes 12

  • Launch iTunes, located in your Applications folder.
  • Ensure that iTunes is displaying content from your music library by selecting My Music from the iTunes toolbar. Depending on the revision of iTunes you are using, My Music may be replaced with a button labeled Library. My Music or Library is located towards the left-hand side of the toolbar.
  • You can sort your music library by various criteria, including Songs, Artist, and Album. You can use any of the sorting methods, but for this example, we're going to use Songs. Select Songs from the sorting button at the far left of the iTunes toolbar or from within the iTunes sidebar.

The sorting button displays the current sorting method, so if it says Songs, you don’t need to do anything.

  • Right-click on a song's title and select Show in Playlist from the pop-up menu
  • A list of playlists that contain the selected song will appear in a submenu.
  • Playlists that contain the selected song are grouped by type. Smart playlists are depicted with a sprocket icon; playlists you created manually use a music staff and notes icon.
  • You can jump to one of the displayed playlists by selecting it from the submenu.​