How to create a smart playlist in Apple Music

Creating a playlist of your favorite songs is a great way to listen to the songs you fancy at any time. But what if you could create a playlist that automatically updates with your favorite artists, new albums, or your favorite songs in the Music app?

With the Apple Music app on Mac, you can create a smart playlist that does just that, and we’ll show you how.

Create a smart playlist in Music on Mac

Open the Music app on your Mac to get started.

Step 1: Select Proceedings > New from the menu bar and select smart playlist in the popup menu.

Step 2: When the Smart Playlist settings window opens, check the box at the top to Match the following rule. This is where you choose the criteria for your playlist.

Step 3: Use the first dropdown box on the left to select the first condition. You can choose from many options such as artist, date added, genre, love, purchase, year, and more.

Dropdown box for the first condition of a smart playlist.

Step 4: After making that selection, use the dropdown box to the right to choose from options such as Contains, Starts with, Is after, Is not, or another option. These options vary depending on what you choose in the first dropdown box.

Next dropdown box for the first condition of a smart playlist.

Step 5: Next, you may need to add an item to the text box, dropdown list, or calendar that appears to the right. This also depends on the previous two selections.

For example, if you choose Artist > Contains, you would enter the name of the artist. Or, if you choose Added Date > is before, you would enter the date.

Last frame for the first condition of a smart playlist.

Step 6: Once you have the criteria for your playlist, you can add another condition if you like. For example, you might want a list of your favorite artist and songs that are added after a certain date.

Select the Plus sign on the right side of the first ruler to add a second one. Then use the dropdown and subsequent boxes to configure it, just like the first one.

Next to the checkbox at the top, choose none either All to match any or all of the conditions.

Setting the second condition for a smart playlist.

Step 7: Once you’ve added all of your criteria, you can optionally check the boxes for the other items on your playlist. You can limit the number of items in the playlist and how they are selected, match only checked items, and enable live updating.

When you’re done, choose okay to save the smart playlist rules.

Smart playlist limit options.

Step 8: You will then see your playlist in the main section of the Music app. Enter a name in the Playlist field and touch Return. You can then play your new smart playlist right away.

As you continue to listen to, buy, or add new items in the Music app, items that match the rules you set for your smart playlist will be added automatically.

Name field for a smart playlist in Music.

Access or edit your smart playlist

Listening to or making changes to the rules of your Smart Playlist is as easy as setting it up on Mac.

Step 1: You can access and play your new smart playlist at any time by selecting it on the playlists left menu section in the Music app.

Smart Playlist in the Music app menu.

Step 2: If you sync the Music app with your iPhone or iPad, you’ll also see the Smart Playlist on the playlists section of the Library on those devices as well.

Step 3: If you want to make changes to the playlist, you can do so in Music on Mac. Select the playlist and choose Edit rules below the playlist name on the right.

Next, you’ll see the rules you initially set up. Make the changes you want and choose okay to save them.

Edit rules for a smart playlist in Music.

Now that you know how to create a smart playlist in Apple Music to update music automatically, check out how to share your Apple Music library.

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