iTunes: Needs ‘Show playlists containing selected track’ command

Posted by Pierre Igot in: iTunes
January 27th, 2005 • 3:34 am

Mac OS X’s Address Book has a somewhat hidden feature where, if you have selected a card in your Address Book database, holding the Option key down while the card is selected will highlight in yellow in the “Group” all the groups which contain the currently selected card.

It’s handy, because you don’t always remember which group(s) a given card is part of, and you can access cards without going through a group. For example, if you search for a card by doing a search in the Search field, after having selected the “All” group option, you get a list of results in the “Name” column that doesn’t correspond to any specific group in the “Group” column (since it contains results from different groups). At that point, you can select one of the results and hit Option, and Address Book will show you which group(s) the selected name is part of.

Well, I think that iTunes could use a similar feature. Indeed, in iTunes, you can create a variety of playlists in the “Source” column on the left-hand side, and you can have tracks in your music library that appear in several different playlists.

Here again, you quite often access individual tracks through a variety of paths. So you don’t always know if the current track you have belongs to any playlist(s) you have created. Right now, there’s no easy way to see the playlist(s) that the selected track belongs to. You have to memorize the track information, and then switch to the “Source” column and scan through the playlists to see if the track is in any of them.

That is why I think it would be useful if iTunes had a similar feature to the one in Address Book. When a track is selected, holding the Option key down would highlight in yellow those playlists in the “Source” column that the track is part of. It would be simple and effective. Best of all, it would be consistent with the Address Book interface, with which iTunes (and other database-driven OS X applications) have a number of things in common.

2 Responses to “iTunes: Needs ‘Show playlists containing selected track’ command”

  1. Pierre Igot says:

    Excellent! Thanks!

    I guess my only complaint would be that it’s not consistent with the AB interface…

  2. Olivier says:

    When a track appears in one or more playlists, its contextual menu gains a Playlists submenu that displays the playlists it belongs to. I think it’s what you’re looking for.

    I found about it just two weeks ago when reading reader mail in Macworld February 2005. It was referring to Powerful Playlist Tricks by Jim Heid in Digital Hub, Macworld November 2004 (p. 71).

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