Forum Question: How to sync single albums via iTunes

I used to manually manage but switched over sync. Now I am not sure how to sync individual albums. I have latest version of iTunes with Leopard. An example: I have more songs than room on my iPhone so instead of syncing all 11 albums by Bob Marley, I just want to transfer one album. With the sync feature, you only have a choice for playlists, artists, and genres. I know I can create a playlist but that seems like more work since iTunes should allow more categories than just playlists, artists, and genres. Please help.

— Bob

Comments: 18 Responses to “How to sync single albums via iTunes”

    3/21/10 @ 2:29 pm

    Two methods. First, you can use the option to sync only items checked. Then put checkmarks next to the songs from the albums you want.
    But the playlist method is the best option. Just create a playlist named “For iPhone” and dump everything in there that you want to sync to your iPhone. Then mark that playlist for syncing. You don’t have to USE that playlist. You can just access those songs and albums as you would normally on your iPhone. It is just a handy way to indicate the ones that should be synced.

    3/21/10 @ 7:18 pm

    Thank you for your response. To address your first option (because I want to avoid the playlist option if at all possible), when you said ‘put check marks next to the songs from the albums you want’, I do not see songs as an option. I only have Genres, Playlists, and Artists. I thought maybe I could sync all of the albums from the artist and then uncheck them from the iPhone window but it will not let me since the songs are ‘grayed out’. It seems this is a inability of iTunes and maybe they will add more options to sync instead of the 3 mentioned. Worst case scenario is I could revert to the playlist option but I want to explore all of the options first. Please advise. Thanks for all your help and I love the site.

      3/21/10 @ 8:17 pm

      For using the checkmarks — you would select to sync all artists, or at least any artist that you want at least a single song from. Then just check off the songs you want.
      Why are you avoiding the playlist option? It is easy and it is what most people use. I’ve been doing that ever since I got my first iPod. Maybe you think it has a drawback of some sort? There really isn’t any.

    3/21/10 @ 8:51 pm

    Thanks Gary. You are correct about the playlist. Much easier. I guess it was fear of the unknown. One question. I created separate playlists for my different devices based on the amount of free space. If I were to sync two playlists that have duplicate songs, will iTunes know there is already a copy of the song on the device or will I end up with duplicate songs on my devices? Not sure if that is clear enough. Please let me know if I need to clarify. Thanks, Bob

      3/21/10 @ 9:47 pm

      Only one copy of the song would sync, even if it is in multiple playlists. So you can have a “New Music,” “Favorites” and “Workout Music” lists, and have the same album on each, in addition to other things.. All three lists could sync to your iPhone and you would get only one copy of each song.

    3/21/10 @ 10:42 pm

    Great thanks for all of the help… Much better than Google. {:-)

      4/5/10 @ 5:13 am

      Yes, but it would be much easier if you could choose between: playlists, artists, genres and albums. Strange Apple doesn’t do this, because it’s the best way to experience coverflow on iPhone!

    5/28/10 @ 7:23 am

    Yeah, it would be nice if you could just see a list of albums when you are setting up the sync, just like you can see a list of artists or songs. Then you could just check the album to sync, and that’s it. Easier than a playlist, keeps everything in one place (ie you don’t have to manage the syncing of artists in one place but the albums over in playlists), and you don’t end up with an annoying, weird playlist of albums that have nothing to do with one another (that last one probably only bothers those of us who are more uptight about things, but still…)

    So much else in iTunes is so well done and aimed at convenience, you’d think the ability to simply choose to sync a specific album would be a no brainer.

      5/28/10 @ 7:45 am

      You could always set it for manual sync and then drag and drop songs/albums/artists to your iPod/iPhone. That’s the way I do it for maximum control.

        6/22/10 @ 12:44 pm

        I’m tring to use the drag/drop method but doesn’t work in iTunes 9 in Windows XP. I drag from Library to My device and I just get the circle with a slash icon, meaning you can’t drop it there. Ideas?

          6/22/10 @ 1:36 pm

          I don’t have XP to test on. But you do need to have it set to manual sync first, and then do a sync to clear it out. Then it should work.

    9/29/10 @ 3:06 pm

    *sigh* Man, does Apple suck. I’m forced to use an iPhone now for work and stumble upon this post looking for a way to sync a single song. The most intuitive way to accomplish this?

    Right-Click -> Sync to -> (list of available devices)

    iTunes is a piece of garbage.

    Anyway, thanks for the playlist suggestion… sounds like the way to go now that I’m stuck with this phone/software for a while.

      9/29/10 @ 3:10 pm

      Well, if you set the iPhone to “sync songs manually” then it is a simple drag-and-drop action. Drag and drop the song from the list in iTunes to the iPhone in the sidebar. Not sure how much simpler it can get than that.

    11/7/10 @ 5:49 am

    Yes, Thanks Gary, that works. I have iTunes 9 on Windows Vista. I chose the option ‘Manually manage music and videos’ and now I can manually drag and drop a single album OR song to my iPhone.

    For those who don’t know: Click the iPhone icon, and you should see the option in the ‘Summary’ tab.

    I know I can use playlist for this (done that before), but like some people, I don’t like the idea of having to manage my playlist and then only sync. Might as well pull it straight from the source :)

    12/31/10 @ 10:02 am

    I dont want to synch by artist. How can I unclick all of the artists at once? Doing it manually one at a time seems stupid. any ideas?

      12/31/10 @ 10:13 am

      Command+Click on the checkbox next to any artist’s name. Do it twice to do the opposite.

        10/21/12 @ 9:55 am

        THANK YOU!!!
        I´ve been looking for that answer everywhere!

    11/5/11 @ 11:09 pm

    It seems that it has all been worked out with the latest version of Itunes :-) … It seems Apple must read this forum ;)

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