Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If I have my iPod syncing with multiple playlists and there are overlapping songs, will that copy two copies on the iPod or will it be smart enough to only copy once?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I believe that the playlist is just basically a list of songs and not the songs themselves so for example, a playlist will just contain a number/ID of what song to play and not the song itself.

You should be able to have many playlists with overlapping songs and only copy the music once.

share|improve this answer

I think that the songs are copied twice. I just tried to copy the same songs into different playlist and then add one playlist at a time to my iPod. The first playlist copied without incident. The second playlist failed because there was not sufficient space!

share|improve this answer

NOTE: This answer doesn't directly refer to iPods, but to mp3 players in general

On other mp3 players the playlist is held in a file with the m3u extension which looks like this:

#EXTINF:244, Eurythmics - English Summer
e:\chris\music\Eurythmics\In The Garden\01-English Summer.mp3
#EXTINF:239, Eurythmics - Belinda
e:\chris\music\Eurythmics\In The Garden\02-Belinda.mp3

The first line tells the system what sort of file it is.

Each track in the playlist is represented by a pair of lines. The first gives the length in seconds, the artist and the name of the track, the second gives the location of the file. So you can see that the file can be in multiple playlists without being copied to multiple locations.

I would expect the iPod playlist file to be organised on very similar lines.

share|improve this answer

Building on what William Hilsum said, a playlist is just a reference saying, "Alright, when the user selects this playlist, tell the musicPlayer to play these songs: (song names/id's)" So your question, the songs shouldn't copy twice because the playlist is just a reference.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .