iTunes allows users to create playlists out of their songs. Users can then synchronize some or all of their playlists to their iPods. Sometimes users see exclamation points next to their songs or playlists and it may appear that songs are disappearing from the playlists. However, the songs are not being removed from iTunes completely.
Exclamation Points in iTunes
iTunes uses exclamation points to alert users that a problem exists with a song, video or playlist. When you import a song to iTunes, the program remembers the song's location on your hard drive. If you later move or delete the song file on your hard drive, iTunes will mark it with an exclamation point. This alerts you that iTunes can no longer play the song or transfer it to an iPod because the program does not know where to find the file.
iTunes has two types of playlists. The first type is just called a "playlist." With these lists, users choose the exact songs that they want the list to contain. The second type of playlist is a "smart playlist." For these lists users tell iTunes to use certain parameters to create a playlist for the user. You can make multiple smart playlists and the parameters can reference each other. For instance, you can setup one smart playlist to exclude all songs on another smart playlist.
Exclamation Points on iPod Playlists
Users do not have to add all of their playlists and songs to their iPods. If a playlist includes a song that is not on the iPod, users will see an exclamation point and the song will not show up on the iPod playlist. Similarly, if one smart playlist that is on the iPod refers to another playlist that is not, users will see an exclamation point. These exclamation points do not do anything other than alert the user to a problem.
The most comprehensive solution is to synchronize all songs and playlists to your iPod as soon as you add them to iTunes. However, depending upon the size of your music library and the storage capacity of you iPod, this might be impossible. If that is the case, examine each playlist with an exclamation point and make sure that all songs and other playlists it uses are on your iPod. If an individual song has an exclamation point, double-click on the song title in iTunes. Press the "Locate" button and tell iTunes where the file is currently located on your hard drive.
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