iTunes smart playlists
Despite exhibiting a fair amount of autistic behaviour towards most aspects of my music listening (I’ve devoted numerous evenings to tagging, renaming, and artworking pretty much all my mp3s), I am pretty slack in rating songs in iTunes. Which is a shame, because having all my songs rated would help me massively when making playlists. Luckily, due both to a nerdy desire to automate most things and lots of laziness, I’ve got a few smart playlists which try and do that job for me.
Songs I love, but haven’t listened to for a month.
Loved songs being those I’ve listened to more 5 times. Over time I’ll increase the number, but at the moment 5 is working out pretty well for me.
Songs I like, but haven’t listened to for a month.
Same as the loved list, but only 2 plays are required to be included. Also, excluding the loved list so there are no duplicates.
Songs I really love
So I’ve listened to them loads, and never skipped them - I must really love these ones. By the way, as far as I know, Apple’s definition of skipping a song is when you press next any time between the 2nd and 20th second of a song. I wish it didn’t have the 2 second buffer at the start, I usually skip songs within a second of hearing one I can’t be bothered with.
10 songs from last week
Not sure why I like this playlist, but I do. It’s quite nice to hear a song again after a few days.
OK, so those are the main playlists I use on my iPod. I don’t sync directly with them though, I have a folder which contains the lists I sync with.
10 from last week is the one I mentioned above, Genius is the Apple Genius playlist I currently have, Liked/Loved 3gb is
just a mix of the liked/loved playlists limited to 3GB.
Played, random is random songs I’ve listened to at least once, but not in the past week
The unplayed list, is the same as the played, but with a play count of 0.
The final playlist
It’s only now I’ve written it all down that I realise how convoluted and complicated this all is, but from this folder comes the final playlist. I only sync with this one.
It’s the iPod Smart folder, excluding all the songs I skipped last week, because chances are I still don’t want to listen to them. It’s limited to 10GB, because this is for my iPhone, I have this same playlist for my 4GB Nano, but limited to 4GB (obv). It’s quite nice being able to do it this way, it means I don’t have shuffle around the sizes of all the playlists I use.
And that’s pretty much it. There are some limitations with the smart playlists - I’d love to be able to have a playlist based on songs I’d listened to the most times in the last week/month/year, and I wish I could make it pick a random album for playlists. Unless I missed something. These things are possible with all my last.fm data , I just need a way to get that data into iTunes. That can be another side project for me.
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