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Topic: Smart playlists and compilation bug are both fixed in iOS5

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Old 10-15-2011, 03:50 PM
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Smart playlists and compilation bug are both fixed in iOS5

Anyone else tested this out? My nested smart playlists are live updating on my iPod Touch 3rd generation and my compilations are also collapsed into one album artist just like in iTunes. Took long enough, but nice to see it fixed.
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimmy T View Post
Anyone else tested this out? My nested smart playlists are live updating on my iPod Touch 3rd generation and my compilations are also collapsed into one album artist just like in iTunes. Took long enough, but nice to see it fixed.
Testing it out now having seen this post, hadn't even thought to look at smartlist updating since I saw no mention of it from the extensive beta period, nor did it occur to me that it might even be a possibility after well over two years of bupkiss...

While I'm waiting on some music to play, one confirmed change is playlists no longer have their sorting affected by special characters at the beginning of their name, DOH, there goes that way to keep playlists organized in some way other than alphabetical.

OK, some test results: Made a very simple test case using a source non-smart list with 10 songs and a smartlist that pulled 5 songs at random from that source list with the rotation condition of not being played in the last day. While the list was playing got the odd but at least semi-promising behavior that just played songs rotated to the bottom of the smart playlist. And when all 5 had played...

(I'll edit this post as soon as I have an answer, going to go walk the dog and find out)

EDIT: Nope, while smartlists are indeed technically updating under iOS 5, they are not, unfortunately, updating correctly. The rotation of the played songs to the bottom of the queue that was going on mid-play was as far as the updating went. After all 5 songs played, I wound up with the exact same 5 songs in the original order.

So, while smartlists may update more under iOS 5 than 4, the critical ability to reference another list doesn't work, nor does last played (at least in conjunction with referencing another list). Without those two rules working, there's no functional difference.

There is a consolation prize to make up for this bad news: Playlist folders within folders actually IS supported under iOS 5. No idea how many levels deep you can go, but they will actually go at least to a list inside a folder inside another folder (what I tested).

Last edited by Code Monkey; 10-15-2011 at 05:12 PM. Reason: Updated information
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:16 PM
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The above actually is promising for one reason: it means Apple is still updating the iOS smartlist code even if their programmers are too incompetent to fix it after more than two years. I won't hold my breath, but it suggests that smartlists may become functional on iOS at some point in the future.
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:16 PM
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Testing it out now having seen this post, hadn't even thought to look at smartlist updating since I saw no mention of it from the extensive beta period, nor did it occur to me that it might even be a possibility after well over two years of bupkiss...

While I'm waiting on some music to play, one confirmed change is playlists no longer have their sorting affected by special characters at the beginning of their name, DOH, there goes that way to keep playlists organized in some way other than alphabetical.

OK, some test results: Made a very simple test case using a source non-smart list with 10 songs and a smartlist that pulled 5 songs at random from that source list with the rotation condition of not being played in the last day. While the list was playing got the odd but at least semi-promising behavior that just played songs rotated to the bottom of the smart playlist. And when all 5 had played...

(I'll edit this post as soon as I have an answer, going to go walk the dog and find out)

EDIT: Nope, while smartlists are indeed technically updating under iOS 5, they are not, unfortunately, updating correctly. The rotation of the played songs to the bottom of the queue that was going on mid-play was as far as the updating went. After all 5 songs played, I wound up with the exact same 5 songs in the original order.

So, while smartlists may update more under iOS 5 than 4, the critical ability to reference another list doesn't work, nor does last played (at least in conjunction with referencing another list). Without those two rules working, there's no functional difference.

There is a consolation prize to make up for this bad news: Playlist folders within folders actually IS supported under iOS 5. No idea how many levels deep you can go, but they will actually go at least to a list inside a folder inside another folder (what I tested).
False alarm - you're right. Didn't even think to look at the bottom of my playlist since it's like 300 songs long. Just picked the first song and went back to the playlist and it looked like it was gone.
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:58 PM
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False alarm - you're right. Didn't even think to look at the bottom of my playlist since it's like 300 songs long. Just picked the first song and went back to the playlist and it looked like it was gone.
I can easily see where a big playlist would give that impression, which is why I created a test scenario where it would be easy to see what was going on. I'm wondering how smart or dumb this particular rotation is, let's do another test...

Nope. I got a hunch that maybe Apple had given us a kludge that, while definitely a kludge, would have made smartlists more useful than just shuffling a giant smartlist, which is what I've been doing since moving to iOS: By making a smartlist do this "just played goes to the bottom of the queue" rotation you could have the approximation of a properly updating smartlist if the list was big enough. Unfortunately, this maybe intentional, maybe not intentional list rotation only works if that smartlist would live update correctly (i.e. all playlists involved in the chain are present), and merely rotating a playlist is not worth devoting that kind of space on my device.

Oh well, guess I'll keep on shuffling big pre-shuffled smart playlists that update at sync.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:06 AM
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What annoys me is that I have to choose to sync to the iCloud OR my computer. I was/am also hoping with itunes match I will be able to go on my 3 week trip to Canada in December and just find a wifi hotspot to update my smartlists. This is annoying as pretty well all my smartlists reference longer static playlists and rotate with "not played in last x" criteria. Even more so that most of my current library is stored on my iphone (main reason I for a 32 GB version and now that Apple makes 64 GB iphones why I will get that when the iphone 5 rolls out). I might was well just shuffle my static playlists or use Genius - which I have never really liked.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:56 AM
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My smartplaylist based on a playlist folder and plays = 0 wasn't updating, added "last played is not in last 1 day", and now songs drop to the bottom of the list. So at least smart playlists are partially useable, even though still not as good as they were on my 2007 nano.

Unfortunately every single one of my playlists on my Touch is sorting in completely the wrong order. Copy to play order does nothing. So therefore smart playlists are still useless for me, except for wanting to shuffle them. And I thought Apple was supposed to be easy to use.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:43 PM
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So at least smart playlists are partially useable, even though still not as good as they were on my 2007 nano.

...And I thought Apple was supposed to be easy to use.
Considering that they broke smartlists as of iOS 3.1 and this "rotate to the bottom" is the first improvement since then, I think we're all supposed to be ecstatic or something

The sort order I hadn't noticed yet since the only smartlists I look at are shuffled but I checked and, yup, we are seeing the return of the same sorting bug that plagued iOS devices with the launch of 4.0 until, I think, 4.2 where they finally got around to fixing it. /facepalm

I'm amazed Apple can "walk and chew gum at the same time" as a corporation when their software managers are clueless idiots who recycle code that's borked to hell and back without even being aware that they already paid people to rewrite it. No wonder we're seeing the downgrade on playback for music videos and video podcasts, by all appearances, they went back to the "Music" and "Videos" app code from sometime in 2008 for the base of iOS 5
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:19 PM
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Something else I've noticed here-skipping seems to work now. What I mean is I use "not skipped in the last X" as one of my parameters in many of my smart playists. I works in itunes directly and the song falls off-would never work if I skipped on my iphone-with the next sync it was still there. Now it does drop off as well, albeit only after syncing.
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