Your Smart Playlist Ideas -- Post them Here


konkrypton

New member
Not a Smart Playlist…

My smartest playlist isn't a playlist, it's an Applescript! Seriously, I use Ascript a lot and realized that I couldn't get a smart playlist to pull entire albums based on "least recently played." So I created a smart playlist that just listed all my album tracks (comment does not contain "single") sorted by "last played date".

Then I wrote a script that looks at the top few tracks and, based on those tracks, grabs each track's "brothers" from the same album and dumps them into a standard playlist.

The upshot of this mess is that I can now pull entire albums that have tracks that haven't been listened to recently and I can listen to the whole album at once instead of a track here and another there.

I'm an old geek from the 70's that believes that some albums were designed to be listened to as a complete work. Examples are the Moody Blues' "Days of Future Past" and Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon."
 
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Germansuplex

New member
I'm fairly certain there is some way of getting a "Least Often Played" albums smartlist. Not that long ago we found out how to get a playlist of random full albums. I think we can do the same here, I just can't test it out right now.
 

ScoobZ

New member
konkrypton said:
My smartest playlist isn't a playlist, it's an Applescript! Seriously, I use Ascript a lot and realized that I couldn't get a smart playlist to pull entire albums based on "least recently played." So I created a smart playlist that just listed all my album tracks (comment does not contain "single") sorted by "last played date".

Then I wrote a script that looks at the top few tracks and, based on those tracks, grabs each track's "brothers" from the same album and dumps them into a standard playlist.

The upshot of this mess is that I can now pull entire albums that have tracks that haven't been listened to recently and I can listen to the whole album at once instead of a track here and another there.

I'm an old geek from the 70's that believes that some albums were designed to be listened to as a complete work. Examples are the Moody Blues' "Days of Future Past" and Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon."
Wow, I'd *love* to have a Windows tool that would do that.
 

bryce87

New member
I was wondering if there is a way to make a smart playlist that plays certain songs most often played rating greater than 3 stars but only have one song each by every artist in my library so I don't hear multiple songs by the same artist?
 

Code Monkey

New member
bryce87 said:
I was wondering if there is a way to make a smart playlist that plays certain songs most often played rating greater than 3 stars but only have one song each by every artist in my library so I don't hear multiple songs by the same artist?
Nope. While very good, one thing the smartlist system is lacking is the ability to create wildcards in the conditions that would allow such list creation.

Maybe one of these days.
 

Code Monkey

New member
FYI, version 6.0 of my smartlist document is now available.

http://filebox.vt.edu/users/channum/files/smartlist_management.pdf

I'm going to keep it at this address regardless of version in the future.

Major changes:
- Updated to be current with recent iPods and iTunes.
- More introductory and basic information so it's not quite so arcane.
- Some graphics and pictures to help make some sections clearer.
- Much of it has been rewritten for clarity, paying special attention to be consistent with terminology.
- Added an Appendix section explaining all of the rules and selection criteria plus a few useful library management applications of smartlists.
- Up to 45 pages and about 400 KB :eek:
 

jasn

New member
Excellent! Thx for the update CM. A quick glance tells me I'll want to revisit even those chapters I've learned by heart from the last version, as you've tuned them up a bit. I'll try not to spend any more time with at work ;)

Something I do with the final "listening" playlists is add "rating is not 1 stars"; "rating is not 2 stars" and "last skipped is not in the last 2 weeks". This allows me to skip or downgrade songs I originally thought I'd want to have in a shuffle and they will automatically clear out of the playlist until I resync a new batch of songs on iTunes.
 

ScoobZ

New member
Code Monkey said:
FYI, version 6.0 of my smartlist document is now available.

http://filebox.vt.edu/users/channum/files/smartlist_management.pdf
Nice!! I can't wait to check it out. A quick scan reveals that you removed my favorite line from the prior version.

"Show me someone who thinks it's fun to manually select a different 3.5 GB of music every week for their mini or nano and I'll show you someone with a ball-gag in the nightstand drawer."

Makes me laugh every time.
 

Code Monkey

New member
ScoobZ said:
Makes me laugh every time.
When I rewrote sections I tried to be less potentially offensive, but your feedback and constructive criticism is duly noted. I will take it into consideration for future versions ;)

Coming soon, the Director's Cut "What I really think" special version :D

or maybe not...
 

Tim3167

New member
Code Monkey - I love your smart playlist management ideas but I think I may be missing something on your "Final Exam" portion.

My primary everyday listening ipod is a 16gb Touch right now but my music library is approaching 90gb.

I have used a series of smart playlists to create a playlist I call "Smart Pool". When syncing, I copy the contents of the "Smart Pool" into a "Dumb Pool" regular playlist. I then sync this Dumb Pool playlist to the touch and build a series of smart playlists to sync to the Touch that further filter this large dumb pool into a very controlled playlist of 160 songs. My dumb pool usually consists of about 1100 tracks but this allows for live updating as songs no longer meet criteria to pull in new tracks. This keeps my mix with just the ratio I have defined.

The thing I'm just not getting in your "final exam" section is how I can avoid having this dumb pool and having to manually refresh from the smart pool. It seems that without having a pool somewhere up in your chain that is a regular playlist, the library is defaulted as the source and if the ipod is not large enough for the whole library...then goodbye live updating....Did I miss something?
 

Tim3167

New member
One more quick note on my take on Genius functionality as it pertains to Smart Playlists. I have been working with a Countdown style playlist that gives me a mix of songs based on my ratings, last played, playcount, date added. 50 5 stars, 40 4 stars, 30 3 Stars, 20 2 Stars, and 10 unrated. There are lots of other subrules to force rotation of library but yet maintain some randomness and newly aded tracks. This added logic was due directly to the ideas from Code Monkey.

I thought Genius was just too intriguing to pass up though so here's how I added what ITunes thinks I should like into the mix. I think this idea came from here too. I have a SPL for top 20 listened to tracks in my library. Based on the contents of this list, I create Genius Playlists of 50 tracks for each of these 20 songs. I update Genius and refresh these lists weekly.

I The create a Genius Pool playlist where the conditions are matches any of those 20 genius playlists. I end up with a pool of usually between 500 and 550 songs because of many duplicate suggestions. From there I create a genius smart pool that limits to 100 and filters out holiday and last played in last 3 weeks. I copy the contents of this to a dumb genius pool to be synced to the Touch.

Then to finish it off I have a Genius Feed playlist that pulls 10 tracks from the Genius Pool. I then include this Genius feed into my overall countdown. I have found that this finds tracks from my library at a quicker rate that matches my particular tastes. I think it's a really nice addition to my countdown but never a replacement.
 

Code Monkey

New member
Did I miss something?
Yes ;)

The "final exam" system is 100% complete for building the pool that you can then reference for whatever final filtering you want for top level daily use type playlists.

The reason there is no longer a "dumb pool" as you dubbed it (I like that) is that the base playlists, e.g. 4 STAR - OLD, are complete as is, no longer referencing an exclusion list like in the first two systems. As such, the total amount of music defined by the whole chain of playlists is under your control and this lets you stick the whole system on the iPod.
 

Code Monkey

New member
FYI, I got a notice this week that I'm losing my filebox space at VT May 18th 2009. I will hopefully have a new home for the smartlist paper before then.
 

Tim3167

New member
I think what I'm still missing is my understanding of the logic of needing eveything upstream of your spl to be synced to the device in order for live updating to work. In my experience the 4 Star Old playlist you describe uses the entire ITunes library for it's source since an alternative playlist is not specified. If the entire ITunes library is not synced to the device doesnt this break live updating? My use of the dumb pool is simply to limit the "library" used in my logic to a size that I can sync to the device.

Sorry to go back and forth on this, but I really do find value in this discussion...whenver I try to describe my obession with these multi tiered SPLs with friends, eyes start to glaze over.
 

Code Monkey

New member
I think what I'm still missing is my understanding of the logic of needing eveything upstream of your spl to be synced to the device in order for live updating to work. In my experience the 4 Star Old playlist you describe uses the entire ITunes library for it's source since an alternative playlist is not specified. If the entire ITunes library is not synced to the device doesnt this break live updating?
Actually, it specifies *nothing* for where it pulls from. If that smartlist is currently residing "in" iTunes, your whole library is eligible for inclusion. If that smartlist is on your 4GB mini, the entire contents of your mini is eligible for inclusion. If that smartlist is on your 160GB classic, the entire contents of your 160GB is eligible for inclusion.

It is completely general in what it pulls from.
 

urbanlegend

Toronto Tonto
I have a SPL for top 20 listened to tracks in my library. Based on the contents of this list, I create Genius Playlists of 50 tracks for each of these 20 songs. I update Genius and refresh these lists weekly.
tim, are you manually creating the 20 genius playlists or is there some way to say, "make a genius list for each of the songs on this playlist" in itunes?

if it can be automated, it sounds like a cool set of lists...

john
 

Tim3167

New member
Nope, havent figured that out. I manually create the 20 genius playlists. That's not too bad since these songs remain fairly constant. It's the weekly refreshing that I wish I could automate. ITunes with Macros....hmmm......
 

Norbert220

New member
Lately I've been really interested in SPLs, so I decided to give them a try and I love it. I'm a huge progressive metal fan and as any prog metal fan would know, you can't listen to it on shuffle because it messes up the segues and the flow of the music throughout the album. So I decided that I would try and create a playlist for my favorite parts of the albums. I then went through my music library (which took a while) and put tags into my comments, such as "instrumental" or "segue" so that I would only get the pure musical genius moments on my playlists. The playlist would look something like this:

Genre is progressive metal
rating is 5 stars
comments does not include segue

I'm still working on it, but that's what I've got so far. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
 

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