Your Smart Playlist Ideas -- Post them Here


As an alternative to using Comments to prevent certain songs from entering a playlist, you can also use the "Skip when shuffling" option in a song's tag to prevent it from playing when the iPod or iTunes is in shuffle mode. Of course, if you don't want such songs to ever be in the playlist, then what you're doing is fine. But if you want to prevent certain songs from coming up in shuffle mode, use the "Skip" option.

Just as an aside, you can also throw in criteria like "Last played is not in the last X days" so that you can exit the playlist and come back to it later without hearing the same songs. Just choose X to be any amount of time that seems appropriate to you.

Have fun!
 

ape

New member
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.
Hi I have some questions / issues which I think are related to what you're talking about here.
My library is larger than my 60gb ipod, so I'm trying to control what is left off when I auto sync by using playlists.

How I'm trying to do it at the moment:

A Smart playlist called "Smart No Sync" and a standard playlist called "Manual No Sync". With the smart list I can set rules such as Time is greater than 30 mins, to stop long tracks going to the ipod. With the manual list I can select certain albums. These lists are not set to sync.

I then have another smart list called "For Ipod" which is checked to sync, and limited to the size of my ipod. The rule for this list is Playlist is not "Smart No Sync" or "Manual No Sync". So it excludes everything I don't want.

Any other smart lists I have that I want to sync include the rule playlist is "For Ipod" along with whatever other conditions.

The problem is that when I sync, all the sync'd lists are flagged as referring to a playlist that is not available, which is obviously true as my "No Sync" lists are not on the ipod! I think this means that live updating of my lists won't work.

Do you have any suggestions on how to sort this out, and achieve what I'm trying to do. Hope I've made sense!!

Many Thanks
 

cloverridge

New member
Hi I have some questions / issues which I think are related to what you're talking about here.
My library is larger than my 60gb ipod, so I'm trying to control what is left off when I auto sync by using playlists.

How I'm trying to do it at the moment:

A Smart playlist called "Smart No Sync" and a standard playlist called "Manual No Sync". With the smart list I can set rules such as Time is greater than 30 mins, to stop long tracks going to the ipod. With the manual list I can select certain albums. These lists are not set to sync.

I then have another smart list called "For Ipod" which is checked to sync, and limited to the size of my ipod. The rule for this list is Playlist is not "Smart No Sync" or "Manual No Sync". So it excludes everything I don't want.

Any other smart lists I have that I want to sync include the rule playlist is "For Ipod" along with whatever other conditions.

The problem is that when I sync, all the sync'd lists are flagged as referring to a playlist that is not available, which is obviously true as my "No Sync" lists are not on the ipod! I think this means that live updating of my lists won't work.

Do you have any suggestions on how to sort this out, and achieve what I'm trying to do. Hope I've made sense!!

Many Thanks
If I'm understanding you right....I would just put your exclusion parameters from "Smart No Sync" and "Manual No Sync" into your "For Ipod" Smart Playlist.

Don't have "For IPOD" refer to either of those playlist but put in the parameter "time is < 30 minutes" type of thing so that "For IPOD" won't grab anything over 30 minutes and the same goes for the album exclusions. That way "For IPOD" doesn't refer to those playlists but still carries all your desired parameters.
 

ape

New member
Thanks for your reply, you have understood right me I think!

I see what you mean and I think that would indeed work for the "smart no sync" list. However, the manual one is a normal list, so has no rules - I just drag albums I don't want syncing into it. So I always need to refer to this one so the "For Ipod" list knows what to leave out. Can't think how to get round that.
 

cloverridge

New member
Happy to help....you could always add "album is not ...." to your "For Ipod" list to exclude any albums you didn't want. It's a bit more over head as you'd need to adjust as your album wants changed but it gets the job done.
 

ape

New member
Yes that will work. Bit of work to make all the extra rules, but I suppose once it's done, its quick to add more. It'll do till I get a bigger ipod anyway!
Thanks for your suggestions, much appreciated.
 

snash22

New member
Thoughts On Playlist Order

I do not like having to put the iPod in "shuffle" mode when I am playing a playlist. I found a few imperfect ways of having the playlist sorted psuedo-randomly.

The order a playlist shows up on your iPod is based on the order it is shown in iTunes. The far left column shows the order number. You can change this by sorting on any of the columns you have shown. If you sort based on "artist" ascending, then the songs of "Alien Ant Farm" in the playlist will come before those of "Michael Jackson".

The example above is not random, so what columns do we have that can be used to randomize?

1. Track Number - This is pretty random, but over time you may find your are always hearing the first songs of albums quite often if you don't often listen to all the songs in your playlist before the next sync. Additonally, the first songs tend to get listened to more often anyway by virtue of the fact that they nearly always get played when listening to an album. Sorting by track number descending could give an extra bump to songs at the end of albums that you don't always listen all the way through to.

2. Alphabetically By Track Name - again, pretty random, but it would give a lopsided advantage to songs earlier or later in the alphabet. Also, different versions of a sing would get played sequentially - you might like that.

3. Time - Long songs first? Short songs first? Your choice.

4. Bit Rate - If you are using an external program to encode your tracks in a VBR format it is likely to tag it with the actual bitrate like "219kbps (VBR)". this I think is the most random option, provided your whole collection is encoded using the same options. If yours is like mine, you have selected various target bitrates and this could make the order lean towards your older or newer target bitrate. Early on I encoded at 320 kbps, nowadays it 192 VBR. But still, I think this may be the best randomization technique.

Any other ideas?
 
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Surgical Gloves

New member
Can anyone help me out with this?

Ok, here is my question. What smart playlist sorting options are supported by ipod classic? I mean, if i sort the smart list by year on itunes, every time a new song makes the list its sorted by year. Will this work on the ipod?
 

mdwicker

New member
ipod smartlists not live updating??

I have an ipod classic, 80 gigs, and itunes 9. ipod is auto-syncing with all my itunes music and playlists.

I have the following playlsit setup (among others, but this is the one I'm concerned about):

At the very bottom, I have a Z-Good playlist for all my music minus holiday, audiobook, etc.

Match All:
Playlist IS Music
Genre IS NOT Holiday
Genre IS NOT Books & Spoken
Genre IS NOT Skip
Kind DOES NOT CONTAIN video

Live Updating

That's that playlist. I then have one set up for all the music I want to play everyday normally. I subtract soundtracks, etc, from z-good.

So I call it Z-Good-Odd:
Match All:
Playlist IS Z-Good
Genre IS NOT Classical
Genre IS NOT Instrumental
Genre IS NOT Children's Music
Genre IS NOT Soundtrack
Genre IS NOT Musical

So that's my base music list.

THEN I have a mix playlist based off of a few weighted playlists.
the weighted playlists are as follows:

1. Fav
Match All:
Playlist IS Z-Good-Odd
Rating IS GREATER THAN ***
Limit to 50 items sorted by RANDOM
Live Updating

2. New
Match All:
Playlist IS Z-Good-Odd
Rating IS NOT *
Rating IS NOT **
Date Added IS IN THE LAST 2 months
Limit to 30 items sorted by RANDOM
Live Updating

3. Old
Match All:
Playlist IS Z-Good-Odd
Rating IS NOT *
Last Played IS NOT IN THE LAST 12 months
Limit to 20 items sorted by RANDOM
Live Updating

4. Rand
Match All:
Playlist IS Z-Good-Odd
Rating IS NOT **
Rating IS NOT *
Limit to 20 items sorted by RANDOM
Live Updating

Then, the aggregation of all the playlists:

I call it...Z

Match Any:
Playlist IS Fav
Playlist IS New
Playlist IS Old
Playlist IS Rand
Live Updating

FINALLY, the playlist I actually USE:
Match ALL
Playlist IS Z
Last Played IS NOT IN THE LAST 1 days
Limit to 1 HOUR sorted by RANDOM
Live Updating

BUT When I play songs in the playlist on my ipod, it does not remove them once I have played them once. according to my "last played is not in the last 1 days", they should delete once they play once. they don't. only when I sync w/itunes is my list refreshed. any ideas?
 

Code Monkey

New member
Your first one, "Playlist IS Music", doesn't work on iPods. It's breaking the whole chain's live updating.

You can achieve the same thing with a few rules:
{Kind contains audio}
{Genre IS NOT Audiobook}
{Genre IS NOT Podcast}

and any other audio genres you might have (e.g. I've got Voice Memos and Comedy in my library).
 

mdwicker

New member
Your first one, "Playlist IS Music", doesn't work on iPods. It's breaking the whole chain's live updating.

You can achieve the same thing with a few rules:
{Kind contains audio}
{Genre IS NOT Audiobook}
{Genre IS NOT Podcast}

and any other audio genres you might have (e.g. I've got Voice Memos and Comedy in my library).
Ahhh! YAY! :D It works! You just made my day. ;) I'd been fussing around with it for ages and had come to the conclusion that it was just buggy. I really loved what the mix was coming up with, but t'was rather useless if I couldn't refresh.

Your document inspired me to create some weighted mixes. :) Thanks.

My current plan is to get a system I like, then switch my iPod to manual to add movies, audiobooks, etc that I don't store usually in my iTunes library. Then the songs I added via sync will still sync with my itunes library, but I can have content on my ipod that doesn't fit on my computer HD. Do you see any potential problems?

(I'm using auto-update at the moment in order to do playlist folders)
 

Code Monkey

New member
My current plan is to get a system I like, then switch my iPod to manual to add movies, audiobooks, etc that I don't store usually in my iTunes library. Then the songs I added via sync will still sync with my itunes library, but I can have content on my ipod that doesn't fit on my computer HD. Do you see any potential problems?
While smartlists function well on a manually managed iPod function, there are some things to consider.

The big thing to keep in mind is that since playcounts and other play data will not sync back to your general library, you will essentially be starting back at ground zero whenever it becomes necessary to restore the iPod. My experience is that this always is a matter of when, not if. If you don't care about this, for example, your iPod can hold all your audio data so these playlists are just for making randomized mix lists, then it may work for you.

In a similar vein, once you switch to manual, you'll lose the ability to manage what goes on and off the iPod via those smartlists. You can, as I do on my daughter's iPod, make smartlists on the iPod just to handle the management aspect. Nothing big, but you have to think your way around the fact that the iPod, as far as iTunes is concerned, becomes a big, black hole where nothing can escape and all the management for what should or shouldn't be on your iPod has to take place in your noggin or via special smartlists on the iPod just for that purpose.

As an example: I have a big, complicated smartlist that fetches all the music that's goes on my daughter's iPod. I use manual management on that iPod since I don't want those playcounts coming back to iTunes or scrobbling to my last.fm account. Since conditions change because we get new music, she decides doesn't want something on there, or she hears something of mine playing that she wants, I'm semi-frequently changing the copy of this smartlist that resides in my iTunes library. What I do to actually keep her iPod current is I drag the iTunes copy of this smartlist onto the iPod and it replaces to out of date version and transfers and new tracks but it leaves all the old music no longer referenced by the smartlist. To remove that, I created a smartlist on the iPod that has the condition {Playlist IS NOT "My Daughter's iPod"}. Since the list is created on the iPod, it only ever sees the music on the iPod and shows me everything that needs deleted, a shift select followed by a shift-DELETE and everything is current. The only quirk is that since smartlists are actually identified by a hidden ID (I suspect this may be why things like {Playlist IS Music} break live updating, the iPod's internal Music list is not the same as the library's), you have to update the Playlist rule for the management list each time you replace the content fetching one.

And, this isn't related to the manual management, but you do realize that your playlists FAV & RAND never refresh? The only way different music is winding up on those is if you drop the rating of a song to 3 stars or lower in the case of FAV, or 1 or 2 stars in the case of RAND. Any time you don't include a fairly strict removal rule, e.g. the "Last played IS NOT IN THE LAST X days" the list contents don't change unless you manually clear the contents and let it refill. If you add a "Last Played" rule to those lists they'll behave much better.
 
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mdwicker

New member
Well my iPod is 80 GB, and my audio collection is only 13GB...so yes, I can store all my audio data on my iPod. I read somewhere (about to test it for myself) that song data from songs that were ORIGNALLY autosynced to the ipod will continue to have metadata (playcounts, ratings) synced to itunes even in manual mode..if that's true, I'm set for whatever.

Anyway, I fill up the rest of my 80 GB with movies, which don't fit on my computer hard drive. thus I cannot use itunes autosync because not all my data is stored in itunes. :)

as to the fav and rand playlists...I most definately need to fix those!!! I originally had them both set up with a Last Played criteria, but in troubleshooting live updating I had to change that to the main playlist instead of the lists feeding into it...shall fix that.
 
I read somewhere (about to test it for myself) that song data from songs that were ORIGNALLY autosynced to the ipod will continue to have metadata (playcounts, ratings) synced to itunes even in manual mode..if that's true, I'm set for whatever.
This is true -- if you auto-sync and then switch to manual mode, your playcounts, play dates, and rating changes on the iPod will continue to update your library even though the iPod is in manual mode. All you need to do is press the "Sync" button while connected to iTunes.

However, once you're in manual mode, any songs that you manually drag and drop to the iPod will not take on this behavior. So if you get new music, you'd have to change back to auto-sync to load it onto the iPod, then change back to manual mode.
 

mdwicker

New member
This is true -- if you auto-sync and then switch to manual mode, your playcounts, play dates, and rating changes on the iPod will continue to update your library even though the iPod is in manual mode. All you need to do is press the "Sync" button while connected to iTunes.
.
tried switching into manual after I'd used auto, then changing a rating on iPod and syncing with itunes in manual mode....no luck. rating did not change in iTunes. any suggestions?
 

ScoobZ

New member
... but I can have content on my ipod that doesn't fit on my computer HD. Do you see any potential problems?
Just a tiny one: When (not if) your iPod goes belly up you will lose all that media that you are storing exclusively on your iPod.
 

Code Monkey

New member
Just a tiny one: When (not if) your iPod goes belly up you will lose all that media that you are storing exclusively on your iPod.
I could be wrong, but it didn't sound like this was his plan, just that he didn't want it on the hard drive. For example, I keep my videos backed up to DVD and only import it into iTunes as needed - it is a lot of drive space to devote to something I might watch once a year, if that, and don't give a rodent's behind about keeping persistent play data about.

OTOH, I don't much see the point in keeping that much video on an iPod either for the same reason.
 

ScoobZ

New member
I could be wrong, but it didn't sound like this was his plan, just that he didn't want it on the hard drive. For example, I keep my videos backed up to DVD and only import it into iTunes as needed - it is a lot of drive space to devote to something I might watch once a year, if that, and don't give a rodent's behind about keeping persistent play data about.

OTOH, I don't much see the point in keeping that much video on an iPod either for the same reason.
Good point and I agree. I just get itchy when I see folks suggesting that the only place their media might live is on their oh-so-fragile iPod.
 

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