Newbie Smartlist Question

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Phillyzero

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Just finally reading up on and trying smartlists (yeah...shoulda started a while ago..:shake: ). Newho, so I make a couple rules such as: Playlist is not [X], Playlist is [Y], I check Live Update, and only checked items, and now when I limit I choose: 200 items selected by least recently played. My list however ends up only taking 200 of my least played from artists T to Z only...how come it's not picking the least played tracks randomly from A to Z...I know I have a lot of unplayed stuff above the letter T...help please:confused:
 

bwh79

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You probably have a bunch of tracks that have never been played. These will get picked first for "Least recently played", because never is less recent than anything that has ever been played. Since these tracks are all tied for "Least recently played", then it just starts at one end of the list (the "Z" end, apparently), and picks until it runs out of its 200 available spaces. Another iLounger by the name of Code Monkey has written a very informative article on smart playlists which might help you a lot. There's a link in my sig.
 

Phillyzero

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Thanks for the reply, do you know of a way to get around this though? I've skimmed through the article (and when I get this sorted out will read it thoroughly as it seems a great read), but I don't think it can help me in this case. I have over 9000 tracks, and recently I've splurged and have a huge amount of material that has NOT been played...any way I can restrict the list further?
 

bwh79

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Sure. If you want tracks listed by least recently played, but only tracks that have actually been played, try adding the rule "Play count is greater than 0". Or instead of limiting the list to 200 tracks, you could let it pick up all the unplayed tracks, and then make a second list that picks from the first one -- make this list limited to 200 tracks at random, and you won't have the issue of getting only the end of the alphabet, since it's picking randomly. There's lots more you could do, depending on exactly what you want out of your smartlist. If you're just going for a pseudo-random playlist so that you don't have to pick songs out by yourself, one important trick mentioned in that article is to use a mix of songs picked by least recently played (and/or least often played) and tracks chosen randomly. So instead of 200 songs by least recently played, you could do 100 tracks by least recently played and 100 tracks not played in the last 7 days, picked by random.
 

wyneken

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I find it's often necessary to create multi-level smart playlists to get the mix I'm looking for. What you might do here is create a basic list (including a rule like Play Count > is >0, or Last Played > is not in the last > 12 months), but DO NOT limit it by number of songs. Let's say we call this "Not Played." There might be thousands of songs in here, if you've recently added a bunch of stuff to your library.

Now we create a second list with the rule "Playlist > is > Not Played." Limit this to 200 songs selected by RANDOM. This is the playlist to sync your iPod with. Now you'll get a sampling of new material from across the whole library. And it will constantly refresh itself, as songs are played and thereby get dropped from the "Not Played" list.

Another variant of this is to have more than one "sublist" feeding into the top-level playlist. For instance, in addition to the list with songs you haven't heard, there might be another for songs you've recently added that you rated, say, 4 stars or higher. And maybe another sublist for an artist or genre that you're really in the mood for right now. (I always do this with surf music in the summer.) Now at the top level you create a "match ANY" list that selects randomly from List A or List B or List C.

There is no end to this, of course.
 
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