iTunes Playlist of Record

Back in 2010 I read this lifehacker article Set up iTunes Smart Playlists to Give Every Song in Your Collection Its Due. Which gave me the foundation for the system I use now to shuffle songs in iTunes. I use a lot of the ideas in that article, but have tweaked it to my preferences.

My star ratings each have a definition and the goal of this playlist is to get higher rated songs played more often:

  • ★ – I don’t want to hear this, but I’m too lazy to delete it right now, probably won’t survive next time I need more disk space.
  • ★★ – I don’t particularly like it, but I want to keep it around because I might like the album.
  • ★★★ – I want to hear this around once a year
  • ★★★★ – I really like these
  • ★★★★★ – I could listen to this one right after finishing it

Songs move around as my tastes change. I try to keep 3 stars as the lowest unless I really don’t want to listen to the song. Sometimes I hear a song that I end up really liking but didn’t initially.

I start with three smart playlists:

3+ has the rule “Rating” “is greater than” ★★
4+ has the rule “Rating” “is greater than” ★★★
5s has the rule “Rating” “is greater than” ★★★★

Here I can add a rule “Genre” “does not contain” “Holiday” if I want to filter out Holiday music as long as I remember to set the playlist to Match all of the following rules: I don’t limit the size of the playlist but I do have it match only checked items and live update.

Those three feed each feed into a playlist:

Recently Unplayed contains 3+ star songs that haven’t been played in the past 10 months which takes two rules

“Last Played” “is not in the last” “10” “months”
“Playlist” “is” “3+”

Recently Unplayed Better contains 4+ star songs that haven’t been played in the past 38 days

“Last Played” “is not in the last” “38” “days”
“Playlist” “is” “4+”

Recently Unplayed Best feeds all my 5 star songs in if they haven’t been played in the past week

“Last Played” “is not in the last” “7” “days”
“Playlist” “is” “5s”

When I began I had them set at 1 year, 30 days, and 1 week, but I adjusted them a bit as you can see. I also have an Unplayed playlist that contains all songs I haven’t ever played. This one has quite a few rules which are all applied to limit it a bit:

“Plays” “is” “0”
“Genre” “is not” “Podcast”
“Genre” “is not” “Books & Spoken”
“Rating” “is not” ★
“Media Kind” “is” “Music”

I’m not sure if all of those are necessary, but it does what I want.

So those 4 feed the playlist I shuffle most days and keep synced with my phone:

Playlist of Record simply has “Match” “any” “of the following rules:”

“Playlist” “is” “Recently Unplayed Best”
“Playlist” “is” “Recently Unplayed Better”
“Playlist” “is” “Recently Unplayed”
“Playlist” “is” “Unplayed”

So far everything has worked through 4+ years of iTunes updates.

image from anekdamian

One thought on “iTunes Playlist of Record”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *