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"Music Only" for your iTunes playlists

New for Friday 11/10:
Revenge of the Smart Playlist: 5 tricks for packrats & power users »

In my MacBreak Weekly capacity as Vice-President in Charge of Digging Pointless Ratholes™, I recently mentioned some tricks that I use to create better playlists in iTunes. One of these tricks -- which is an oldie, and which I'm certain I yoinked from some uncredited smarter person out in the blogtropolis -- is to create a "Music Only" list.

So you know how you have increasing buttloads of non-music (podcasts, audio books, etc.) in your iTunes library? It's really annoying to throw on one of your sexy Smart Playlists or the Party Shuffle, only to have a 20 minute nap or a Noam Chomsky lecture kick in.

I get around this by basing almost all my Smart Playlists on my one canonical "Music Only" list, which currently looks like this:

Music Only

Yes, it's very hacky, and yes there's probably a more elegant way to accomplish this effect, but so far it's been a handy jumping off point for my favorite Smart Playlists. This helps me build stuff like...

New and unlistened-to


My neglected lovers


If you're even a casual iTunes user, it pays to spend some time rating your songs (no they can't all be "5 stars"), adding rich metadata, and building Smart Playlists. So powerful. And it you're using a (GUI-free) iPod Shuffle but not Smart Playlists? Man, that's just nuts.

New for Friday 11/10:
Revenge of the Smart Playlist: 5 tricks for packrats & power users

By popular demand, here are five more Smart Playlists, designed to help you manage very large libraries and bubble up interesting tracks (that you may not realize you like). (more »)

Kit Kemper's picture

Thanks to my overabundance of...

Thanks to my overabundance of aging iPods, I have dedicated a nano to managing this type of thing. Like Merlin, I have a complicated Smart Playlist that is dedicated to plucking new music out of my library. I don't go for anything that has a low play count, but rather regularly yank out those with a low play count (likely meaning that I am not digging it as much). It then automatically gets supplanted by the next newest music in my collection. It is a good way to make sure you give music it's due if you buy a lot of stuff. I have been doing the removal manually, but hope that the "skip count" feature will mean I can automate the process. As of yet though nothing seems to get "skipped". What triggers this?

I also recently bought a 2G shuffle despite having a perfectly good 1G model. Any suggestions on what I could do with the previous model aside from a USB drive? I thought about using it as a type of 'dream machine" loading it with Pzizz naps, but the lack of an interface makes that a bit nerve racking (don't want that 20 minute lunchtime break to turn into 60 minutes of slumber).




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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