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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 »)

e2mtt's picture

I have a rather long...

I have a rather long way of processing my music, but it works really slick.

I have multiple playlists, relating to the rating, IE: 5-star (any song rated 5, not played in the last 3 days) 4-star (any song rated 4, not played in the last 2 weeks) 3-star (any song rated 3, not played in the last 6 weeks) 2-star (any song rated 2, not played in the last 6 months) New (default setting in Itunes) Unrated (any unrated song, not played in the last 4 weeks)

I then make a "hit radio" playlist, that just plays these 6 playlists mixed together. Perfect mix. When a song plays, you can then adjust the rating as required, it is easy to pick up on a song that you hear too often and drop it a star, or promote a great song you haven't heard in a while.

You can also adjust the "last played" factor on each level to adjust to your preference & music library size.

You could easily add a "music playlist only" modifier to each rule playlist, but I just pre-emptively mark anything that I know I dont want in a music playlist as a 1-star. (comedy & spoken word stuff, as well as horrible songs that I don't want to delete)




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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