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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 »)

StephanF's picture

I have a Music Only...

I have a Music Only playlist and a Talk Only playlist. The nice thing about the talk only it allows me to set them all to "Skip when shuffling" easily.

Also I've found it easier to use "does not contain" rather then "is not" to multi-select 'audiobooks' and 'books & spoken' and things like that.

i've also make extensive use of the browser to re-categorize all the silly little 1 album and 1 song tracks that have weird genre tags like Classic Rock or Celtic Folk, I'd rather keep the genre number low and make it easy to find things in medium sized lists.

You can cascade smart playlists to do all kinds of fun things. Create 6 smart playlists based on the songs star rating. Then you create another set that are time-limited versions of those and then you can mix them in different ways. For example you can have a 30 minute playlist of 3 star songs and combine it with an hour-long playlist of 5 star music. so every track has a chance but they are weighted.

You can have a whole playlist of UnRated tracks, which can be fun to do doing down time.

Once we did a blood drive and I SPed a list of all tracks with "blood" in them, that was interesting.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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