playlist tricks

Is there any way to make an iTunes playlist that selects from other playlists? Basically, I want to use "Party Shuffle" with "play higher rated songs more often", but I also want it to play a song a lot more often if it was recently added. Something like: "half of the time, pick from 'Recently Added' instead of 'Library'". Any ideas?

Update: Ok, I think this works:

  • File / New Folder / "75% Recent, 25% Library"
  • File / New Smart Playlist / "Recently Added (750 songs)"

    • Date Added · is in the last · 90 · days
    • Kind · is · Mpeg audio file
    • Podcast · is false
    • Last Played · is not in the last · 1 · days
    • My Rating · is not · 1 star
    • Limit to · 750 · songs · selected by · random
    • Match only checked songs
    • Live Updating
  • File / New Smart Playlist / "Library (250 songs)"

    • Kind · is · Mpeg audio file
    • Podcast · is false
    • Last Played · is not in the last · 1 · days
    • Playlist · is not · "Recently Added (750 songs)"
    • Limit to · 250 · songs · selected by · random

    • Match only checked songs
    • Live Updating

Drag the two playlists into the "75% Recent, 25% Library" folder; then in Party Shuffle, set "Source" to that folder.

Both of the sub-playlists have to have the "Last Played" rule, or else they will never update, and you'll always get exactly the same 250 "old" songs.

(Instead of a folder, you could also use a third smart playlist with an "or" of two "Playlist is" rules, but by using a folder you can close the triangle and not have the two sub-lists taking up space in the window.)

I wish there was an "hours" option instead of just "days": I'm ok hearing the same song twice in one day if it's a brand new song.

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9 Responses:

  1. bassfingers says:

    Meta smart playlists are pretty easy... just add a rule that says "Playlist is FOO". The main thing lacking in nested playlists is the ability to mix AND and OR in the same list.

    Also might try playing with folders of playlists as source...

  2. Combining smart playlists is the trick.

    Do something like this:

    smart playlist A: playlist = "recently added", limit to N tracks selected randomly
    smart playlist B: no specific limitations, limit to N tracks selected randomly
    smart playlist C: playlist = A OR playlist = B

    (A and B are required to make C turn out half-and-half, otherwise the hugeness of your full library relative to your recently added list will overwhelm the party shuffle.)

    • duskwuff says:

      Random smart playlists don't reshuffle very well... you'll always get the same N random tracks from the library unless you periodically delete and recreate playlist B.

      • bassfingers says:

        Yeah, I usually add a "Not played in the last X days" to such random playlists to help keep them fresh.

      • bfirrera says:

        actually, mine does...but, I've also set a time parameter into mine...

        I have:

        All the following are limited to 2 hours, chosen at random, with liveupdating. Since I have a 5th G 60g Video, it also liveupdates on the go.

        Playlist 1 "0 Stars - Older" - no rating, not played in the last 6 weeks. While I've eliminated certain genres from playing (genre "does not contain..."), I've been especially harsh with this one, eliminating: "Christmas/Chanukkah", "Hallowe'en", "Showtunes", "Disney", "Spoken Word", "Podcast". It's also set not to add any videos to the playlist (as they all are). I haven't eliminated "Showtunes" from other playlists except the next one, since I chose the ones that I think would work in a shuffle...the songs that don't pull easily out of their respective shows are not rated. Oh, and these songs have to be older than 6 weeks in my library...!

        Playlist 2 "0 Stars - Recent" These songs have only been added to my library in the past 7 days. The same genres are eliminated here. They have playcount of "0".

        Playlist 3 "2 Stars" - They haven't played in 5 weeks. Elimated all but showtunes from above.

        Playlist 4 "3 Stars" - They haven't played in 4 weeks. ditto.

        Playlist 5 "4 Stars" - They haven't played in 3 weeks. ditto.

        Playlist 6 "5 Stars" - They haven't played in 2 weeks. ditto.

        If I feel that a song is playing too often, I knock it down a star. If I feel I haven't heard a song often enough, it gains a star.

        Finally, Playlist 7 is "Insta-shuffle". It is "playlist = all of the above" (each gets a separate line). It's set to "chosen at random". I allow it to generate 4 hours of music at any given time from these playlists. It's also set to "Any" instead of "All" of under "Match ___ of the following rules" at the top.

        During X-Mas time, I've added a separate set of X-Mas playlists mirroring these with the only genre being "Christmas/Chanukkah". I've then created an all X-Mas insta-shuffle which my main insta-shuffle is pointing at as well when choosing music.

        As I listen to stuff, it will then not come back into the list for varying lengths of time. Some songs are in "heavy rotation" and some in "light rotation", etc. Everytime I play a song with no rating, I try to rate it, thereby improving the shuffle (and continuing to change it).

        I also use one last playlist that the shuffle doesn't grab from: "1 Star" which I've labeled "Thumbs Down". When I'm on the fly and hear a song that I don't like (more than likely something culled from an .mp3 blog or something), I give it one star and then I know which songs need to be deleted from my computer...

        Any questions?

      • jwz says:

        Yeah, you can see that random playlists don't re-shuffle by setting playlists A and B to "limit to 1 song" -- playlist C only ever has the same two songs on it.

        Adding "Last Played is not in the last 1 day" to playlists A and B seems to fix it. But I wish "hours" was an option (it doesn't take floats.)

  3. ckd says:

    One trick I use is to have a base "eligible songs" playlist, which has "kind contains audio, rating is not *, podcast is false" and for most of the year "genre is not holiday".

    For all my other smart playlists, I start with "playlist is eligible songs" before subsetting it. That makes it easy to add (or subtract) the holiday songs from all of these playlists at once.

    I can then combine "rating greater than 3*, last played not in the past 2 months" and "rating is 5*, last played not in the past 14 days", and "rating greater than 3*, date added in the past 2 months, play count less than 3, last played not in the past 4 days" and whatever else to make my shuffle sources.

    I don't use folders to create playlist combos because they don't show up on the iPod, but I do have a folder for all the "component" playlists to hide them in the iTunes source list. (To keep them out of the way on the iPod I use the old "names starting with zzz" trick.)

  4. dojothemouse says:

    What iTunes really needs is a feature to move the currently playing track into Party Shuffle without stopping play.

  5. usufructer says:

    If it's a brand new song, you can get it included with a list that requires a track to be less than a week old (or whatever value) and has been played less than ten times (again, or whatever), and don't include the last played part. My playlist is actually nine playlists, now in connected together with three folders rather than three playlists (thanks for that hint). Though I don't really understand why they don't number the tracks in the folders.

    The source playlist is all tracks 3 star or better, and not of three non-songe genres. Then there are three playlists pulling from the source that give the three least often played songs of 3, 4, and 5 stars, which are in a folder. The other five lists all grab a specific amount of time of tracks of a specific rating that are least recently played from the source list, and are all in a folder. And those two folders are in the big folder. Nothing is random.

    Basically, I didn't like that you can't set how often higher rated songs are played in party shuffle, and though I wanted new stuff to be played more often, I wanted the old stuff to all get cycled through.

    You might want to set the first list to selected by least recently played, rather than random. Otherwise, some songs get stuck never getting played. Then you can omit the last played part as well, without problems of a random list not randomizing.