Useful iTunes smart playlists

2010-05-20 23:00:22 UTC

All of these are “All” (logical and/set intersection) playlists.

Music only

  • Playlist is Music (Library)
  • Kind does not contain “URL”
  • Kind does not contain “stream”
  • Kind does not contain “ideo” [sic]
  • Kind does not contain “PDF document”
  • Genre does not contain “Comedy”
  • Genre does not contain “Spoken Word”
  • Genre does not contain “Podcast”

Never played (music queue)

  • Playlist is “Music only”
  • Play Count is 0

≥ 3.5 stars

  • Playlist is “Music only”
  • Rating is greater than ★★★ · ·


The goal of this playlist is a balance between churn (so that I keep hearing music I haven’t heard in awhile) and quality (so that a bad or mediocre song does not take up space on my iPod that could have gone to a great song).

  • Playlist is “Music only”
  • Skip Count is less than 3
  • Playlist is “≥ 3.5 stars”
  • Time is less than 25 minutes (25:00)
  • Limit to 6 GB selected by least recently played

Customize standards and limit to your requirements.

Classical music (mostly excluded from this playlist by the Time criterion) enters my iPod through a separate playlist: a smart playlist selecting 12 hours of least-recently-played material from my “Programming music” dumb playlist.

Often-played but unrated music

If you’re like me, you have a lot of music that has racked up more than a few plays, but that you never rated. Most of this predates my installation of I Love Stars, with which I’ve rated nearly all of the music I’ve added since then.

By listening to this playlist with I Love Stars running, I’ll be able to rate all of these songs and so give the good-to-great ones a shot at being on my iPod. (I used to have “Play count ≥ 5” in the iPod smart playlist, but not everything that I have that has 5 or more plays merits inclusion on my iPod.)

  • Playlist is “Music only”
  • Play Count is greater than 4
  • Rating is · · · · ·

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