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 The Modern Mix Tape

Announcements
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Welcome to SmartPlaylists.com!

This is a resource for creating, sharing, and chatting about iTunes Smart Playlists.

See these faq's for more information:

What is a Smart Playlist?
How to create a Smart Playlist


by dfbills on Oct 01 | 12:00 am
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 Apple Releases iTunes 11

Announcements
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Apple has turned it up to 11 with their latest release of iTunes. The app is completely redesigned with a new store and enhanced iCloud functionality. And best of all, Smart Playlists have survived the re-imagining!

by dfbills on Nov 29 | 3:37 pm
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 Apple Releases iTunes 10.5.1 with iTunes Match

Announcements
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Apple has finally posted iTunes 10.5.1, which is the first version to enable iTunes Match with sync via iCloud.

iTunes Match is an optional $24.99/year service which takes songs you’ve imported from CDs or purchased from Apple and stores them online with iCloud. Once enabled, you can play your songs on any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC without syncing.

iTunes will determine which songs in your library are available in the iTunes Store. Then, any matching songs are automatically added to iCloud. Any songs that don't match Apple's 20 million song catalog, will simply be uploaded to iCloud.

Perhaps best of all, the music matched in iTunes is played back from iCloud at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality. This is true even if your original was encoded at a lower quality setting.

More on Smart Playlist implications soon...


by dfbills on Nov 15 | 9:52 am
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 New Mac App "Smarts" for Smart Playlists

Announcements
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Doug Adams has launched a great new Macintosh application on the Mac App Store called "Smarts." The app stores the only the criteria which define the Smart Playlists, the smarts of a Smart Playlist, as templates that can be restored later. Further the "Smarts" can be exported for backup or shared with others.

Doug points out that having a lot of Smart Playlists can slow iTunes down, but Smarts allows you to store unused Smart Playlists in Smarts so that can then remove your unused Smart Playlists from iTunes while retaining the ability to reload them later when you need them again.

Another great feature is the ability to store templates that contain frequently used criteria. These templates can act as a starter for new, complex Smart Playlists where you only need to add a minimum of new criteria to make a full featured playlists.

Smarts is now available at the Mac App Store as a free download. Check it out.


by dfbills on May 24 | 11:14 am
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 Apple Releases iTunes 9.1

Announcements
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Apple just released iTunes 9.1. Looks like some bug fixes and iPad support are key features.

"What's new" according to Apple:

iTunes 9.1 comes with several new features and improvements, including:

• Sync with iPad to enjoy your favorite music, movies, TV shows, books and more on the go

• Organize and sync books you've downloaded from iBooks on iPad or added to your iTunes library

• Rename, rearrange, or remove Genius Mixes


by dfbills on Mar 30 | 4:44 pm
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 Extending Genius playlists

Smart Playlists
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iTunes 8 features a new playlist creation tool called Genius. To create a playlist with it, you find a song you like and select it in your iTunes library, then you click on the ‘Genius’ button at the bottom right of your iTunes window. iTunes then gives you a few, albeit overly simplified, options. One, select how many songs you want in the playlist. Two, ‘Refresh’ the playlist with different songs. Three, “Save Playlist”. In theory I like the idea but in practice, it’s half useless.

What if I don’t want songs rated 1 or 2 stars in this playlist? What if I only want unrated songs in this playlist? You may be thinking, “who rates songs? what’s the point?”. The answer to that is rather long and I will go into that in a later post when I explain how to create customized and dynamic playlist to vastly improve the “shuffle” ability of iTunes and your iPod.

To achieve a Genius based playlist that consist of only unrated songs, this is what I did.

1. Create a Genius playlist for a song. Select a song you like, click on the ‘atom’ looking icon at the lower right of your iTunes window. Select “Limit to 50 songs”. and click on “Save Playlist”. You may repeat this step and create an unlimited number of Genius playlist. I call each playlist “g: song title”.

I try to rate all of my music, so when iTunes creates a Genius playlist, probably about 50% are rated. This only gives me about 25 songs per playlist that aren’t rated. Depending on how many songs you have rated, and how many unrated songs you want to achieve for the final playlist, you can adjust the parameters to match your needs.

2. Create a Smart Playlist that contains “any” and for the options, select “Playlist” > “is” > (the genius playlist you created in step 2). You may continue adding any and all Genius playlist you’ve created in step 1. I called this playlist “g: all”.

3. Create another Smart Playlist that contains “all” and for the first option select “playlist” > “is” > (select the playlist you’ve created in step 2). For the second option in this playlist, select “rating” > “is” > “0 stars”. I called this playlist “g: unrated”.

Here is a screenshot of the playlists I’ve created. I named them all with “g: ” to make it easier to find them and to know what they are for just by the playlist name.

Genius Playlist

So now if you want to play unrated songs based on the iTunes Genius feature, just select the final playlist you’ve created in step 3. Which for me is “g: unrated” in the screenshot above.

This is also a good way to find songs that you knew you liked but for whatever reason haven’t gotten around to rating yet. As each song plays, you can easily and quickly rate it. Or you can eyeball the list and batch rate songs with a few mouse clicks.

This is how I currently rate my music:

5 stars: My absolute favorite songs that I very rarely skip
4 stars: Songs I like
3 stars: Song I’m indifferent to. They may grow on me.
2 stars: Songs I don’t like
1 star: Special case songs, “live music”, “spoken word”, self-help tracks (instructional, tutorial, etc)

via- alternapop.com


by dfbills on Feb 20 | 12:20 pm
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