If you have a large music collection you might often find yourself wondering if things are getting buried in the stacks and good songs aren't seeing the light of day. This array of smart playlists will tweak and showcase your collection.
Recently while digging in our archives, we stumbled across this great tip from our Top 10 iTunes Smart Playlists feature. Reader mschlock shared this fantastic array of playlist tweaks to dig deeply into your music collection:
Songs that you don't play? There is such a thing? Man!
Here is my needlessly complicated playlisting scheme that I am secretly quite proud of. I very rarely fiddle with my tunes except for once in awhile when I get a song in my head and *have* to hear it — other than that, this scheme keeps me in a good mix. And no pesky ignored tunes! Eventually, they all cycle through.
1. Any songs that are better than the general population get four stars. (Originally these were the songs I had dubbed mix-cd-worthy.)
2. Any songs that I love so much I'd gladly listen to again regardless of when I listened to them last get five stars.
3. Everything else stays unrated.
4. Create a new smart playlist called "Recently Unplayed". Set it to contain anything that has not been played in the last three months.
5. Create another smart playlist called "Recently Unplayed Better Songs". Set it to contain anything that is rated four stars and has not been played in the last six weeks.
6. Create another smart playlist called "Best Songs Not Played This Week". Set it to contain anything that is rated five stars and hasn't been played in the last week.
7. Create a final smart playlist called "Playlist of Record". Set it to contain songs that are in ANY of the last three playlists. This is the playlist I nearly exclusively listen to (actually, I point Party Shuffle at it).
I occasionally fiddle the date limits on the various playlists so that there's usually 600-700 songs in the final playlist with about a third of them higher-rated.
8. Create a regular playlist and name it "On Notice". As you listen to your music, dump in all of the songs you realise you can no longer stand.
9. Create a smart playlist and name it "Recently Unplayed and Allowable". Set it to contain songs that ARE in "Recently Unplayed" and are NOT in "On Notice".
10. Use "Recently Unplayed and Allowable" in step 7 instead of the original "Recently Unplayed" list.
Even more complicated:
11. Create a regular playlist and name it "Do Not Open Until Xmas". Dump in all of your Christmas music.
12. Add a rule to "Recently Unplayed and Allowable" stating that it cannot contain songs in "Do Not Open Until Xmas".
13. Around November, or whenever you can stand to hear Christmas music again, remove the rule. (This is my lame workaround for the lack of an iTunes rule like "if today's date is...".) Christmas music will now percolate through your main playlist again, but it won't rule the day. [Ed. Note: This is a fantastic workaround to the potential overload of our Holiday-only playlist suggested in Top 10 iTunes Smart Playlists.]
I recently added another few rules to segregate a couple hundred songs to play exclusively on the iPod in the car, but I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.
Also, although I fully expect most people think this is utterly insane, I just know there is at least one person out there who read this whole thing and found it unbearably hot.
Well you caught us. It's hot. Anything that helps mixes up a monolithic music collection and does so easily is something we can get behind. Thanks for sharing such a great and lengthy tip mschlock!